Each week we have included a few sermon related questions in the bulletin. This gives each of you the opportunity to jot down a thought or two that you can bring to your group for discussion. So what was something from the sermon this week that stuck with you? Is there something you would like to go deeper with or have other people’s input on?
Ice breaker: In your opinion, which of the first six plagues would be the hardest to endure?
What is the greatest physical discomfort you have had to endure? What did you learn from it?
How would the plagues have impacted the Egyptians economically? Practically? In their day to day lives?
For an overview of the plagues check out this chart:
In the sermon this week, Pastor Jeremy addressed the concept of God as not just one amongst the many of Egypt, but rather as the One True God. Now if this is in fact true, then it’s something that should matter today as well as thousands of years ago. In the age of post-modernism, it’s common to hear people say, “You believe what you want to believe and that’s ok. I’ll do the same… Just don’t push your beliefs on me.” How does the singular reality and authority of God speak to this? How do you discuss God with someone who holds this view? (This is an amazing resource for this discussion).
How did God prepare Moses and Aaron for their encounters with Pharaoh? Talk through the message God gave them to speak, and the material God gave them to work with. (Exodus 7:1-13)
What do you make of the statement God speaks to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet.” (Exodus 7:1)
By the third plague, Pharaoh’s magicians draw a correct conclusion. What is it? (Exodus 8:18-19)
Knowing that seven more plagues are coming, what does this tell us about Pharaoh’s resolve? About his heart?
The first three plagues affect both the Egyptians and the Israelites, but the rest only affect the Egyptians. Why does God sometimes allow the just to suffer for the sins of the unjust? What should our attitude be in those times?
During the 8th and 9th plagues, Pharaoh’s verbal response takes an interesting turn. Read 9:27 and 10:16. Discuss this response in light of his refusal to let the Israelites go.
What is the difference between confession and repentance?
Pastor Jeremy highlighted that Pharaoh was actually fighting against God because he didn’t want to recognize God’s authority over him. This is a position we each find ourselves in depending on where we are in life. God is sovereign over all, even over those who do not know him. Pharaoh is the prime example of what this battle looks like. Talk about what area of your life you find it hardest to give God the control over, or to trust him in?
Yet God is not just sovereign, he is faithful! Think back over your relationship with God and talk about a time when you knew, felt, or saw, beyond any doubt, that God was the one true God.
God also demonstrated his faithfulness in allowing time between announcing each plague and putting it into effect in order to give Pharaoh the opportunity to comply. God is not without grace, even when it comes to the Egyptians. Why do you think that Pharaoh never gives in? In your group, wrestle through this issue of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart.