TiO 45 – Exodus – Worry or Wonder?

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The Main Idea

We have been promised that Jesus will set us free. But so often we find caught in circumstances which do not appear very freeing. Like the people of Israel, we wonder if God really knows what he is doing.

Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)

Q1: Have you ever embarked on a change in life only to wonder if you made the right choice? Tell that story?

Q2: When you make a change in life are you a “fall back” or a “fail forward” person? That is, do you quit and start again (fall back) or do you adjust your current approach assuming that the original goal can still be met (fail forward)?

Q3: What do you think of those aquariums where you walk into a big tube with fish and water and glass all around you?

Dig a Little Deeper

This week Kirsten walked us through Exodus 11-15. In these chapters we see the following:

Chapter 11:

  • God promises to deliver the people
  • God describes the final plague

Chapter 12:

  • God describes the preparation for the final plague: to ensure that the people of Israel will not be effected
  • God delivers the final plague
  • Pharaoh sends the Israelites away
  • The Egyptians send a lot of wealth with the Israelites
  • The Israelites leave Egypt

Chapter 13:

  • God declares that the Passover will be observed each year to remember deliverance from Egypt
  • The people of Israel take a round-about route to the final destination to avoid war with the Philistines
  • To guide the people God appears as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night

Chapter 14:

  • The people are told to turn back and camp
  • The Pharaoh pursued the Israelites with his whole army
  • The people panic and complain
  • The Red Sea parts and the people walk across on dry land
  • The water closes in over the army of Egypt and washes them all away

Chapter 15:

  • The people of Israel praise God for delivering them
  • Bitter water is made drinkable
  • God promises that in exchange for obedience he will keep the people from harm

Read Exodus 12:1-28

Q1: As you read these verses, what do you notice about the instructions, or the preparations?

Q2: According to verses 27 and 28, what is the response of the people to these instructions?

Read Exodus 14:5-12

Q3: What was the Pharaoh’s response to the people leaving?

Q4: What was the next response of the people of Israel?

Read Exodus 14:30-31

Q5: What was the response of the people of Israel to the destruction of the army of Egypt?

We’ve seen the response of the people of Israel throughout the book of Exodus to this point.

Q6: What are the people’s responses most influenced by?

Often we are asked to put ourselves back into the situation of someone or some group in the Bible. Using your “holy imagination”, put yourself into the place of the people of Israel as they crossed the Red Sea.

 It is good to ask questions about the Bible. Questions mean that you are reading the text and trying to understand. They do not mean you are doubting the truth of the Bible or that you lack faith. Instead, they are a sign that you are trying to be faithful to engage not only your heart but also your brain. As a group, make a list of unresolved questions coming from the text—try to make it a habit to do this each week—and email them to one of the pastors, eg., dennis@riverwood.cc. They will do their best to answer these questions for you.

Q7: Pastor Kirsten set two ideas on opposite sides: worry and wonder. Describe what you (as a member of the people of Israel) are thinking or feeling as you cross the Red Sea.

Next Steps

Pastor Kirsten ended by drawing the parallels between what we see in the story of the Passover and the story of Jesus as the lamb of God, and the true bringer of freedom. 

Read Acts 13:36-41: in this passage the “he” in 37 is Jesus.

Q1: Do you ever experience doubt that God can free you from your circumstance? What does Acts 13 promise that Jesus will do for us?

Q2: Do you tend to be a “worrier” or a “wonderer” when it comes to your response to God?

Pray that God will fill you with a sense of wonder about all that he is going to do for and through you.

The Scriptures

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 12:1-18 (NRSV)

            The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread.

Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. When you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. And when your children ask you, ‘What do you mean by this observance?’ you shall say, ‘It is the passover sacrifice to the Lord, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.’ ” And the people bowed down and worshiped.

The Israelites went and did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron.

Exodus 14:5-12

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the minds of Pharaoh and his officials were changed toward the people, and they said, “What have we done, letting Israel leave our service?” So he had his chariot made ready, and took his army with him; he took six hundred picked chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt and he pursued the Israelites, who were going out boldly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots, his chariot drivers and his army; they overtook them camped by the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Exodus 14:30-31

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great work that the Lord did against the Egyptians. So the people feared the Lord and believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Acts 13:36-41

            For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption; but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, that what the prophets said does not happen to you:

‘Look, you scoffers!

            Be amazed and perish,

            for in your days I am doing a work,

a work that you will never believe, even if someone tells you.’ ”

 

The Videos

 

Paddy’s Freedom story:

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