~~~~~Lesson: Exodus: Chapters 4-6 (reading below lesson)
Moses goes and does what God tells him. He is immediately "rewarded" with seeing the situation getting worse, as Pharaoh interprets the Israelite’s desire to go worship in the desert as an attempt to shirk their duties.
Question: Do you sometimes feel that even when you are doing God's will, things get worse? If it's not too personal, can you give an example?
Now we know that later they are all freed, not just for a three-day trip to the desert, but forever rescued from Egypt. The initial situation getting worse was simply a small step towards total freedom. The Israelites become free.
Question: Have you ever felt that someone else’s prayers have helped you through a situation?
Pharaoh's initial reaction to being told things must change is total rejection of the idea. We often instinctively react to change by rejection.
Question: Is there an area in which we can/did change for the better? When someone or God first suggested it, did you reject the idea?
~Reading: Exodus: Chapters 4-6
(4:27-31) The Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he went, and when they met at the mountain of God, Aaron kissed him. Moses informed him of all the Lord had said in sending him, and of the various signs he had enjoined upon him. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the Israelites. Aaron told them everything the Lord had said to Moses, and he performed the signs before the people. The people believed, and when they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their affliction, they bowed down in worship.
(5:1-2) After that, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Let my people go, that they may celebrate a feast to me in the desert."
Pharaoh answered, "Who is the Lord, that I should heed his plea to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord; even if I did, I would not let Israel go."
(5:6-9) That very day Pharaoh gave the taskmasters and foremen of the people this order: "You shall no longer supply the people with straw for their brickmaking as you have previously done. Let them go and gather straw themselves! Yet you shall levy upon them the same quota of bricks as they have previously made. Do not reduce it. They are lazy; that is why they are crying, 'Let us go to offer sacrifice to our God.' Increase their work for the men, so that they keep their mind on it and pay to attention to lying words."
(5:19-23) The Israelite foremen knew they were in a sorry plight, having been told not to reduce the daily amount of bricks. When, therefore, they left Pharaoh and came upon Moses and Aaron, who were waiting to meet them, they said to them, "The Lord look upon you and judge! You have brought us into bad odor with Pharaoh and his servants and have put a sword in their hands to slay us."
(6:28-7:7) On the day the Lord spoke to Moses in Egypt, he said, "I am the Lord. Repeat to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, all that I tell you."
But Moses protested to the Lord, "Since I am a poor speaker, how can it be that Pharaoh will listen to me?"
The Lord answered him, "See! I have made you as God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall act as your prophet. You shall tell him all that I command you. In turn, your brother Aaron shall tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave his land. Yet I will make Pharaoh so obstinate that, despite the many signs and wonders that I will work in the land of Egypt, he will not listen to you. Therefore I will lay my hand on Egypt and by great acts of judgment I will bring the hosts of my people, the Israelites, out of the land of Egypt, so that the Egyptians may learn that I am the Lord, as I stretch out my hand against Egypt and lead the Israelites out of their midst."
Moses and Aaron did as the Lord had commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong