Opening Questions and Prayer
If you were to be famous, what would you be famous for?
What are some ways people get caught up in making a name for themselves instead of making the Lord known?
How can we use our influence to make the Lord known?
Pray that the Lord would show you how He wants you to live as a result of spending time studying the Bible.
Read Exodus 9:13-17
Exodus 9:13-17 (All scripture is NLT unless otherwise noted)
13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 14 If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. 16 But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. 17 But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go.
What purpose does the Lord give for sending the plagues?
What reason does He give for sparing the Egyptians?
How did Pharaoh respond?
What are some ways the Lord has spared us from the destruction we deserve?
How can you use the hardships in your life to point to Jesus?
Read John 13:34-35
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
How did Jesus love His disciples?
How can we love others like Jesus loves us?
How will our love for one another prove to the world we are Jesus’ disciples?
When people see how you treat others, what do they see?
What’s one thing you can do this week to love someone as Jesus loves them?
Read Exodus 9:18-21
18 So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. 19 Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’”
20 Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the Lord had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. 21 But those who paid no attention to the word of the Lord left theirs out in the open.
How was God giving the Egyptians a chance to trust Him through this plague?
How did the Egyptians respond?
What are some ways people respond to the word of God?
See Matthew 13:18-23 18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
What is our responsibility when it comes to people listening to and following the Lord?
What’s one way you can plant the message of God’s Kingdom into people’s lives this week?
Read Exodus 9:22-26
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the livestock, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.” 23 So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth. The Lord sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. 24 Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. 25 It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed. 26 The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived.
What elements of nature did God show He had power over with all the plagues so far?
How was the Lord showing that life lived under His rule was better than trying it on our own?
How does the Lord use natural disasters to make His name known?
How can followers of Jesus use things like the pandemic to help spread the good news about Jesus?
What’s one specific thing the Lord has taught you about Himself during this time that you can share with someone?
Read Exodus 9:27-35
27 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “The Lord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. 28 Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”
29 “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the Lord. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the Lord God.”
31 (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. 32 But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.)
33 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the Lord, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. 35 Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the Lord had predicted through Moses.
Why does Pharaoh ask Moses to speak to the Lord on his behalf, instead of talking to the Lord himself?
How did Moses know that Pharaoh really hadn’t changed?
What did Pharaoh do when the storm ceased?
What has changed in your life for the better because of the coronavirus pandemic?
How might you go back to old habits if you don’t truly surrender that area of your life to God?
Who can help you stay on the good path that God has put you on during this time?
Exodus 9:34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn.
Closing thoughts and prayer
The Lord is at work all around us. The enemy is out trying to steal, kill, and destroy, and the Lord is turning those things into key opportunities for His children to point people to Him in the midst of those things. The problem is, we get easily distracted and listen to the wrong voices. The more we read the Bible, pray, and listen to the Lord, the easier it is to discern His voice from all the other ones vying for our attention.
The other danger is being in proximity to the things of the Lord through going to church and hanging out with followers of Jesus, but not surrendering our life to Jesus. When we truly do that, we will start to live and act like Jesus, and then we will make the most of every opportunity to share Christ with those He puts in our path.
Spend some time praying for those areas that are still hardened to the things of the Lord. Ask Him to soften your heart. Next, spend time praying for those who don’t know the Lord that you will be able to talk to them this week about His amazing love for them.
Finally, end your time praying for our country. Pray that the Lord would give you opportunities to share His love with those living in fear. Pray that the Lord would help you to show others that true peace, healing, justice, and reconciliation can only happen in a life surrendered to Him. Go this week and share that peace, love, joy, hope, grace, and life to a hurting and broken world.
How did Pharaoh lord over the people of God and oppress them?
What are some ways people are oppressed today?
What does the enemy want to do through this oppression and turmoil our country is in?
How did God continue to work with the Israelites to show His glory even during the midst of their crisis of slavery and racism?
How does God want to work through His followers to help bring healing to our country during this time?
What specific thing can you pray for this week when it comes to the healing of the racial tensions and injustice in our country?
What are some ways our broken world tries to find healing apart from Christ?
Why do these things ultimately fail?
Why is loving as Jesus loved the only way to make Him known to those around us?
How will this make His fame spread throughout the earth?
What are some hang-ups you have with loving others?
How can God transform you to love like He loves?
What does this passage teach us about the character of God?
After all the plagues and work of God that the Egyptians saw, why would some still refuse to listen?
Why do people see the work of the Lord, but still choose not to follow or obey Him?
Why do we think that our ways of doing life are better than what the Lord tells us?
What are some things in your life that the Lord is telling you to do, but you are choosing not to obey?
What step can you take towards obedience this week?
How did the Lord continue to show His dominion over nature and the world?
How does the Lord get people’s attention in natural disasters?
Why do some people miss what the Lord is trying to tell them through these events?
What will help you turn to the Lord first when life starts to turn in ways you didn’t expect?
What are some ways people may be deceived by the enemy by being in proximity to the Lord, but not actually having a relationship with Him?
How do people try to have a relationship with God, but without surrendering their life to Jesus and the work He did on the cross?
Why doesn’t that work in the long run?
Why do some people seem to have a big change, but then go back to old habits later?
How can we sustain holy living in our lives?
Pharaoh saw the Lord work in a mighty way and stop the storm, but then immediately hardened his heart to the things of the Lord. What are some ways we do this?
What are some ways you pray for something repeatedly, then when the Lord answers, you credit it to something else? (Prayed for healing, got better, but say it was the medicine; asked for more money, got a raise, credited it to your work ethic, etc.)
What do you need to do this week to soften your heart to the areas the Lord is leading you in?