Meeting with Pharaoh
Sermon 11 in Series
 Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’”  But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.”  Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”  But the king of Egypt said to them, “Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people away from their work? Get back to your burdens.”  And Pharaoh said, “Behold, the people of the land are now many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”  The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen,  “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves.  But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’  Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”
 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw.  Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’”  So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw.  The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.”  And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”
DEEP SHEET: Sermon Study Questions
1. What message do Moses and Aaron deliver to Pharaoh? What does it communicate about Yahweh’s authority?
2. How would you characterize Pharaoh’s response? What was his perception of the people of Israel and their God?
3. What does it mean to say that Pharaoh had a small view of God and a big view of self? How does this play out in our lives?
4. How does the person of Pharaoh, a supposed “son of god,” present such a stark contrast to the true Son of God, Jesus Christ?
5. How does Yahweh’s authority and sovereignty over Pharaoh encourage Christians to rest during times of political or social mistreatment and upheaval?
6. What effect did this initial encounter with Pharaoh have on the condition of the Israelites? What does this tell us about God’s plan and our desire for comfort?
7. How is this passage presented as a contest between Yahweh and Pharaoh/Egypt’s gods? How does it anticipate the plagues?
References: 2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 15:4; Exodus 14:4; 3:18-20; Isaiah 40:22-23.