When deliverance backfires
Passage: Exodus 5:1–5:23
Freed to be God’s people: a study of Exodus
When deliverance backfires – outline
Sometimes when we obey God things get worse before they get better
Pharaoh refuses to obey the Lord and to let Israel go and rebukes Moses and Aaron for disrupting the people’s work, 5:1-5.
What reasons does Pharaoh give for not letting the people of Israel go? How will God fulfill Moses’ warning about God’s judgment falling on them? How does Pharaoh’s perspective of Israel resting (Sabbath) from their burdens and worshiping God reflect how unbelievers think about Christianity?
Pharaoh directs the taskmasters to stop supplying straw but to require the same number of bricks, 5:6-9.
The word “heavier” is one of the words used to speak of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. what is Pharaoh’s goal in making their burdens heavier?
The people scatter to gather stubble and the taskmasters beat the foremen for not making the brick quota, 5:10-14.
What are some situations you or others you know have faced where doing the right thing results in things getting worse before they get better?
The foremen cry to Pharaoh who rebukes them for being lazy for asking to go sacrifice to the Lord, 5:15-19.
Pharaoh assumes he owns Israel and says, “Go now and work” the word for “work” also is used to refer to Israel serving the Lord. After God causes Pharaoh to “know” him through his mighty works, Pharaoh will say to Moses, “Go, serve the Lord” (Exodus 12:31). When God frees Israel he frees them to love him and serve him with all their heart and soul, to serve him with joyfulness and gladness of heart (several passages in Deut.). In what ways have you experienced joy in serving the Lord?
The foremen ask the Lord to judge Moses and Aaron for making Pharaoh angry so that he makes their work hard enough to kill them, 5:20-21.
Why do the Israelite foremen ask God to judge Moses and Aaron? What are they assuming?
Moses asks the Lord why he has done evil to the people and why he sent him, for he hadn’t delivered the people, 5:22-23.
What are the three complaints Moses makes to God? Why do we struggle so much with God “timing”? (why doesn’t God deliver us NOW?) Even if we know in our heads that God doesn’t keep all bad things from happening to us, why do we struggle with it so much? What is wrong with telling people who are suffering, “God will never give you anything you can’t handle!”? How does 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 speak to God giving us more than we can handle? Peek ahead to 6:1, 5-8 to see how God responds to Moses’ and Israel’s despair over things getting worse. What does this teach us about how we endure the present sufferings God allows in our lives? See Romans 8:31-32, 35, 37.