Where the world comes to study the Bible

3. Pharaoh will not listen to God (Exodus 5-10)

Related Media



Main Point: Serious consequences come to those who refuse to listen to God.

Key Verse:

Lord, you didn’t hold back from bringing this trouble on us. You always do what is right. But we haven’t obeyed you. - Daniel 9:14

Props: 1 large clear pitcher full of water, 1 large clear pitcher with red Kool Aid or food coloring placed inconspicuously in the bottom; ice or marshmallows


Say: God called Moses to return to Egypt to set His people free. Remember that God promised Abraham that he would become a great nation. This meant that God promised to make Abraham’s descendants, the Israelites, a large and mighty nation. God ALWAYS keeps His promises. There were many Israelites in Egypt, and the Pharaoh made them all slaves. God wanted to save His people, so He told Moses to go before Pharaoh and tell him to “Let My people go”. Moses listened to God and agreed to go to Pharaoh.

Moses Before Pharaoh

Today we’re going to learn see all the ways that God worked in Egypt on behalf of His people, the Israelites. Things didn’t start well for Moses. The first time Moses went to Pharaoh, and asked him to set the Israelites free, Pharaoh said “NO.” Then Pharaoh made the slaves work even harder. The people complained against Moses, and he became discouraged. Rightly, Moses took his discouragement to the Lord. God reminded Moses of His promises. God told Moses that He would free the people and give them the land that He promised Abraham.

Application: We all get discouraged sometimes. When you are discouraged, take your cares to the Lord. Read through His promises and listen to His voice. His words will always encourage you.

Say: Because Pharaoh would not listen to God through Moses, God sent plagues. A plague is a very bad thing, and God sent TEN of them.

Note to Teacher: It’s easy to make this an “academic study” by focusing on each plague rather than the real message that God is sending. God is All-Powerful, and when He speaks, we should LISTEN! God protects His people, and it is dangerous to oppose God’s ways.

Plague One: The Nile River turned to blood (Exodus 7:14-25)

The Nile River was very important to the Egyptian people. On either side of the Nile River was a desert, so the Egyptians relied on the Nile River for water for themselves, their crops, and their cattle. Do you know how important this river was to them? The Egyptian people actually made up praise and worship songs to sing to the Nile River! Can you imagine singing a praise song to a river? God wanted to show the Egyptians that HE made the river and that HE deserves all glory and praise, so God allowed Moses to turn the river into blood. Can you imagine how disgusting that would be? No one really likes to look at blood. A river filled with blood would smell bad, and everything in the river would die!

Teaching Idea: Hold up your pitcher of water. Pour water into the pitcher with red food coloring inconspicuously at the bottom - and watch the water turn to “blood!”

Say: Pharaoh focused on the miracle instead of the message, and he would not let God’s people go.

Plague Two: FROGS everywhere! (Exodus 8:1-15)

The Egyptians thought that frogs had special powers; therefore, no one could kill a frog. So when God sent frogs, He sent them everywhere! The Bible says that frogs came in their bedrooms and even onto their beds! Frogs were found in their baking supplies, their food – everywhere! Moses asked Pharaoh when he wanted these frogs to go away. Guess what his answer was: TOMORROW! Can you imagine waiting yet another day to live with all these frogs? Do you see how stubborn Pharaoh was being?

Teaching Idea for younger children: Have the kids hop like frogs all around the room.

Plague Three: Gnats (Exodus 8:16-19)

We aren’t very sure what the word “gnat” meant in these times. Some people think it was lice; others think it was mosquitoes. We all know how annoying just one mosquito bite can be, but can you imagine this – the Bible says that all the dust of the ground became gnats and came upon the people and the animals. Teacher: Hold a hand full of dust or dirt in your hand. Tell the children that for each particle of dirt/dust they see, that’s how many gnats God brought on the Egyptian people.

Ask: Do you think that NOW Pharaoh will let God’s people go? No!

Say: By this point, even the Egyptians were telling Pharaoh that this was the finger of God.

The magicians said to Pharaoh, “God’s powerful finger has done this.” But Pharaoh’s heart was stubborn. He wouldn’t listen, just as the Lord had said. - Exodus 8:19

Plague Four: Flies (Exodus 8:20-32)

Do you like when a fly lands on your big, juicy hamburger? Neither did the Egyptians. God sent dense swarms of flies to cover the land. This time Pharaoh told Moses that SOME of God’s people could go, but Moses said that ALL of God’s people needed to be set free to worship God. Pharaoh agreed, but as soon as the flies left, Pharaoh changed his mind.

Plague Five: Livestock Killed (Exodus 9:1-7)

In Egypt at that time, a person’s wealth was measured by how much cattle they owned. So when the livestock was killed, this was very bad for their economy. And to make matters more interesting, only the Egyptian cows were killed. All the cows belonging to the Israelites stayed alive.

Plague Six: Boils (Exodus 9:8-12)

Have you ever had a blister? A boil is a big blister. And because Pharaoh still wouldn’t let God’s people go to worship, God sent a plague of boils. Moses and Aaron took ashes from a furnace and tossed them into the air. As the ashes blew across the land, boils broke out on people and animals!

It was at this point that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Pharaoh had deliberately chosen a life of resisting God. He promised to let the people go, and then went back on his word. His repentance was not real. We damage others and ourselves when we pretend to change but don’t mean it.

Plague Seven: A Storm (Exodus 9:13-35)

God warned Pharaoh and the people that He was going to send the “full force” of His plague against them. He told them to put all animals and people under shelter. There were people in Egypt who now feared God, and they obeyed. However, there were also people who ignored the warning, and they were killed. The Lord sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed to the ground. It was the WORST storm in all the land of Egypt.

Teaching Idea:Grab a handful of ice and throw it up in the air. Let the children hear it fall. (Safety note – don’t let the ice hit the children; this can hurt).

Or, Throw large marshmallows out into the crowd. Tell the children to pretend that it’s hard ice.

Plague Eight: Locusts (Exodus 10:1-20)

By this point, Pharaoh told Moses that he would let the men go, but not the women. Moses told Pharaoh that ALL of God’s people should be set free. Since Pharaoh wouldn’t listen. God sent a plague of locusts. (A locust looks a lot like a grasshopper.)

The thunderstorm of plague seven destroyed the flax and barley crops, but the wheat and spelt crops had not bloomed yet, so they were not destroyed. The plague of the locusts wiped out these crops.

Plague Nine: Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29)

God sent darkness so intense that the Bible says it could be felt. This darkness produced a dread in the hearts of the Egyptians. For three days, no one could see anyone or leave his house. It would seem that their homes were darkened as well, but for the Israelites, there was light in their homes (10:22-23). The three days of darkness must have been very frightening for the people in Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped the sun god, Re. When God sent this plague of darkness, He was showing the Egyptians that He was the all-powerful God.

This time, Pharaoh said that all the people could go, but that the cattle and livestock must stay. Moses told Pharaoh that everything and everyone should go. They needed their animals to make sacrifices to God.

Ask: What did Pharaoh say? He said “NO!”

Say: God gave Pharaoh and all the Egyptian people many opportunities to listen to Him and to obey His word (2 Peter 3:9). Next week, we’ll learn about the tenth plague: most dreadful plague of all.


Main Point: Serious consequences come to those who refuse to listen to God.

© 2007  All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. 

Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society  /  Used by permission of IBS-STL.  All rights reserved worldwide.

Special thanks to John R. Cross, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, GoodSeed International.

Related Topics: Children, Children's Curriculum

Report Inappropriate Ad