Pentateuch: Exodus 5-11

A study on the book of Exodus

Learn how you can use the guide here.

“God is fighting for us”. Have you ever experienced this reality firsthand in your life? If not, do you believe that He does? In Exodus 5-11, we witnessed God’s relentless move to rescue His people from oppression in Egypt, and this was done so through a series of plagues. It is an exciting episode filled with signs and wonders. Beyond the physical manifestation though is the display of God’s zealousness and fierce love for His people. He is not a passive God who will sit back and let His people fight for freedom alone; He will move by His mighty hand and outstretched arm. At the same time, we can also discover that behind glorious signs and wonders is an invitation to obedience and faith even in the face of opposition.

Pre-Video Reading

Read Exodus 5-11.

Watch the video

Supplementary Reading

The 10 Plagues and their significance.
Credit: Barnes’ Bible Charts

Application Questions

  1. Read Exodus 5.

    a. How did Pharaoh respond to Moses’ requests for the people of Israel to be freed from their labour?

    (i) Moses’ request was not made out of his own desire, but according to what God had instructed. Does it come as a surprise to you that someone would respond in this way to a God-inspired request?

    (ii) Why or why not?

    b. What are our usual responses in times that we face hardships?

  2. Read Exodus 6:6-7.

    a. Based on the three promises that are declared, what does this say about God in the way He relates to us? What are some parts of His nature that are new, or surprising to you?

    b. As was mentioned in the video, studies have shown that God’s language contained strong marital overtones. How do you see that God’s love towards His people, and His desire for a relationship with them, have parallels to marital relationships?

    c. Look for scriptures across the Bible that repeat or emphasise God’s relationship with His people using marital terms. Discuss with your life group what this says about our role as a people, and what He desires from us based on these themes.

  3. With the help of the supplementary readings, read Exodus 7-10. When studying the plagues it is easy to focus on their meanings, as well as the different gods implicated. However, take this time to discuss the statements that God is trying to make through the plagues instead. Together with your life group, and looking for similar scriptural references across the Bible, identify and spend time reflecting on:

    a. His nature (character)

    b. His heart (desires)

    c. His will (purpose and plans)

    Which of these aspects of God stand out the most to you personally, and why?

  4. During the first five plagues, it is recorded that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. From the sixth plague onwards, God confirmed Pharoah’s wilful action (Exodus 8:15, 32; 9:12, 34, 10:1).

    a. When reading that God is fully aware of Pharaoh’s heart condition, it seems as if God is the one responsible for setting up or allowing the adversary or resistance against Moses, His chosen deliverer.

    (i) Why do you think God would orchestrate or allow such opposition against His own people and against His plans?

    (ii) Read Exodus 9:14-17. What does this say about God’s involvement in all lives, both the ‘good guys’ and the perpetrators?b. Read Psalm 95:8, Hebrews 3:15, Mark: 8:17-19, and 1 Timothy 4:2.

    (i) What does it mean for one’s heart to be hardened?

    (ii) Do you believe there is a point of redemption for a hardened heart? Why, or why not?

  5. Throughout the assigned scripture, observe the number of times that God had told Moses, “Go, tell Pharoah”.

    When we read this story in retrospect, we know that God’s plan prevails in the end and the people of Israel are freed. However, it can be a different feeling when you are in the middle of a difficult task where doors are constantly closing and people are saying no to you repeatedly.

    After this study, can you infer or consider some reasons why Moses was able to carry out his assignment to the end? How does this encourage us in our own life?

Closing Reflection

In the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11), Moses is given a high evaluation in verses 24-27: “By faith Moses… considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.”

The Christian walk will not always be a smooth ride. As ones who are set apart as ‘sojourners and exiles’ of the world, we should not be surprised when obstacles and opposition arise as we try to do God’s work and walk in a manner worthy of His calling for us. When these come, what do we set our hope on? What is our reason for endurance and joy in the midst of hardship? Negative emotions are not bad, and as we see from the scripture, God welcomes them when Moses expresses himself. However, how do we ensure that the negative emotions do not turn into an offense against Him?

Prayer: Connecting with God

Talk to God about the difficulties and obstacles you are facing in your life. Ask for His grace and gentleness to help you be honest about your true feelings regarding these obstacles, and invite Him to reveal His heart towards you in these areas.