Tag Archives: Moses

Exodus


We started a new series at our church in the book of Exodus. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the stories in this book and listening to what God is teaching through them. It should be exciting!

In preparation last week, I was reading the first couple of chapters of Exodus and a couple of thing stood out to me. These two things have never really impacted me before. But this time around, they were key to my understanding of what God was doing in His people at that time… and ultimately, it has shown me what I think God does now.

First, we need to understand a bit of the background leading into Exodus. Way back, God called out a guy named Abraham and made a promise to him. Genesis 12:1-3 says, “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”” Over the next few chapters, God begins explaining and defining His promise. In chapter 13 He tells Abraham, ” I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.” Later God says to him, ““Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”” God promises that Abraham’s family will have a country of their own. A few chapters later, God really solidifies His covenant (promise) with Abraham and says that it’s not just about Him and Abraham, but also about Abraham’s descendants (the Israelites).  God will be with them, give them their own land, and make the entire family a blessing to all nations.

Well years go by, and a few children are born, but they are still a relatively small family. Abraham dies and eventually his grandchildren all end up living in Egypt. This is where Exodus opens. Living in Egypt was not really the ultimate goal for the family of Israel. Part of God’s promise was that they would have their own land and it wasn’t Egypt. But there they were- all waiting around for something to happen. And something did happen. But not exactly a good something.

Egypt did not like this group just living there and not really being part of their kingdom. So they enslaved the people. They did not want the people to grown in number because they may soon outnumber the Egyptians and take over. So they worked them into forced labor.

I have always thought about this opening chapter of Exodus as just setting the stage to answer the question: How is God going to get the people out of here so he can fulfill His promise? But this last time around, I saw something different.

Exodus 1:7 says, “But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.” Then again, in 1:12, “But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel.”

This is when it hit me: It seems like nothing good is happening… that God is not present. Yet right here is God fulfilling the first part of His promise. God is actively bringing about His promise. The people are becoming numerous. They are growing! When it seems like God is not doing anything special, God is actually fulfilling His promise. (We learn a bit later that the people really didn’t think God was active. That God had forgotten about them.) But here in the everyday, in the years of waiting, God is active. God is being faithful to God’s promise.

Things where not exactly rainbows and butterflies, but God was working. Even in their great oppression, God was blessing. The more they were oppressed, the more God blessed… The greater the oppression became, the more we see God being faithful to God’s promise- the people grew in number. This wasn’t the absolute fulfillment of God’s promise, but God was active and God was being faithful.

It got me to thinking. There are times when we don’t believe God is doing anything. Or our situation in life feels oppressive and overwhelming. But what I learned from the beginning of Exodus, is that these may be the times that God is actively working to fulfill His promise. God is being faithful. God is blessing! I just may have need to change how I look at the situation. It doesn’t mean I like the situation or the circumstances of life, but I should remember and hold to God’s promise. Because God is working. He has not forgotten. He is faithful and blessing….


First Reaction


Today I read from Exodus 17:1-7. Briefly, here is what is happening at this point of the story in scripture. The people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. God leads Moses to advocate for their freedom and after a series of radical events, they are finally set free. As a matter of fact, when they are finally allowed to leave Egypt, the Egyptians gave them gifts for leaving! After 430 years of slavery, the people are free… and all because of God’s mighty work.

God has promised to lead them into a great land but God is also keep them safe along the way. So at this point of the story, they are traveling through the desert following God’s lead. God has provided them with food everyday and they continued to move towards the promised land.

That brings us to today’s passage. The people are thirsty… they are, after all, in the desert. Water is scarce. But what stood out to me was their first reaction. The first thing they did. Do you see what it is? It was not to call out to God. It was not to remind one another of all the things God had been doing to take care of them. They did not go to God. They went to Moses and complained. They apparently didn’t even bother taking their concern to God.

I thought that was rather ridiculous. I mean really, God has been doing amazing things for these people for days now! How could they not trust that God would take care of their needs? But then I had to stop and think…

How often is God doing good things for me, and I still don’t get it? Do I see the good works of God in my life and still ignore Him when something happens? What is my first reaction? Is it to run to the One who can provide? Or is it to complain? Do I remember the holiness and mightiness of God first when life happens?

What about you? What are your thoughts when you read this passage?


The 10 Commandments


Here it is! One of the most widely known portions of scripture and inspiration of the Charlton Heston classic: The 10 Commandments.  But really, this portion of scripture begins to really help us get an idea of how God desires us to relate to Him and humanity… so here is today’s passage: Exodus 19:1-20:21.

What stands out to you in this story? What do you learn about our relationship with God and with other people?


Day 10 of Engage The Word


How is the journey going? We started 10 days ago moving through the scripture together. It is amazing so far! We are in Exodus 13:17-14:31 today. Reading a passage of scripture is only part of our process though. After we have read it, we should spend time reflecting on the passage.

So what amazed you in today’s passage? What do you think it would have been like to live through the experience in today’s passage? What do you learn about God through this passage?

After you have reflected on the passage, I would encourage you to respond. Talk to God about what you are learning. Ask God if there is an attitude or mindset that you should have after reading the passage.


The Passover


Today’s Engage  the Word passage is from Exodus 12:1-42. It’s the climax of the story of God liberating Israel from slavery in Egypt.

Here are a few questions to think about as you read:

  • What stands out to you?
  • What do you think it would have been like to be an Israelite at this time?
  • What can you learn from this about God?
  • What does this passage teach you?

Exodus 1:1-2:25


Today’s passage is from Exodus 1:1-2:25.

Questions to think about while reading:

  • What do you think it was like for Shiphrah and Puah? Do you think their choice was easy? What do you think they had to think through?
  • What would you have done if you were the daughter of Pharaoh?
  • What would it be like to watch your son grow up in a completely different world from yours?
  • What would it be like to be part of the people of Israel at this point? What would you think about God?

I hope your family is continuing to find value in reading together the scriptures!