Excerpts from the Exodus, adapted by Rev. Steitz.
After Moses had led the people out of their slavery in Egypt. God led them by the roundabout way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. The Lord went in front of them in a pillar cloud by day to lead them along the way and in a pillar of fire by night, to give them light so that they might travel by day and by night. Neither pillar left its place in front of the people. The Israelites were chased by Pharaoh’s army and the people complained to Moses that it would have been better for them to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness. And sure enough, God helped Moses drive back the sea and turned it into dry land and the waters were divided so the Israelites might cross safely.
Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. And when they did find some it was awful and bitter. And the people complained against Moses saying, “What shall we drink” Moses cried out to the Lord. The Lord showed him a piece of wood to throw into the water so it might become sweet.