Updated: Feb 8, 2022
NB: I’ve based these notes on a bunch of quotes from either Sunday’s sermon or Andrew Ollerton’s book. There’s probably more here than you need for a session, so be selective (better to provide too much than too little!)
Andrew Ollerton: ‘the God of the Bible is a freedom fighter. Still today, he sides with the underdog and roars against the oppressor: ‘Let my people go!’’
Where do you see this in scripture? Where do you see it in life?
‘We may not be physically oppressed by a literal Pharaoh but we all have our Egypt...’ -
What might be your Egypt?
‘Behind the obvious physical plagues... a spiritual confrontation was unfolding that is key to our freedom’
Egyptians worshipped a pantheon of false/lesser gods. Most of these were linked to nature e.g. Ra, the sun-god. Pharaoh too was viewed as a quasi-deity, the ‘son of Ra’. He was responsible for maintaining ‘ma’at’, which meant order & prosperity. This was heavily linked to the fertility of the river Nile delta
Now read the passage again. How does knowing this context change your understanding of the plagues?
‘Powerful forces are at work in our world with a vested interest in keeping us under their control... Think of Pharaoh as any rival to God, an alternative source of authority and trust in our lives... anything that promises to meet our deepest needs for security and fulfilment in exchange for our service’
What do you think?
To find our idols, we might follow the trail of deepest passions, time and money. Also follow the trail of deepest threats that cause anxiety.
Take a minute or two to think and jot things down.
What’s the thing in your life that threatens to become an idol? (it’s usually something that is a good gift but a bad god)
How does your potential idol seek to make you serve it?
‘theres’s a strange kindness in the plagues God sends on the Egyptians. They expose the lies of Pharaoh and reveal a better place for our trust’
What do you think of this?
It’s important to state that not all bad things are sent by God. In fact, most are not! But are there any times in life you look back on and see his kindness within the mess? How was he loving and leading you in those times?
Take some time at the end of the session to repeat the activity we used in response on Sunday. Maybe have a pen & paper handy.
What are you holding onto that is stopping you from being truly free? Clench your first and listen to God and imagine that thing... Then open your hand and release it to God