INTERVARSITY PRESS DAILY BIBLE STUDY
Death is a powerful, painful lesson. It gets our attention as nothing else does. It's also unavoidable. It was God's final recourse in showing both his supremacy to Pharaoh and his power to liberate his people. When Pharaoh refused God's ultimatum, thousands perished; when Israel heeded his way of deliverance, thousands lived. The final act of judgment is thus a stark portrayal of how every person's fate hinges on either believing or disbelieving the one true and living God in heaven.
Warming Up to God
Sit quietly for a few moments and recall the events of your salvation. Thank the Lord for the way he "drew you out of Egypt."
Discovering the Word
1. What is God's promise and instruction to Moses (11:1-2)?
2. How do you account for the Egyptians' change in attitude toward God's people and Moses (11:3)?
3. What is to be the nature, scope, and result of God's final judgment on Egypt (11:4-7)?
4. What steps are the Israelites to take to be spared (12:1-13)?
5. Why were they to eat the meal "in haste" (12:11)?
6. Describe the memorial Feast of Unleavened Bread (12:14-20).
Applying the Word
1. Like Moses, how can we continue to trust God in the face of seemingly irresistible unbelief among friends, family or relatives?
2. The shield against the "destroyer" (12:23) in Egypt was the blood of a perfect lamb. Christ's blood secures the Christian's deliverance from eternal death (Jn 1:29; Heb 9:14; Rev 5:13). As you reflect on the powerful imagery of the Lord's Passover, and also on Christ's sacrifice, what response and deeds would be appropriate?
Responding in Prayer
Thank Jesus for being your Passover lamb and for the remarkable foreshadowing of his coming to earth in the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.
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For further consideration:
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
1. CR The Passover is the third of five “By faith” statements in Hebrews 11. What did faith have to do with the Passover?
2. CR The Passover lamb is also a type of Christ described in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. It is also alluded to in John 19:36). How does the Passover lamb point to Christ? How could you use this passage to explain the Gospel?
3. Have you ever been part of a Passover Seder? If yes, what did you think about it? What similarities between the Passover Seder and the Lord’s Supper can help make the Lord’s Supper more meaningful? (Hebrew4Christians.com has an outline of the Passover Seder with links to articles about each item.)
Chosen People Ministries has an article on how the modern Passover Seder highlights the Gospel.
A Christian Apologetics Blog
Many scholars have noted that many, if not all, of the ten plagues in Exodus 7-12 can be explained by natural causes. According to Robert Bergen in the ,
Some have suggested that bacteria turned the waters red, and the poisoned waters killed the fish and forced the frogs to seek cool, moist places away from the Nile. When the frogs died their corpses were a breeding ground for two types of small insects. These, in turn, spread communicable diseases among both animals and humans, resulting in death to the livestock and boils upon the people. A well-timed locust plague followed by a spring hailstorm devastated Egypt’s crops. Shortly thereafter a desert sandstorm or dust cloud darkened most of Egypt. Finally a devastating plague, perhaps one caused by the insects, killed both humans and beasts among the non-Israelites.
If some or all of the plagues can be explained by natural causes, does it follow that these were not miracles? No. God may use natural or supernatural causes to perform a miracle. In cases where God uses natural causes, the , , and behind these events are indicative of God’s intervention.
The greatest skeptic in Egypt, Pharaoh, eventually became convinced that God was behind the plagues, and that they were not just natural occurrences. The people of Egypt came to the same conclusion.
Why? Moses and Aaron, prophets of God, were the plagues in (timing) and describing their and . They were also explaining that the plagues were meant to force Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, and this is exactly what happened. There was simply no doubt that the ten plagues were directed by God.