Describe a time when you worked for a boss with expectations set too high, resources cut way back, and and/or production deadlines moved up. What was it like?



Four centuries prior, Jacob & Sons had settled in Egypt during a great famine. They not only survived but thrived, becoming a nation within a nation—Israel within Egypt. Their remarkable growth frightens the Egyptian pharaoh of Moses’ day to the point of ordering Hebrew boys killed at birth. Baby Moses miraculously survives this genocide and—through a ruse by Moses’ family—gets adopted into Pharaoh’s household. There he (ironically) enjoys power and privilege and is feared by his own enslaved people. One day things go terribly sideways, and Moses flees Egypt and his enslaved people. Forty years later when the coast is clear, and after meeting God in a burning bush, Moses returns to Egypt. His mission, only possible with God, is to deliver the Hebrews from slavery.


God’s Story

If possible, have each person read Exodus 5: 1-21 Read the story again using readers for each of the following roles: narrator; Moses; Pharaoh; an Egyptian slave driver; a Hebrew overseer.


Finding My Story in God’s Story       

When in your life have you felt most under authority (or “under the gun”)?

  1. When given “Mission Impossible” at school—under threat of expulsion!
  2. When some drill sergeant gave me a toothbrush to scrub the floor—now!
  3. When given a huge “honey-do” list with in-laws coming—tonight!
  4. When the work keeps piling up—and the equipment keeps breaking down!
  5. Other __________.


Conversely, when in your life have you felt most “in authority”?

  1. When I work solo, with no one around.
  2. When I discipline my child and the wife is gone
  3. When I lead a project at work, and the boss is gone.
  4. When I coach volunteers at church, and the pastor is gone
  5. Other __________.


All jobs entail a certain amount of slavish drudgery and working with mud and bricks, as it were. How much of your job is (or was) like that?


Describe the chain of command, or order of authority, as seen from…

  1. … Pharaoh’s point of view
  2. … Moses’ point of view
  3. … the Hebrew overseer’s point of view


Imagine you are Pharaoh. What would you be thinking upon hearing Moses’ and Aaron’s request?

  1. How daring—who do they think they are?
  2. I’m boss—so who is this ‘Lord’ anyway?
  3. What a lame excuse for taking time off!
  4. What does worship have to do with work?
  5. Other __________.


What did the Hebrew overseers care about most?

  1. The impossibility of the task
  2. Not being able to please Pharaoh
  3. Looking bad in the eyes of their fellow Hebrews doing the work
  4. Obeying God
  5. Other __________.


Where is God in the order of authority in your own life? Where is God at work when you don’t get your way, or when your efforts to intervene only appear to make things worse?


What take-away from this story will help you the next time you get mired down in the muck of “making bricks without straw”? … or when your boss denies a request for Leave of Absence (LOA)?


Our Story

How can this group help each other when tough times endure, or unjust bosses prevail?


Pay attention to those around you who are suffering injustice in the workplace. If you have some influence in (or authority over) such situations, intercede as best you can.