Opening questions and prayer
Talk about a time when you struggled with authority. This can be something silly and lighthearted.
Who are some of the people that have authority in your life now?
How do they treat you?
What is one thing you wished they did differently?
What is one thing they do well?
Who are some people you have authority over? (This could be kids, co-workers, elderly parents, etc.)
How do you treat them?
What is one thing you could do differently in how you manage them?
What is one thing you do well?
What are some difficulties you have with authority?
How does the world treat those in authority or who have power?
How does the Lord want us to treat those in authority?
Read Exodus 6:28-7:1
Exodus 6:28-7:1 (All verses are from the NLT unless otherwise noted)
28 When the Lord spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 he said to him, “I am the Lord! Tell Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, everything I am telling you.” 30 But Moses argued with the Lord, saying, “I can’t do it! I’m such a clumsy speaker! Why should Pharaoh listen to me?”
7:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pay close attention to this. I will make you seem like God to Pharaoh, and your brother, Aaron, will be your prophet.
What is the Lord asking Moses to do?
How does Moses respond?
How does the Lord reassure Moses that He will be with him?
How will Moses be like God to Pharaoh?
When you doubt God’s plan, how does He reassure you?
Who are some people in your life who point you to God?
Read Exodus 7:2-7
2 Tell Aaron everything I command you, and Aaron must command Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. 3 But I will make Pharaoh’s heart stubborn so I can multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 Even then Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. 5 When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
6 So Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded them.7 Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh.
Why will Pharaoh refuse to listen to Moses and Aaron?
How will God show His authority to the Egyptians?
Even though Moses had doubts, what did he and Aaron do?
What is significant about Moses and Aaron’s age?
What are some excuses people give for not following God’s plan?
What hope do Moses and Aaron, in their old age, give to people who think they can’t make an impact for God’s Kingdom?
When you doubt the work of the Lord, how can you still do what the Lord commands you to do?
Read Exodus 7:8-9
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.’”
Why will Pharaoh want to see a miracle?
How is Pharaoh’s response similar to how Moses responded when the Lord told Him to go to the Israelites and lead them out of slavery? (See Exodus 3:11-15)
11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?”
12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
13 But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?”
14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
This is my eternal name,
my name to remember for all generations.
How did Moses question God’s authority?
Authority is a theme throughout Exodus. See Exodus 2:13-14
13 The next day, when Moses went out to visit his people again, he saw two Hebrew men fighting. “Why are you beating up your friend?” Moses said to the one who had started the fight.14 The man replied, “Who appointed you to be our prince and judge?
How are all these people wrestling with authority?
Who do they want to be in charge?
Who do you want to be in charge in your life?
Why do we often question authority?
What are some ways you question God’s authority in your life?
Read Matthew 8:5-13
5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
From the world’s perspective, who had authority in this story?
How did the Roman officer know that Jesus actually had true authority?
What did the Roman officer understand about authority that we can learn from?
What are some areas people struggle to give Jesus control of in their life?
What are some areas you don’t want Jesus to have authority over in your life?
Why is that?
Why is Jesus’ authority in our life better than our own?
What was the result of the Roman officer giving Jesus authority in his life?
What happens when you give Jesus authority in every area of your life?
Read Exodus 7:10-13
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! 11 Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. 12 They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.
When Pharaoh saw the authority of the Lord through the miracle Aaron performed, what was his response?
How did Pharaoh try to maintain his authority in the situation?
How did the Lord still show authority over Pharaoh and his magicians?
What is Pharaoh afraid of losing by allowing God to have authority in his life?
What are people of the world afraid of losing if they allow God to have authority in their life?
What are you afraid of losing if you give God complete authority in your life?
Think back over this past week. What is one area where you feel your heart is hard towards the things of the Lord?
What is one area you can give Jesus authority in this week?
What steps will you take to do that?
Who can remind you about this?
What person in your life is struggling to give God the proper authority?
What does the Lord want you to say to them this week?
When will you have that conversation?
How can giving Jesus complete authority in your life help with the anxiety and fear you may have been feeling over these past few weeks?
13 Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the Lord had predicted.
Closing thoughts and Prayer
In the midst of social distancing and a global pandemic, it’s easy to let our hearts become hard. Maybe tensions have been running high in your home. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or are worried about losing it. You may feel helpless, or like God isn’t listening. You can start to become bitter, and let your heart become hardened to the things of the Lord.
So this week, think about ways you can spend time with the Lord to allow Him to work in your heart. When we give Him complete authority in our lives, He starts to bring those areas of rebellion under His control.
End your time praying over those who are living in fear. Pray that they would give the authority of their life over to Jesus. Pray for those in authority in your life: church leaders, government officials, your boss. Pray that they would be guided by the Lord in their decision making. End by taking time to thank God for the ways He continues to work in the midst of crisis.