By Luke Johnson | November 1, 2016
Take some time to see how everyone is doing, and to pray for each other.
Exodus 7-12 - Active Reading!
LEADER NOTE: The plagues span several chapters, so we’ll explore them as an activity:
- Assign plagues to people in your group -- or break into groups of 2 or 3 people.
- Each person or group will read through their plagues and prepare a “plague report” for each plague.
- Use the ‘god cards’ to help connect plagues with Egyptian gods. (E.g., “Which Egyptian god is Yahweh ‘dissing’ with this plague?”)
- Once all the reports are in, have the groups share about each plague using the questions on the handouts.
A “who’s who” guide (plague: god)
- Blood: Hapi
- Frogs: Heket
- Gnats: Geb
- Flies: Khepri
- Livestock: Hathor
- Boils: Isis
- Hail: Nut
- Locusts: Set
- Darkness: Ra
- Firstborn: Pharaoh
What do you think God is trying to tell Pharaoh by unleashing all these plagues?
Do you remember what Pharaoh asked Moses and Aaron when they first announced their demands back in 5:2? (“Who is Yahweh that I should obey him?”)
What kind of answer is God giving to Pharaoh’s question?
Yahweh is the true God of Egypt! It’s a power struggle! To Pharaoh, it’s “God vs. God.”
He’s the chief god of Egypt. He doesn’t take orders from anyone. All the gods of Egypt answer to him, and so he refuses to stand down when the god of his slaves starts making demands.
Why do you think Yahweh would target Egypt’s gods in the plagues? (What do you think is important about the connection between the plagues and the gods?)
God is showing how useless Egypt’s gods are. God is making a mockery out of Egypt’s gods by using their own ‘powers’ against their own worshippers. It’s the ultimate irony: superpower Egypt is undone by the very thing they’re known for. This would be like if America fell because bald eagles went on a rampage, or if Canada fell because hockey sticks and Timbits came to life and attacked everyone. God is making a mockery of Egypt. Pharaoh asked, “Who is Yahweh that I should obey him?” He is learning now who Yahweh is… He is the God who has the power to rip him limb from limb.
Jesus in Exodus
Tricky question: What do you think these terrible plagues can tell us about God’s love?
Can you see any connections or similarities between these plagues and what we find in the story of Jesus’ life?
If you lay the gospel story on top of the story of Exodus, who do you think plays the role of Pharaoh in the gospels?
What if it’s Jesus? Can you reimagine the story with Jesus in Pharaoh’s role? (How would it go?)
Think about Jesus as Egypt, as Pharaoh. When Jesus took on all the world’s sin on the cross, Jesus took the position of the hard-hearted enemy. God “plagued” Jesus with pain and suffering, and unleashed his wrath on him. God even turned his back on him while he hung dying on the cross.
And just like Pharaoh was defeated after the death of the firstborn, God defeated the power of sin/death/evil with the death of his “firstborn”. The death of God’s Son brings the liberation his dearly loved people needed. And when God raised his Son from the dead, God again showed himself to be the true master -- the God who really rules creation. And it’s through the death of the firstborn that God has delivered his people and given them a new place and a new name.
What do you think of that?!