Freedom & New Life
Rest in God
For further reflection: Exodus begins with the story of baby Moses, the man who would grow up to be the leader of the Israelites. Moses's mother places him in a basket and hides him in the river. She does this instead of obeying Pharaoh’s instructions to kill all the Israelite baby boys. Moses is rescued out of the river by Pharaoh's daughter, an act pointing to the providence, or protective care, of God. What are examples from your own life where you’ve seen God’s providence, or protective care?
Confidence in Your Calling
For further reflection: God speaks to Moses from a burning bush, calling him to lead the Israelites out of their slavery in Egypt. While speaking to Moses, God identifies himself with the name “I AM.” This name has several implications. It implies that God has no beginning and no end; that he is independent from all; that he is constant and unchanging; and that he is the absolute standard of truth and reality. These attributes of God give Moses confidence. Which of these attributes of God stand out to you? Knowing that this same God is with you, how do those attributes impact your confidence in life?
Strength in Your Calling
For further reflection: Moses is hesitant to accept God’s calling. He is afraid that his weakness in public speaking will cause him to fail in his job of delivering the Israelites from slavery. God calls us as Christians to make disciples by reflecting Christ and his love to the world. We do this in whatever sphere he places us. What personal struggles do you feel are keeping you back from God’s calling?
Assurance in Your Calling
For further reflection: God assures Moses that He will be victorious in setting his people free! This assurance motivates Moses to move forward and carry out his calling. In the same way, we can be confident that nothing will defeat God in his mission to save his people and restore the world! In what ways does the certainty of God’s victory motivate you?
For further reflection: God sends plagues on Egypt to expose Egypt’s false gods. The plagues cause literal decay and death, but they correspond with a spiritual reality. When we worship false gods such as money, appearance, power or pleasure, we experience breakdown in our lives. How have you experienced negative consequences from your own worship of false gods?
For further reflection: God gives the Israelites the provision of Passover. They are to sacrifice a lamb in preparation for their freedom from slavery. Jesus fulfilled the practice of Passover when he sacrificed his own life for us! His death and resurrection set us free from our slavery to sin. In what ways has Jesus empowered you to experience freedom in your struggle with sin?
Trusting God's Lead
For further reflection: Leading the Israelities out of Egypt, God takes them in a confusing direction. While the Promised Land is North, God leads them South. God chooses this particular path because of the growth and preparation it will provide. Where do you need to exercise trust in God’s lead in your own life?
Strength in Our Weakness
For further reflection: The Israelities are trapped between the impending Egyptian army and the Red Sea. They know they don’t have strength to survive this situation on their own, so they depend on God and his strength. In a mighty act of deliverance, God parts the Red Sea, brings his people through it, and destroys the Egyptians! What would it look like for you to rely more on God’s power instead of your own strength?
For further reflection: God provides bread called manna for the Israelities, but he tells them to only gather one day’s worth at a time. He is teaching them to exercise daily trust in him instead of depending on their own preparations for the future. In what ways do you depend upon your own preparation for the future instead of daily trusting God?
Look to God
For further reflection: When the Israelities are suffering from thirst, they neglect to look to God for provision. They are instead consumed by their circumstances, doubting God’s presence and God’s plan. In doing so, they remain in their exhaustion and need. Is there an area of your life where you feel exhausted? What would change if you refocused your attention away from your circumstances and onto God in this area?
For further reflection: God leads the Israelites out of Egypt and to Mount Sinai where he gives them his law. But before giving his commands, God says, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.” Obedience to the law is to flow from faith in what God has already done! The Isrealites’ obedience is to be a response to God’s love and care for them, deepening their relationship with him. From your own experience, describe the difference between obeying God as a response to his love and in order to earn something.
A Light to the World
For further reflection: In God’s law, we see his desire for his people to live a just and loving life. God wants the world to notice something different about their lives and be pointed to Him. What opportunities has God given you to shine as a light to the world in the way you live and love?
God With Us
For further reflection: God gave the Israelities plans for his tabernacle, that he might come and dwell among them in this structure. The tabernacle was set up in the middle of camp to be a constant reminder of God’s presence with them. Believers today have God’s Holy Spirit within them. God is always with us, but sometimes we forget this. We miss out on experiencing the peace of his presence. When do you most feel God’s presence? What is one practical way you could practice a more consistent awareness of his presence?
God For Us
For further reflection: The Israelite High Priest had to go to great measures to approach the presence of God within the tabernacle. If God was not approached in the exact means he prescribed, death could occur. When Jesus came to Earth, he fulfilled the role of High Priest. He took care of our sin once and for all and removed all barriers to God’s presence. Because Jesus is our High Priest, we can approach God confidently! Is there something that prevents you from always going to God with confidence?
For further reflection: God gave the Israelite priests practices for worship within the tabernacle. This worship brought the priests into a deeper knowledge and experience of God. God says that all believers today are priests! Whenever we worship him, we get to experience and know him more. The Bible describes many forms of worship: Committing our daily lives to God; Offering praise and thanks to God; Loving and serving those around us; Praying to God. Describe how worshipping God in your own life has brought you closer to him.