June 16, 2019

Let My People Go

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.” — Exodus 5:1-2
Accompanying Sermon

In Retrospect

  • God appeared to Moses in the burning bush and Moses found himself standing on holy ground. How did that moment establish the right relationship between God and Moses?  
  • God has called and provided Moses with signs to validate his assignment to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Why did Moses keep raising objections? Are the objections false issues or legitimate ones?
  • Did God’s plan change by including Aaron as the spokesman?  

Community Reading

Exodus 5:1–6:9

Begin Study

The Exodus story is the account of the Hebrew people discovering who they are, who their God is, and how they are to live with this God. This is a God who fights for his people; who redeems and frees from oppression. The Hebrew people are still struggling with trusting this God as the battle between Pharaoh and God begins to play out. But Moses is beginning to understand God’s ways and his confidence in God grows as God displays acts of judgment. Pharaoh, on the other hand, will require severe judgments before he will pay attention to God.

Review Questions

  • The first request of Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh aggravates the situation. How do you think Moses and Aaron felt in response to Pharaoh’s answer in Exodus 5:4-5? How about the Hebrew people in response to Exodus 5:10-12? How about the foremen who made their own appeal to Pharaoh in Exodus 5:15-18?  
  • The first request seems to confirm all Moses’ fears and misgivings. Moses then did the only thing he knew…he turned to God. What is your reaction to Moses’ complaint in 5:22-23? What do you think of Moses’ reactions up until this point in Exodus?
  • Read Exodus 6:1. What is your initial response to God’s reply? How would you paraphrase God’s initial response?
  • In Exodus 6:3-4, God reminds Moses that He is the mighty, covenant making God as reflected by His revealed name of God Almighty (El Shaddai). List at least seven verbs or actions in Exodus 6:5-7 that God says He will do as YHWH. What do these descriptions add to your understanding of God’s character?
  • Now begins a series of judgments to teach Moses, the Israelites, Pharaoh and Egypt who God is and His power over all creation. Read Exodus 8:9-11. This doesn’t sound like the old reluctant Moses. How do you explain Moses’ new found confidence and trust in God?
  • So far in this story, how has God affirmed His own trustworthiness?
  • We, along with Pharaoh, don’t pay much attention to frogs, gnats or flies. Pharaoh listened for a while and then went back to his old ways when relief came. Being in control is his only mode of operation. Describe situations in which we insist on having control. What does it take for us to turn control over to God?


The story of the Bible is about salvation; God doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves. The book of Exodus is foundational to understanding God’s salvation as described in the Bible. One of the greatest aspects of the Exodus story is that it is about freedom. About a God who fights for the captives and sets them free. The story becomes a promise, a hope, that the God who has done it for the Israelites will do it for all. Exodus can happen again.

Write down two or three bullet points that highlight your own exodus story thus far. In what ways has God freed you? Has God called you to do something beyond your natural inclinations or abilities? Briefly share your exodus story with your small group.