Happy Wednesday to you! I hope your week has started off well. In this passage we read on and study the continuation of the plagues, and Pharaoh’s repetitively hardened heart. I pray our hearts are softened and opened today as we read the word of God, so that it may teach us and lead us in application, only to hallow the Lord’s name.  - Max

CONNECT (Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Has someone ever gone back on a promise made to you? How did you respond? Did God respond in your place?
_ How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read the passage, which has been completely inspired by God.

DISCOVER  [Exodus 8: 16-32 ]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)


16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your staff and strike the dust of the earth, so that it may become gnats in all the land of Egypt.’” 17 And they did so. Aaron stretched out his hand with his staff and struck the dust of the earth, and there were gnats on man and beast. All the dust of the earth became gnats in all the land of Egypt. 18 The magicians tried by their secret arts to produce gnats, but they could not. So there were gnats on man and beast. 19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
_What does the Lord commanded Moses to tell Aaron in vs.16? Where else in the bible do we see this kind of language displayed, pertaining to the appearing of the gnats?
_What did the magicians do in vs.18? How did they fair? What then was their response?
_ What was the state of Pharaoh’s heart?

20 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise up early in the morning and present yourself to Pharaoh, as he goes out to the water, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Or else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you and your servants and your people, and into your houses. And the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with swarms of flies, and also the ground on which they stand. 22 But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. 23 Thus I will put a division[b] between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.”’” 24 And the Lord did so. There came great swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh and into his servants' houses. Throughout all the land of Egypt the land was ruined by the swarms of flies.
_ What is the next plague the Lord gives for Moses to warn Pharaoh of, in v.21?
_ Where is the one place the flies won’t go? (v.22)  What reason does the Lord give for the absence of flies in that area? (v.22)

25 Then Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “It would not be right to do so, for the offerings we shall sacrifice to the Lord our God are an abomination to the Egyptians. If we sacrifice offerings abominable to the Egyptians before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the Lord our God as he tells us.” 28 So Pharaoh said, “I will let you go to sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you must not go very far away. Plead for me.” 29 Then Moses said, “Behold, I am going out from you and I will plead with the Lord that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow. Only let not Pharaoh cheat again by not letting the people go to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord. 31 And the Lord did as Moses asked, and removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; not one remained. 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and did not let the people go.
_ What does Pharaoh say he will let the enslaved do, in vs.25? For what reason does Moses deny this opportunity? (v.26)
_ What final promise does Pharaoh then make, after Moses’ reasoning? (v28)
_What Does Pharaoh request of Moses in vs.28? Does Moses follow through on his side of the promise? (v.30-31)
_ Did Pharaoh fulfill his side of the promise? (v.32) what do we find of Pharaoh’s heart in v. 32?

+ HOW am I compelled to respond to what I learned today with a simple step of action?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Am I being called to forgive someone or ask for forgiveness, due to a broken promise?
_ Do I need to confess that my heart has been hardened to someone or something?
_ Is there an area that God wants to bring me into freedom?

+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)