Opening Questions and Prayer
Growing up, what was something that you thought you had to have in order to be cool and fit in?
If you ever got that thing, did it do what you thought it would?
What are some things that the world thinks will give them a fulfilling life?
How do those things actually take them further from the full life they want?
What is difficult about allowing God to be in control of our lives?
Pray that the Lord would guide your study today. Ask Him to show you the areas in your life that you want to control, and that He would take over those areas.
Read Exodus 11:1-3
Exodus 11:1-3 (All Scripture is from the NLT unless otherwise noted)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. 2 Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (Now the Lord had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.)
How is this behavior from Pharaoh different from the way he responded to the previous plagues?
Why does the Lord want the Israelites to ask for silver and gold as they leave?
How has the Lord shifted the Egyptians perspective?
How does the Lord want to use you to help others see that a life lived in true surrender to God is better than anything this world has to offer?
Read Exodus 11:4-5
4 Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. 5 All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die.
What will happen if Pharaoh refuses to obey the Lord?
What does Pharaoh think will give him a fulfilling life?
Even though we know the consequences of sin, why do we continue to sin?
What is one way this week you can stop and consider your actions and consequences before giving into temptation?
How can the Lord help you with this?
Read Jonah 3:4-10
4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.
6 When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. 7 Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:
“No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. 8 People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. 9 Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”
10 When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.
How does the king of Nineveh respond differently to the message of God than Pharaoh did?
What does God do as a result of the Ninevites repentance?
What did the king of Nineveh think would bring him a fulfilling life before this encounter with Jonah?
After Jonah’s message, what did the king think would bring about a satisfying life?
Before you gave your life to Jesus, what did you think would give you a rich and satisfying life?
How did those things take you away from the Lord?
Read Exodus 11:6-8
6 Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. 7 But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. 8 All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh.
What happened as a result of the Egyptians choosing to do life their way instead of God’s way?
What will life be like in the land of the Israelites?
How does the Lord want to show those that are far away from Him, that a life lived for Him is better than what they are currently doing?
How does your life reflect the peace of Christ to those around you?
Read Exodus 11:9-10
9 Now the Lord had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.
Even though Pharaoh has seen the mighty works of God, why does he continue to choose his own way instead of the Lord’s way?
What is Pharaoh hoping to gain by continuing to live for himself and his ways instead of the Lord’s ways?
What area of your life are you continuing to live for your way instead of the Lord?
What would it take for you to give that area over to the Lord this week?
Read Colossians 1:19-22
19 For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, 20 and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
What is God’s desire for humanity?
Why do we, like Pharaoh, often choose our own ways instead of God’s ways?
What happens when we live that way?
What is the only way we can be reconciled to God?
What do we try to do on our own merit to be reconciled to God?
Why doesn’t it work?
What is the Lord speaking to you today?
Colossians 1:22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
Closing thoughts and prayer
Even though Pharaoh knows what will happen, knows the powerful works of God, he still refuses to change. Oftentimes, we are the same way. There may be a sin in our life that we rely on to make us temporarily feel good. There may be some people we look to to give us purpose. There may be some activities that aren’t bad in themselves, but we’ve given them the place of prominence in our life, instead of the Lord. Pharaoh’s downfall was that he thought he could outlast the Lord, that his way of life was better than what the Lord had for him. Let us not make the same mistake! The Lord makes if very clear that, as the author of life, He knows how life works best.
Pray that the Lord would show to you the things in your life that you are relying on more than Him. Ask Him to help you minimize those things and replace them with the life He wants you to live. Pray for those people who came to mind during this study that are away from the Lord. Ask the Lord for an opportunity to share with them about His love this week.
End your time praying for our nation and those trying to find peace in things that are apart from the Lord. Pray that the followers of Jesus would rise up and show that living for Christ is the only way to have peace.
How do the Egyptians view Moses?
How is this different from how they viewed him when he left Egypt over 40 years ago?
Who is someone in your life that you view in a negative light from something they may have done years ago?
What steps do you need to take this week to start to forgive them?
Are there any people in your life that you have wounded that you need to ask for forgiveness from?
How can your life lived for Christ show that He has changed your life?
What does this passage tell you about the character of God?
How is God judging the Egyptians for their actions?
See Exodus 1:11-16, 22
11 So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became. 13 So the Egyptians worked the people of Israel without mercy. 14 They made their lives bitter, forcing them to mix mortar and make bricks and do all the work in the fields. They were ruthless in all their demands. 15 Then Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, gave this order to the Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah: 16 “When you help the Hebrew women as they give birth, watch as they deliver. If the baby is a boy, kill him; if it is a girl, let her live.”
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Throw every newborn Hebrew boy into the Nile River. But you may let the girls live.”
In what ways has the Lord allowed the Egyptians time to repent of their actions?
How has the Lord been patient with you and allowed you time to repent of your actions before you face His judgement?
Who has the Lord put in your life that needs to hear His message of love, forgiveness, and a satisfying life?