PSALM 100:3, ESV

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.


EXODUS 5:1-5, NIrV

1 Later on, Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They said, “The Lord is the God of Israel. He says, ‘Let my people go. Then they will be able to hold a feast to honor me in the desert.’ ”

2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord? Why should I obey him? Why should I let Israel go? I don’t even know the Lord. And I won’t let Israel go.”

3 Then Moses and Aaron said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a journey that lasts about three days. We want to go into the desert to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God. If we don’t, he might strike us with plagues. Or he might let us be killed by swords.”

4 But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their work? Get back to work!” 5 Pharaoh continued, “There are large numbers of your people in the land. But you are stopping them from working.”


Though it was a scary job, Moses and Aaron did what God commanded. They delivered a message to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt and most powerful person on the planet: “The Lord, the God of the Israelites, says to let his people go.” As you could probably guess, a mighty ruler like Pharaoh didn’t appreciate being told what to do. So he delivered a message of his own to the pair of old brothers: “I have no idea who this ‘Lord’ is and I don’t really care! I’m not letting my slaves go anywhere! Now, you two get out of my face and tell your people to get their behinds back to work!”

+ What did the brothers ask Pharaoh to let the people go and do? (vs. 3)

+ What did the brothers say would happen if Pharaoh didn’t let the people go? (vs. 3)


EXODUS 5:6-14, NIrV

6 That same day Pharaoh gave orders to the slave drivers and the overseers in charge of the people. 7 He said, “Don’t give the people any more straw to make bricks. Let them go and get their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before. Don’t lower the number they have to make. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go. We want to offer sacrifices to our God.’ 9 Make them work harder. Then they will be too busy to pay attention to lies.”

10 The slave drivers and the overseers left. They said to the people, “Pharaoh says, ‘I won’t give you any more straw. 11 Go and get your own straw anywhere you can find it. But you still have to make the same number of bricks.’ ” 12 So the people scattered all over Egypt. They went to gather any pieces of straw left in the fields. 13 Pharaoh’s slave drivers kept making the people work hard. They said, “Finish the work you are required to do each day. Make the same number of bricks you made when you had straw.” 14 The slave drivers whipped the Israelite overseers they had appointed. The slave drivers asked, “Why haven’t you made the same number of bricks yesterday or today, just as before?”


For hundreds of years, the Israelites served as slaves. They had no choice but to do whatever the king of Egypt ordered them to do. They spent their days making bricks for Pharaoh’s buildings. They gathered clay and mud from the Nile River, mixed it with straw from a grain plant, and baked the mud mixture in the hot sun until they became bricks. But Pharaoh was so furious after meeting with Moses and Aaron, he made their brick making even harder: “You need to make the same amount of bricks each day. But now, you lazy bums will have to go out and gather all the straw you need yourselves!”

+ How did Pharaoh make the work of the Israelite slaves even harder? (vs. 6-8)

+ If you were a slave and your work was made even harder, how would that feel?


EXODUS 5:19-6:9, NIrV

19 The Israelite overseers realized they were in trouble. They knew it when they were told, “Don’t reduce the number of bricks you are required to make each day.” 20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them. 21 They said to Moses and Aaron, “We want the Lord to look at what you have done! We want him to judge you for it! We are like a very bad smell to Pharaoh and his officials. You have given them an excuse to kill us with their swords.”

22 Moses returned to talk to the Lord. He said to him, “Why, Lord? Why have you brought trouble on these people? Is this why you sent me? 23 I went to Pharaoh to speak to him in your name. Ever since then, he has brought nothing but trouble on these people. And you haven’t saved your people at all.”


1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. Because of my powerful hand, he will let the people of Israel go. Because of my mighty hand, he will drive them out of his country.”

2 God continued, “I am the Lord. 3 I appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the Mighty God. But I did not show them the full meaning of my name, The Lord. 4 I also made my covenant with them. I promised to give them the land of Canaan. That is where they lived as outsiders. 5 Also, I have heard the groans of the Israelites. The Egyptians are keeping them as slaves. But I have remembered my covenant.

6 “So tell the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord. I will throw off the heavy load the Egyptians have put on your shoulders. I will set you free from being slaves to them. I will reach out my arm and save you with mighty acts when I judge Egypt. 7 I will take you to be my own people. I will be your God. I throw off the load the Egyptians have put on your shoulders. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God. 8 I will bring you to the land I promised to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I lifted up my hand and promised it to them. The land will belong to you. I am the Lord.’ ”

9 Moses reported these things to the Israelites. But they didn’t listen to him. That’s because they had lost all hope and had to work very hard.


Moses had done exactly what God asked him to do. And what did he have to show for it? A bunch of angry Israelites! They wanted to know why Moses had to open his big mouth and make Pharaoh furious! Moses asked God, “Why would you send me here just to make a bad situation worse?” Things were looking pretty grim, but God let Moses know that everything was going exactly according to his plan. Pharaoh was the most powerful person on the planet. But everyone was about to see that his puny power was pathetic when compared to the mighty hand of the God of the Israelites!

+ What had God promised to do for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s future family? (vs. 4, 8)

+ What did the people do when Moses shared God’s message with them? Why? (vs. 9)


EXODUS 6:28-7:7, NIRV

28 The Lord had spoken to Moses in Egypt. 29 He had told him, “I am the Lord. Tell Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, everything I tell you.”

30 But Moses said to the Lord, “I don’t speak very well. So why would Pharaoh listen to me?”


1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have made you like God to Pharaoh. And your brother Aaron will be like a prophet to you. 2 You must say everything I command you to say. Then your brother Aaron must tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave his country. 3 But I will make Pharaoh stubborn. I will multiply the signs and amazing things I will do in Egypt. 4 In spite of that, he will not listen to you. So I will use my powerful hand against Egypt. When I judge them with mighty acts, I will bring my people Israel out like an army on the march. 5 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. I will reach out my powerful hand against them. I will bring the people of Israel out of Egypt.”

6 Moses and Aaron did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. 7 Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83 when they spoke to Pharaoh.


After making a mess the first time, the last thing Moses wanted to do was go back and chat with Pharaoh again. What if he somehow made things even worse? But God wasn’t worried – not one bit! He knows the future, so he explained everything that was about to happen. When Moses and Aaron told Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, the stubborn king would repeat the same answer he gave the first time: “No!” Because of Pharaoh's stubborn heart, God would send powerful punishments from heaven. After these mighty miracles, every Egyptian would learn the name of the Lord God of Israel!

+ What question did Moses ask God after being told to go back to Pharaoh? (vs. 30)

+ How old were Moses and Aaron when they went to speak to Pharaoh? (vs. 7)



8 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. 9 He said, “Pharaoh will say to you, ‘Do a miracle.’ When he does, speak to Aaron. Tell him, ‘Take your walking stick and throw it down in front of Pharaoh.’ It will turn into a snake.”

10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh. They did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw the stick down in front of Pharaoh and his officials. It turned into a snake. 11 Then Pharaoh sent for wise men and people who do evil magic. By doing their magic tricks, the Egyptian magicians did the same things Aaron had done. 12 Each one threw down his walking stick. Each stick turned into a snake. But Aaron’s walking stick swallowed theirs up. 13 In spite of that, Pharaoh became stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had said.


Last time he spoke with Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh mocked, “Why should I listen to your God? I’ve never even heard of him!” To get the king’s attention, God ordered Aaron to slam his staff to the ground. As it struck the floor, the stick became a slithering snake! Did this sight make Pharaoh change his mind? Nope! He called for his magicians, men worshiped the pretend gods of Egypt. Through evil power or plain old trickery (the Bible doesn’t say), they turned their staffs into snakes, too. But God showed them who was boss. Aaron’s snake swallowed all of their serpents whole!

+ How could Aaron turn a staff into a snake? (vs. 8)

+ After seeing Aaron’s staff turn into a snake, what did Pharaoh do? (vs. 13)


EXODUS 7:14-22, NIRV

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh is very stubborn. He refuses to let the people go. 15 In the morning Pharaoh will go down to the Nile River. Go and meet him on the bank of the river. Take in your hand the walking stick that turned into a snake. 16 Say to Pharaoh, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to you. He says, “Let my people go. Then they will be able to worship me in the desert. But up to now you have not listened.” 17 The Lord says, “Here is how you will know that I am the Lord. I will strike the water of the Nile River with the walking stick that is in my hand. The river will turn into blood. 18 The fish in the river will die. The river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.” ’ ”

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Get your walking stick. Reach your hand out over the waters of Egypt. The streams, canals, ponds and all the lakes will turn into blood. There will be blood everywhere in Egypt. It will even be in the wooden buckets and stone jars.’ ”

20 Moses and Aaron did exactly as the Lord had commanded them. Aaron held out his staff in front of Pharaoh and his officials. He struck the water of the Nile River. And all the water turned into blood. 21 The fish in the Nile died. The river smelled so bad the Egyptians couldn’t drink its water. There was blood everywhere in Egypt.

22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by doing their magic tricks. So Pharaoh became stubborn. He wouldn’t listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. 


Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was the most powerful person on the planet. If he barked orders at someone, they either did what he wanted or they were in big trouble! Can you understand why he wouldn't listen to Moses and Aaron’s message from God? As king, no one ever dared to tell him what to do! 

There was no way in the world Pharaoh was going to be bossed around by some old Israelite men who were supposed to be his slaves. And he certainly wasn’t going to pay any attention to the commands of the “Lord”, a God he had never even heard of!

But the Lord God isn’t someone you can simply ignore. After hearing another “No!” from Pharaoh, God sent Moses and Aaron to deliver a message early the next morning. God was about to make sure that Pharaoh would never forget his name!

Following God’s orders, Aaron hit the Nile River with his staff, the same one that God turned into a serpent-swallowing snake the day before. The second it struck the water, Pharaoh’s own eyes saw the power of the Lord, the God of the Israelites. The precious life-giving water of the Nile River was transformed into a gross, smelly, flowing stream of blood!

After such an amazing sight, you would think Pharaoh’s first thought would be, “I better do what the Lord tells me to do!” But instead of obeying God, he called for his wise men. And once again, through evil power or plain old trickery, they also were able to turn a small amount of water into blood. But do you know what these magicians couldn’t do? Turn the blood-filled Nile River back into drinkable water!

Even after seeing the Nile River turned to blood, Pharaoh still said “No!” to God’s order. This wasn’t the first time he had done that. And we’ll soon see, it wasn’t going to be the last! His stubborn heart refused to believe that anyone, even the Lord God of Israel, had the power to tell him what to do!

We don’t have to repeat the same dreadful mistakes that the king of Egypt made 3,500 years ago. We don’t have to say, “Who is this ‘Lord,’ the God of Israel? I’ve never even heard of him!” We’ve just learned about his power to transform staffs into snakes and turn water into blood. And as we’ll see in the next few chapters, God’s miracle-making show was just getting started!

Thankfully, the Lord God of Israel is just as loving as he is powerful! With the same power he used to punish Pharaoh, God saved us from being punished! Because we have sinned, we all were facing a forever, fiery death outside of God’s good kingdom. But the all-loving Lord God of Israel sent his only Son to rescue us. And after Jesus died to pay for our sins, the all-powerful Lord God of Israel raised him from the dead!

+ Besides the Nile River, where else did water turn into blood? (vs. 19)

+ What did the Egyptians have to do in order to find water to drink? (vs. 24)

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