1. Moses was reluctant, but he ultimately did go into Egypt. With the staff of God, he and Aaron present the Lord’s message to the king of Egypt, a king who thought he was God. “It must be remembered that the king in Egypt was not considered a mere representative of the gods, but was a god himself” (Davis, p. 81).
2. The king received Moses and Aaron, but he did not receive the request made by these men; in fact, he dismissed knowing anything about the God of Moses and Aaron (5:2). Whether he knew of the Lord or not is not so important, but only that he was going to give no room to Him (or them) with this request.
3. To the king of Egypt, this request by Israel meant that they were idle and this idleness needs to be addressed. It was addressed by adding to the burden they carried (5:9). When the Israelites appealed to the king for relief, the king gave no room for their request either; in fact, he dismissed them as quickly as he dismissed the demand of the Lord. This burden placed on them (the Israelites) brought a dispirited demeanor; so dispirited was it that they placed the blame entirely on Moses and Aaron (5:21). Imagine you were Moses and you were faced with such an image. http://www.carolinamessenger.com/images/NOV_10.pdf
4. Application: it is so easy to find fault when one does not understand. This is exactly what the elders of Israel did. They found fault with Moses and Aaron when they did not understand much about the mission of the two men. They quickly received them when they had come to understand the Lord was on their side, but at the first sign of trouble – and it was a burdensome trouble – they shed the cloak of comfort they received from the Lord as He told them His mission through Moses. Have you shed the cloak of the Lord?