For further thought and discussion:
1.What was helpful to you in this week’s sermon? What didn’t you understand?
2.Think of a time you did something with the best of intentions, but the outcome was not what you expected or desired? When have your good intentions backfired?
3.How does Pharaoh respond to Moses and Aaron’s request (5:1-5)? What does this reveal about Pharaoh, and the condition of his heart? How does Pharaoh view himself in relationship to God (see v. 2; v. 10; vv. 15-18)? Should Moses and Aaron have been surprised by Pharaoh’s resistance to their (i.e. God’s) message (see 3:19; 4:21)? Why might they have been surprised by Pharaoh’s response?
4.How does Pharaoh respond to God’s command (vv. 6-14)? What does he force the Israelites to do? Why was this such an impossible task? What would motivate Pharaoh to do this (see v. 5)? How is this Pharaoh similar to the Pharaoh we read of in chapter 1 (compare 5:5 and 1:8f)?
5.Initially, what did the Israelites think of Moses and Aaron (see 4:29-31)? What do the Israelites think of Moses and Aaron now (see 5:20-21)? What’s ironic about the Israelites’ statement is v. 21?
6.In this passage, we see that obedience doesn’t always seem to work; it doesn’t always make life easier, and it doesn’t always make us popular. Discuss each of these points. What incorrect assumptions might we have about obedience? What incorrect assumption does each of these points correct? What incorrect assumptions have you had about obedience? Which of these three points is most relevant for you this week? Which is most necessary for you to keep in mind this week?
7.How does Jesus’ example encourage us to keep obeying, even when we don’t see immediate results?
8.What’s one thing you can do this week to apply this passage?