Pharaoh was a man without honor. He promises Moses over and over that he would let the Israelites be freed from slavery, but he always failed to keep these promises. Evil men, no matter how powerful, cannot deliver us from the slavery of sin, but the Lamb of God always can. He provides a way for us to be forgiven and made free.
Featured Art by Brian Call
And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the Lord brought you out from this place
1. In mem’ry of the Crucified,
Our Father, we have met this hour.
May thy sweet Spirit here abide,
That all may feel its glowing pow’r.
2. Our Savior, in Gethsemane,
Shrank not to drink the bitter cup,
And then, for us, on Calvary,
Upon the cross was lifted up.
3. We rev’rence with the broken bread,
Together with the cup we take,
The body bruised, the lifeblood shed,
A sinless ransom for our sake.
4. Our Father, may this sacrament
To ev’ry soul be sanctified
Who eats and drinks with pure intent,
That in our Savior he’ll abide.
Explain: God told Moses that it was time for the people of Israel to be delivered from bondage. He told Moses to ask Pharaoh to “let [His] people go.” When Pharaoh refused, the Lord showed Pharaoh His “wonders.” These came as curses and plagues upon Egypt. Watch these videos for a brief representation of what the plagues were like for Pharaoh and the Egyptians. While not 100% Biblical, they do represent the basics behind the plagues God sent to Egypt. For the Biblical account, go down to the Teens and Adults section.
Video: The river turning to blood
Ask: How do you think the Israelites felt to finally be fleeing Egypt and made free?
Video: Watch this representation of the Israelites leaving Egypt and the joy it portrays.
Moses was the prophet the Lord called to do His work, but who is it that actually delivered the Israelites out of bondage?
How is committing sin like being enslaved? How do we let Jesus save us from the slavery of sin?
Testify: Jesus Christ is our deliverer and He saves us from sin and death. If we repent and strive to keep His commandments, spiritual death will pass over us. If we heed the words of the prophets, we will be safely on the covenant path to spiritual freedom.
FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Review: Scanning Exodus 7, what plagues and signs were given to Pharaoh that should have softened his heart to let the Israelites free from bondage?
- Staff turned into a serpent (Exodus 7:8-13) Aaron’s staff becomes a serpent and swallows up the serpents that Pharaoh’s sorcerers made.
- River turned to blood (Exodus 7:19-21) Moses and Aaron turn the Nile River into blood. The fish die and all the other drinking water in pots is also turned to blood.
- The infestation of frogs. (Exodus 8:1-4) Frogs are everywhere! They’re in houses, bedrooms, beds, kitchens, ovens, on people’s skin, and covering the land of Egypt. Special Note: In Exodus 8:7, Pharaoh asks Moses and Aaron to ask their God to take away the frogs. At this point, he has some faith in the power of Moses and Aaron’s God. He even promised Aaron and Moses that if their God removed the plague of the frogs he would let the Israelites go free! But when the frogs died and the plague ceased, Pharaoh reneged on his agreement and hardened his heart again—refusing to let the Israelites go free.
- The infestation of lice. (Exodus 8:16) Moses and Aaron are told by God to smite the earth with lice. They infested people and animals. When the Pharaoh’s magicians tried to prove (as they tried with the other plagues) that it was trickery, they could not and had no power over the lice. At this point, even the magicians told Pharaoh that this was “the finger of God,” but Pharaoh’s heart had already been hardened.
- The flies. (Egypt 8:24-32) As with the frogs and fleas, the flies swarmed throughout Egypt. Pharaoh once again told Moses he would deliver the Israelites if Moses would pray to his God to have these flies disappear. Moses told him he would, but that Pharaoh shouldn’t break any more promises to him about letting the Israelites go free. Moses prayed. The flies disappeared, and once again Pharaoh did not hold up his end of the deal to let the Israelites go.
- Moses then warned Pharaoh that if he didn’t let the Israelites go that a plague would arise among the cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep of the Egyptians. (Exodus 9:3-7) The Israelites’ animals would be spared, but the Egyptian animals would be sorely plagued. Pharaoh hardened his heart and the next day the plague befell the Egyptian animals. All of the Israelites’ animals were spared.
- Boils. (Exodus 9:8-12) Pharaoh’s magicians as well as people and beasts were plagued with painful sores all over their bodies. It doesn’t appear that the sores plagued the Israelites.
- Fire and hail (Exodus 9:22-26). The Lord warned Moses that he would send a hailstorm the likes of which Egypt had never seen. Everyone who feared God brought in their servants and their animals so they would not be harmed by the storm, but those who did not believe in God were pelted by the hail and left out in a firestorm. A number of the crops were destroyed by this storm.
- After again entreating Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, he prophesied that the Lord would send locusts (Exodus 10:4-6, 12-15). The East wind blew all night and locusts came in such droves that they ate everything that had not been destroyed by the hail. Nothing green remained in the land. Pharaoh asked Moses to ask God to take away the locusts. He did. The west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea. Once again he lied to Moses that he would let Israel go free.
- Thick darkness over the land (Exodus 10:21-23). It was so dark the Egyptians couldn’t see each other or get about because they were blinded by the darkness. The Israelites still had light in their homes.
- The death of the firstborn children (Exodus 11, and 12:12-13). God told Moses that the final plague would be the death of all firstborns—human and animal. Only the households which had marked their doorposts with the blood of a lamb would be passed over by this curse. God then informed Moses that they should remember and commemorate this day with a Passover feast (Exodus 12:14-18).
After this final plague, God told Moses and Abraham that it was time for the Israelites to go. They didn’t even have time to prepare food for their journey, but they took their families, their animals and as much as they could carry with them and left Egypt (Exodus 12:31-39). They left in the night—all six hundred thousand of them.
Ask: What influence do you think Pharaoh’s magicians had over him? How can our friends and acquaintances affect our faith? (NOTE: Having friends of other faiths is not ever the problem. Friends who encourage disbelief or in whose presence our faith is weakened is the concern.)
Quote: “Study with the desire to believe rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw in the fabric of a prophet’s life or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters. Allow the Lord to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery.” –Russell M. Nelson
Ask: How might things have been different for Pharaoh if he had softened his heart and kept his earliest promises to let the Israelites go? How does humility put us on the path to receiving the Lord’s blessings?
Consider and Ask: Moses was called as a prophet to deliver the children of Israel from slavery, but in fact, it was the blood of the “Lamb” that delivered them. Following that event, the Lord told His people that they needed to commemorate this deliverance. What similarities are there between the Passover and current partaking of the Sacrament?
Testify: Just as Moses was delivered from death and bondage, we can also be delivered from spiritual death and bondage through Jesus Christ’s Atonement. Christ can deliver us from the suffering that accompanies breaking God’s commandments. When we feel inadequate, God can still make much more of us than we can be on our own—if we trust in Him and obey His commands.
FOR SINGLE STUDY
Review: Review the plagues the Lord rained down upon Egypt when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let the Israelites go free (videos available in the children’s section, scriptures delineated in the teens and adults section).
Consider or Journal: How does the passing over of the destroying angel represent Christ’s mercy in His Atonement? The Israelites accessed this blessing through the blood of the lamb. How does the “blood of the Lamb” save us from destruction?
The celebration of Passover is still honored today by Jewish people around the world with a Passover seder. How do Latter-day Saints similarly honor and remember the Lord? How can we come to the Sacrament table with more love for the salvation offered us by the Lord?
Use a heart cookie cutter on rice krispie treats or brownies to make heart-shaped treats. Here’s a good recipe to try. Talk about how Christ’s love for us is delicious to the soul (Alma 32:28).
Cut out a red heart for each bedroom in the home. Write on it, “the love of God” and put it on the door jamb or over the door of each room. Discuss with the children how when we remember Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us, we are protected from the consequences of sin. We can be forgiven because of His loving sacrifice.