Week 4: Jacob – Exodus 2:11-3:22
Start Talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.
- Have you ever tried breaking up a fight among siblings or good friends? Why? What happened? Did they turn on you? Did you get in trouble yourself?
- On Monday mornings, what is “business as usual” for you? When you then see, hear or smell something strange going on there, what do you do about it?
- In taking on new work, do you “bite off more than you can chew”? Do you “chomp at the bit”? Why?
Start Digging. Open up the Bible and start getting into the passage.
Read Exodus 2:11-25.
- In scene 1 (vv. 11-15), how does the royal Moses identify with the lowly Hebrews? Why do the Hebrews fail to identify with him? Why does Moses flee?
- How does scene 2 (vv. 15-25), relate to scene 1? How might “40 years” in desolate Midian (see Acts 7:29-30) serve God’s redemptive purposes?
- What character traits do scenes 1 & 2 bring out in Moses? Which will serve him in the long haul? Which get him into trouble again?
Read John 8:44. Why is it important to know that the devil is the “Father of Lies”?
Read Exodus 3.
- Why do you think God used the burning bush to get Moses’ attention (vv. 1-3)? What if he had simply begun speaking instead? What is the net effect on Moses (vv. 5-6)? What relationship with Moses has God initiated here (vv. 1-6)?
- What does God ask Moses to do for Israel (vv. 7-10)? Why?
- How does Moses reply (vv. 11ff)? Is Moses more uncertain of himself or God? Why? What range of emotion might Moses have had in his close encounter with God?
- What reassurances does God give him? How does “I AM”uniquely designate God? What does Moses want to do with that name? (Note: In ancient Near Eastern cultures, a name made a statement about the essence and power of whoever carried it; a god’s power was available only to one who knew his personal name, like a “password”.)
- How does Jesus take on that name for himself and with what implication (see John 8:58-59)?
- Who is responsible for carrying out God’s plan (vv. 16-22)7 What is the part to be played by God? Moses? The elders of Israel? The king of Egypt? The Hebrew women?
- What motivates God to save his people? Why wait so long? What needs to take place first?
Start Applying. Reflect on the passage and look for ways to apply it to your life.
- What would it take to arouse your sense of justice? When have you been like Moses in trying to right “wrongs” in your family? At work?
- Have you dropped out, been biding your time, or even served time? What for? How did this better prepare you for your future?
- How do you feel about God using a murderer to further his plans? How might God use a personal flaw or failure of yours for his greater glory?
- Recall an event in your life when you felt like you were “standing on holy ground”. What was sacred about that moment? How has that moment served to establish a right relationship between God and you?
- What would God have to do to get your attention and commitment to take on a new mission in life? How would you likely respond if he called you by name?
- If God were to identify himself as “I AM _“, how would he fill in the blank for you?
- What would your “land of milk and honey” be like?
- To get there, what route do you imagine having to take? What “king” stands in your way? What “elders”will you consult?
- Do you think God will come through for you as he promised to Moses? Why or why not?
Start Praying. Be bold and pray with power.
Mighty God, You promise in baptism to be with us always and that Your Spirit lives within us. In the moments of our lives where we feel more like a scoundrel than a saint, remind us that we are forgiven and loved by You through Jesus. Give us hearts to follow You despite our fears and shortcomings and to rely on Your power instead of ours. Amen.