If you use this study during Advent, start with some Advent sharing:

Advent Sharing

Take time to share and to pray for each other.

  • What kind of year has this been for you? (Since last December)
    High points / low points; good times / hard times; things you want to remember / things you definitely want to forget; things you learned; people who were important for you this year…

  • What does this coming year look like for you?
    Things you’re looking forward to; things you’re dreading; things you ‘hope’ about;
    new skills you want to develop; habits you want to leave behind; changes you want to make...

Take time to see how everyone is doing and to pray for each other.

READ Exodus 12:31-42

What stood out to you? Anything interesting / surprising / cool / weird?

Do you notice anything different about Pharaoh’s response to Moses and Aaron? (12:31-32)

  • He refers to God by name. In Exod 5:2 he asked, “Who is the LORD that I should obey him?” Well, he knows now… He’s the God who can thrash him like a dog with a rat in its mouth.

  • Asks for prayer. Pharaoh is broken. His country is in ruins. His gods are destroyed. His son is dead. Egypt is destitute and his people are demoralized. Pharaoh finally acknowledges the God who has done this, and Mighty Pharaoh asks Moses and Aaron to pray to Yahweh for him.

How do the people of Egypt respond to Israel at the end of the plagues? (12:33-36)

Can you put yourself in the Egyptians’ shoes? What might be going through your mind after watching your country get shattered? What would you be willing to part with to stop the horror show?

Can you put yourself in Israel’s shoes? You’ve been enslaved for generations. How would you feel to be carting off with armfuls of your oppressor’s stuff?

Look at 12:40-42 again. These are probably the most important verses in the book so far. If the ancient Hebrews had highlighter markers, this part of the scroll would be a colourful mess.

Any idea why? What do you think makes this paragraph worth remembering?

Look at Exodus 2:23-24 and Genesis 15:13-14 (God and Abraham).
What do these readings have to do with Exodus 12:40-42?

All along the LORD knew exactly what he would do for Israel. None of this came as a surprise. Those words in Exodus 12:40-42 are a big deal because it’s proof that God finishes what he starts. He keeps vigil. He watches and knows, and when the time is right, he acts. For them, and for you.