Bible Mastermind – February 2015

1. Who went with Moses to visit Pharaoh to demand the Israelites should be allowed to go and worship God?
Exodus chapters 3 and 4 describe how God appeared to Moses when he was a shepherd in the wilderness and told him that he was to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel leave. Moses was very reluctant to do this, since he was afraid that he might still be wanted for murdering an Egyptian slave overseer 40 years earlier. So God told him that his older brother Aaron would meet him and go with him to speak to Pharaoh

2. What was the first miracle Moses did to show Pharaoh God was with him?
Exodus chapter 5 tells us that when Moses and Aaron first went to speak to Pharaoh they did not do any miracle, but simply asked for the people of Israel to be allowed to go and worship God. This led to Pharaoh making the brick-making of the Israelite slaves more difficult. When they returned to Pharaoh in chapter 7, Moses threw his wooden staff onto the ground where it became a snake. However Pharaoh was not impressed, because his magicians produce snakes from sticks by trickery.

3. The first few plagues affected both the Israelites and the Egyptians. Which was the first plague which only affected the Egyptians?
After the first three plagues, God told Moses to tell Pharaoh that the next plagues, a plagues of swarms of flies everywhere, would only affect the Egyptian areas and not the land of Goshen where the Israelites lived. You can read about the plagues in Exodus chapters 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The remaining plagues affected only the Egyptian population.

4. What was the last great plague which persuaded the Egyptians to let the Israelites leave?
Pharaoh was a very stubborn man; – after the later plagues he often said the people of Israel could go only to change his mind as soon as the plagues ended. In Exodus chapter 11 the last terrible plague is described. All the firstborn children and cattle of the Egyptians would die.

5. What did the Israelites have to do to escape this last plague, how is this remembered today and what has it got to do with Jesus?
In Exodus chapter 12 the Israelites were told to take a lamb and after three days to sacrifice and eat it. The blood was to be used to mark the doorposts of their houses as a sign of their obedience to God’s commands. They were also to pack all their belongings, to make bread without yeast to eat on the journey an to be ready to leave Egypt for good.
This was the very first Passover feast, because the angels of God “hovered over” the houses of the people of Israel to protect them from the plague. Every year in the Spring Jews all over the world remember this by holding their own Passover feasts, with the Passover Lamb at the centre of their meal.
Jesus is described in the New Testament as “The Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.” Like the Israelites we have to have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus and to be ready to obey God’s call to repent, be baptised and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.