By Luke Johnson | September 27, 2016
Small Group Prayer
Take some time to see how everyone is doing, and to pray for each other.
Do you have a tradition that is really important to your family? Something you would really miss if your family stopped following it?
What are some “origin stories” you know? (Think about comic books, movies, history, legends...)
What are some of your favourites? (Why?)
The book of Exodus is one big origin story: We meet Moses; God gives himself a name (YHWH); God turns a bunch of slaves into the people we hear about throughout the rest of the Bible; we see the Passover; the crossing of the Red Sea; Israel receives the Law… Exodus is full of stuff that shapes the rest of the Bible!
Our Big Questions
As we read through Exodus this year, we’re going to think about these big questions:
What does Exodus tell us about who God is?
According to Exodus, what does it mean to belong to God’s people?
Can you hear or see Jesus in Exodus?
(Do you notice anything that reminds you of the Gospel?)
READ Exodus 1-2
What pops out at you in these chapters? Anything weird / cool / surprising / interesting?
What is this new Pharaoh worried about? Why doesn’t he like the Israelites?
We’re catching the Israelites in the middle of a bigger story. Do you remember some of the big things that happened before Exodus, in Genesis? (How does Genesis begin? Where do the Israelites come from? How do the Israelites end up in Egypt?)
Pharaoh is worried about a population explosion. But what basic command did God give to his people at the start of this bigger story, at creation? (Take a quick look at Genesis 1:28 and 9:1.)
Look back at Exodus 1:7. Do you see any similarities with Genesis 1:28 and 9:1?
God actually wants Israel to grow like crazy. That is the way creation is supposed to work.
So, by killing Israelite babies, Pharaoh stands against Israel -- but that’s not all!
Who else does Pharaoh stand against?
Because he working against God’s order for creation, Pharaoh is standing against God himself! The writer of Exodus wants us to see that Pharaoh makes himself God’s enemy. God comes to Israel’s aid not just because they’re in trouble, but because Pharaoh is messing with the way God made the universe.
How does it go for Pharaoh? What happens when Pharaoh tries to stop Israel from growing?
(Look at Exod 1:12; 1:15-17, 20)
Spoiler alert: Pharaoh is no match for God. This is foreshadowing! He failed to stop the Israelites from swarming, and he is going to fail again when God makes creation go crazy against him a few chapters from now.
What do you think the writer of Exodus wants the Israelites (and us) to understand about God so far?
Where is God in this story so far? Do you notice him ‘doing anything’ or ‘saying anything’?
Israel was in slavery for a long time -- 430 years! (cf. Exod 12:40; Gal 3:17) That’s a long time to wait for God to act. Why do you think God would wait so long to get involved?
(Have you ever had to wait an insane amount of time for something to happen?)
What do you think the writer is trying to say in the last few verses (Exod 2:23-25) when he writes, “God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant”?
Did God forget about his people or his covenant? What do you think ‘remembering’ means?
God is there the whole time. “Remembering” doesn’t mean, “Oh yeah… forgot about you guys…” In the Bible, remembering is an action word. We should hear it like this: “God heard their groaning, and got ready to put his plans in motion.”