Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Study Questions for Exodus 6:28-7:25

Exodus 6:28-7:25

Context? What’s been going on so far?

6:28-30—What does God say to Moses?
What does Moses say in response?
What does “uncircumcised lips” mean?
Does this section go with what has gone before or what is coming after?
One point to keep in mind is that there is no doubt that if this adventure is going to be going anywhere it is going to have to be all of God. Moses is a wimp and seems to be afraid of everything. God, will have to do everything if he wants it done at all. Left to men, it will flop.


Two things need to be brought out here: first, God will not let anyone live in sin indefinitely. He will not be mocked and his judgment will come out against ungodliness eventually. God is longsuffering and patient, but it will not go on indefinitely. Second, it isn’t a good thing to oppress God’s people. God promises to protect and bless his people, even if they sin and their oppression is a result of their own sin. God will always remember his people because they are called by his name and though we are unfaithful, he cannot deny himself and he is always faithful to his promises.

V. 1—What has God made Moses to Pharaoh?
What does that mean?
First, Moses gets his position from the hand of God. There is nothing in him that warrants this favor. Second, Moses will be all that Pharaoh sees of God in this whole affair. Moses will be God to Pharaoh. Moses represents God to the Egyptians.
What is Aaron to Pharaoh?
What does that mean?
The gift of prophet is not something that man brings on himself. He is a representative of God’s words to man. He has been called and appointed to deliver the message God gives him for the people. He may not even know what the message is about, but he is responsible to “get it right” and not “miss” the point. (Jer. 1:7, 17).

V. 2—What is Moses to say to Aaron?
What is Aaron’s job?
What is the ultimate goal?

V. 3—What will God do to Pharaoh’s heart?
What is a heart in the Bible?
The true man, who we are at our core. Whatever we do is a result of our heart. Whatever we say is a result of what is in our heart.
What does harden a heart mean?
Different words are used in the Hebrew for “hard” in these verses. Sometimes it means “to be/become strong (4:21; 8:19; 9:35), or to make strong (7:13, 22; 9:12; 10:20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17). Or it could mean to be/make heavy (8:15, 32; 9:34; 10:1), Unyielding 7:14; 9:7, Or to be severe (7:3; 13:15).

All 3 point to a fellow who does not want to submit himself to the will of God. “Rather than joyfully obeying the commands of God and learning the lessons he would teach, the hard heart is spiritually insensitive and so not able to function properly…The more such behavior is engaged in, the less inclination is there to do otherwise. Eventually in the sovereign determination of God the power to change and reform is lost altogether” (Mackay, p. 131-2).

What does God multiplying his signs and wonders mean?
What is a sign?
A wonder?

V. 4—After all the signs and wonders, what will be Pharaoh’s response?
Why will Pharaoh not listen to Moses and Aaron?
Who will eventually bring the people out of the land of Egypt?
Why does God seem so intent on being the one to bring the people out?
Why does God call the people “mine armies”?

V. 5—What will the Egyptians know when the story is all finished?
When will they know that God is the Lord?

V. 6—What did Moses and Aaron do?
What happened to all the excuses?

V. 7—How old was Moses?
How old was Aaron?
Why does Moses mention the ages of the men?
We’ve noted this before but it is important to bring up again and that is that no one is too old to serve the Lord and be of help to his Kingdom.
It is reputed that D.L. Moody once said that Moses spent forty years in Pharaoh’s court thinking he was somebody; forty years in the desert learning that he was nobody; and forty years showing what God can do with a somebody who found out he was a nobody” (Mackay, p. 135, 6).

It is important to note that this isn’t a battle between 2 men or between 2 nations. It is a battle between the seed of the serpent an the seed of the woman. Or between the gods of this world and the God of the universe. This is really a cosmic battle.

The focus throughout is on how God works to have his will accomplished in the earth. It includes how he judges sin, exalts the humble, throws down principalities and powers, lifts up his people and glorifies himself in all things.

V. 8-9—What did the Lord tell Moses and Aaron?
How did God know what Pharaoh would say to Moses and Aaron?
What would he say to them?
What were they to do in response?

V. 10—What did Moses and Aaron do in response to what God had said for them to do?
Is there some significance to the fact that they did what the Lord commanded?
What did Aaron do in response to God’s command?
What happened to the staff when Aaron threw it on the ground?
It is interesting that the text doesn’t say that Aaron had ever seen the staff turn into a snake before.

V. 11—What did Pharaoh do when he saw the first sign?
What were the wise men and sorcerers able to do?
Wise men—Gen 41:8, 24.; Dan. 2:2; 2 Tim. 3:8

V. 12—What happened to their snakes?
Snake is a different word here than in 4:3: 7:15. This word may mean something much more awesome than a simple snake (Psa 74:13; Isa 51:9).
The Egyptians could touch a snake in a particular place on its neck and make it freeze. They may have carted the stiff snakes in and when they threw them on the ground they woke up and began slithering around.
Is it significant that it says Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods?
The importance of the snake is found in the head dress of the Pharaoh, which is a snake and symbolized his sovereignty and status in Egypt.

V. 13—What was the result with regard to Pharaoh?
Who hardened Pharaoh’s heart?
Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?
Did God know it would happen this way, or did it happen this way because God was causing it to happen this way? Or something else?
He was committed to his understanding and wasn’t going to be confused by the facts. “He was committed to his own reading of the facts” (Mackay p. 140).

The battle really heats up now. The 10 plagues begin (perhaps to show how totally God is in control and in command?). 3 sets of 3 and one last jim dandy of a plague when all the first born sons die.

The battle is over who is God. Num 33:3-4; Ex. 18:11; 1 Kings 18:36; Luke 4:36; Col. 2:15.

V. 14—What did God tell Moses?
What does the hard heart have to do with not letting the people go?
What does it mean that Pharaoh’s heart is hard?

V. 15—Where is Moses and Aaron to go next?
Why would they be going there?
Who will they meet there?
What are they to take with them?

V. 16—What are they to say to Pharaoh at the river?
Who sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh?
Whose God is YHWH?
What is his command to Pharaoh?
Why does he add, “so far you haven’t listened to me”?

V. 17—What are they to add?
What is Pharaoh about to learn?
Notice again how often God talks about being known.
How is he going to learn it?
The god of fertility related to the river Nile and its flooding of the land—Hapi.
What is going to happen next?

V. 18—What will happen to the fish in the river?
Why will they all die?
What will the river smell like?
Will the water be good to drink?
How long will the river be blood?
How far up stream will the water be blood?

V. 19—What was Moses to say to Aaron?
Where wasn’t the water turned to blood in all of Egypt?

V. 20—What did Moses do in response to the command of God?
And what did Aaron do?
How much of the water turned to blood?
Is there any significance to the river turning to blood?

V. 21—What happened to all the fish?
And how did the river smell?
And how was the water for drinking?
How much blood was there in Egypt?

V. 22—What was the response of the Egyptians?
What water was left for the magicians to change into blood?
The water may have been generally changed. Also it could be that there were some pockets of water underground that they had access to. See vs. 24.
Notice that the only thing the magicians could do was to make small amounts of water into blood. Notice too that this didn’t help the situation at all. Also, notice that they couldn’t change the blood back into water. They couldn’t do anything in the face of God and his awesome power.
What happened to Pharaoh’s heart as a result of the water changing to blood?
Who hardened Pharaoh’s heart?
What was the result of his hard heart?

V. 23—What did Pharaoh do after the events of that time?
How long did these things take?
What was his disposition toward the Israelites?

V. 24—How did the Egyptians get water after this?
Why couldn’t they drink the water after all these things?

V. 25—For how long did the river stay blood?

The emphasis on “knowing God” is supreme in this passage and in the Bible as a whole. See Jer. 24:7; Jer. 31:33-34, Hab. 2:14; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 13:12; 1 Jn. 5:18-20.

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