TiO 45 – Exodus – “Now I’m Going To Show You”
The Main Idea
God reveals himself to us a little at a time. Even for Christians, we do not get the full experience of God when we begin to follow Jesus: some comes before we follow, some comes as a revelation when we turn our lives over to Jesus, other comes as we mature as followers of Jesus. Regardless of where we are in the journey with Jesus it is important to know that God has already won our spiritual battles: Satan has only the power over us that we choose to give him
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: How is Lent going? Have you learned or experienced anything new that came directly from giving something up?
Q2: What kind of music do you like? Is there anything in your musical playlist that you think would surprise people in your small group?
Q3: When you think of Exodus in popular culture, what comes to your mind?
Dig a Little Deeper
In the teaching this weekend, Dennis relayed the story found in Exodus chapters 5-10. In it we see the following:
- Moses and Aaron bring a message to Pharaoh, “Let my people go.”
- Pharaoh responds: “No, and I am going to make your work harder.”
- People complain to Pharaoh, “This is too hard!”
- Israel complains to their supervisors, supervisors complain to Moses, Moses complains to God
- God promises to release the people and to show Pharaoh, Egypt, and Israel who is in charge
- The plagues begin: Water to blood
- Frogs, gnats, flies
- Disease, boils, hail
- Locusts, darkness
Q1: What are Pharaoh’s responses to the plagues?
Q2: What are God’s responses to Pharaoh?
In Exodus 6:6 and 7:4 we hear about the “mighty acts of judgment” which God will visit on the Egyptians and through which he will see the people of Israel released.
Q3: Do you see any grace (God holding back his wrath and judgment) in Chapters 5-10?
Dennis talked about the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart and how, from a literary perspective, the original readers would not have seen this as God forcing Pharaoh to do something but, instead, creating a circumstance where Pharaoh’s hard heart could be seen for what it was.
Q4: What are your reactions to the explanation that Dennis gave?
Q5: Are there other places in the readings of Exodus, thus far, where you have had unanswered questions or problems with what you understood was happening? Talk about those.
Dualism, the idea that two equal and opposing ideas or forces are fighting against each other, came up as a prominent theme in the message. We know the story of Exodus and that God is going to win in the end (spoiler alert!). But the people of Israel had no such knowledge. And they thought that the gods of the Egyptians were real and vindictive.
Q5: Does the knowledge that the people of Israel saw the gods of the Egyptians as real beings with real power change anything about the Exodus story for you?
Exodus chapters 5 to 10 show a revelation of God (his person and his power) to the Pharaoh and to the people. We often experience a similar revelation of God in our own lives.
Dennis talked about functional dualism: the idea that we have a knowledge (head or heart) that God is powerful and can overcome evil but we act as though neither of those is true.
Q1: In what areas of your life do you act as though God has no power, or less power than you know he really has?
Q2: Do you think there is a difference between the power of God to overcome spiritual obstacles and his power to overcome physical obstacles? Which do you have more trouble believing he has power for?
Q3: Do you have more trouble believing for God’s power in your life or in the lives of others?
Pray that God will give you the faith to trust him to do great and powerful things in your life and in the lives of the people that you interact with.
In this section we are provide the scriptures referenced in this study. Some are core to the lesson, others can optionally be read and discussed as part of your time together.
Exodus 6:1-13 (NRSV)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”
God also spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘The Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they resided as aliens. I have also heard the groaning of the Israelites whom the Egyptians are holding as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the Israelites, ‘I am the Lord, and I will free you from the burdens of the Egyptians and deliver you from slavery to them. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my people, and I will be your God. You shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has freed you from the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’ ” Moses told this to the Israelites; but they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go and tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his land.” But Moses spoke to the Lord, “The Israelites have not listened to me; how then shall Pharaoh listen to me, poor speaker that I am?” Thus the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them orders regarding the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, charging them to free the Israelites from the land of Egypt.
Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, “Look, the Israelite people are more numerous and more powerful than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, or they will increase and, in the event of war, join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”
Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Here are the videos that were used in the weekend services.
Pastor Jon’s reflection on Lent:
Brett’s Freedom story: