Monday, March 19, 2007

Study Questions for Exodus 3:1-22

Study Questions for Exodus 3:1-22

Context: What has gone on so far in the book? What has gone on in history? Gen. 46:1-4

3:1—Where is Moses living when this story begins?
How many years passed between chapter 2 and chapter 3? Exo. 7:7
Who is Jethro?
What kinds of things do you suppose went on in Moses as a man in that time? 80 years old, in charge of the flocks, the sheep were the primary measure of wealth and sustenance.
What was Moses doing when the story begins?
Where was he? Desert probably means uncultivated land rather than barren desert. The point seems to be that Moses didn’t usually take the flocks to this remote place (i.e. far side of the desert, west of the desert).
What is the mountain of God?
Why does the text call it “the mountain of God”? 1 Kings 19:8

Vs. 2—Who appeared to Moses?
What form did he take?
Who is the Angel of the Lord? Gen 16:7-14; 22:11-18; Zech 3:6-10
What was the bush doing?
What was it not doing?
Why did God choose the burning bush as a way to manifest his presence? The ancients thought the bush represented Israel who were suffering in Egypt but God in the bush was keeping it from being consumed and he would sustain Israel as well. Exo. 13:21; 19:18

Vs. 3—What was Moses’ response to this sight?

Vs. 4—What is the Lord doing in all of this?
Who is the Lord?
Where was the Lord/angel of the Lord/God?
What does he have to do with the bush?
What was the Lord looking for in all of this?
Didn’t he know what Moses would do?
What did God do when he saw that Moses turned aside?
What did Moses say when God called to him?

Vs. 5—What did God tell Moses when he had gotten his attention?
Why shouldn’t Moses come any closer? No room for presumption, informality, or flippancy.
Why should he take off his shoes?
What does “Holy Ground” mean? Gen 2:3
What made it holy? Exo 29:43; Josh 5:15
Why would Moses have any idea what that was?
Who was Jethro?

Vs. 6—How does he identify himself?
Why do you suppose he mentioned Moses father?
Why Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Matt 22: 32
What did Moses do in response to God’s identification? Why? 1 Kings 19:13; Isa. 6:1-5; Rev. 1:17

Vss. 7-9—What did God say to Moses about the people in captivity in Egypt?
Who do the people belong to? What does “my people” mean? There will be more on this in future passages.
What do we learn about God from this small passage?
What does he mean by “come down”? Gen. 11 5; 18:2
What does he mean by “hand”? Gen. 9:2; Judges 4:9; 1 Sam. 23:16; Psa. 109:27; Amos 1:9; 1 Pet. 5:6
How does he describe the Land he is going to give to the people?
Whose land was it at the time this discussion is taking place?
What do you suppose is going to happen to them? Gen. 15:16; 1 Kings 21:26
How can God take the land from one group of people and give it to another group?
What is happening to the Israelites? Num. 22:25
Why does God say that he hears the cries of his people in both verse 7 and in verse 9?

Vs. 10—So what’s God’s point? Why is he telling Moses all this?
What is God expecting Moses to do for him?
Why didn’t God just release the people through some miraculous means instead of using Moses?

Vs. 11—How does Moses respond to the news?
Why do you suppose Moses had this attitude?
Do any other Biblical character respond in a similar way? 1 Sam. 9:21; 1 Kings. 3:7; Jer. 1:6

Vs. 12—How did God respond to Moses? Cf. KJV “Certainly”
What do you think having God “with you” would do for any command he might give you?
Does God ever say this in any other places? Gen 31:33; Deut. 31:23; Judge. 6:16; Ps. 46:7; Jer. 1:8; Mat. 28:20; Acts 18:10
How was Moses to know that God was with him?
How long did he have to wait to see the evidence? 2 Cor. 5:7—we walk by faith…
Why was worshipping God on “this mountain” significant?

Vs. 13—What did Moses say in response to God’s promise of his presence?
Was this an answer that said, “Yes! I’m all for going. Send me in.”?
If God had just told Moses who he was, so that he hid his face, why did he ask God who he should say had sent him?
How should Moses have reacted? Why?

What does Moses mean by “Name”? 1 Sam 25:25 “Nabal” means fool.

Vs. 14—How did God respond to the question?
What did God say his name was?
What does “I am” mean? Mal. 2:6; Heb. 11:6
Jehovah is a conflation of “YHWH,” the Hebrew consonants, and vowels of “Adonai” the word for lord.
Why would that kind of name make any difference to the Israelites in bondage?

Vs.16-17—Where is Moses to go next?
What is an elder? Hebrew—“bearded one”
It was not the role of the elders to frame legislation or establish legal precedents, but to administer the agreed standards of the community and to arbitrate in disputes. By accepting the authority and judgments of the elders society could live harmoniously without having to resort to violence to settle disputes between individual and families.”
Why would he go to the elders?
What does it say about Israel that they had elders?
What is he to say to the elders? Gen. 50:24
Notice all the names of God in the address.
What does God say he’s heard from the Israelites?
What is he going to do as a result?

Vs. 18—What will be the Israelites response to this good news?
After chatting with the elders where will Moses go?
And what shall he say to Pharaoh?
Who sent him?
What is a Hebrew?
What did he want to do with the people of Israel?
How long did he want to take them into the dessert?
Why did he start with this instead of telling Pharaoh that he wanted to let the people go entirely?

Vs. 19—What did God say Pharaoh’s response will be?
What does “not by a mighty hand” mean? Unless compelled.
Why would Pharaoh react negatively? Slaves, gods (Pharaoh was Horus walking on earth and after his death would become Osiris), where were they going in 3 days?, etc.

Vs. 20—What does stretch out my hand mean?
What will God do with his outstretched hand?
What will he use to smite Egypt? Gen. 8:21 “strike”=destroy
What does smite mean?
What will the result of all these wonders be? They will “drive you out” Lev. 18:24; 20:23

Vs. 21—What will the Egyptians think of the Israelites just before they leave? (NIV)
What will be the result of the Egyptians liking the Israelites?
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Egyptians will like the Israelites, but they will like the fact that they are leaving.

Vs. 22—What will the Israelites do to the Egyptians?
What is being depicted here is the Israelites getting what was owed them as wages.
What does plunder/spoil mean?

Isa. 43:2-3

Global Warming?

Communion Meditation

We are the people of God. Jesus died to make it so. He died so that we might die and he rose from the dead so that we might have new life. If you are here this morning and you believe the Good News about Jesus and his salvation. And if you have been baptized in accord with his word, I invite you to feel free to eat this meal with us. If you are not a follower of the Lord Jesus we ask that as the plates are passed around that you would simply let it go by and pray, asking that God would reveal himself to you in all his majesty and power. Ask that he would grant you repentance and draw you to himself.

If you are here this morning, rejoicing in your salvation I offer the fruit of this table to you in joy and gladness. God is a gracious God. He knows you, he hears you, he sees you and he invites you to come and share in the eating of this bread and the drinking of this wine.

This table is more than simply bread and wine. It is also much more than a simple memorial and representation of Jesus’ death on our behalf. When we break the bread we symbolize the breaking of the body of Christ on our behalf. When we drink the wine we participate in the out pouring of Jesus blood on our behalf. There is a mystery here that I don’t understand. We are the body of Christ eating and drinking the body of Christ. We are the one loaf eating and drinking the one loaf. We are the people of God eating the son of God. We are eating bread and drinking wine, but God is nourishing us with spiritual life as we do it.

Let us eat together.


The Bible tells us that it is possible to drift away from what we had at first. This information comes to us in the form of a warning to a church who had lost the love she had when she first came to Christ in tears and pain, guilt and shame, fear and repentance (Rev. 2:4). In Hebrews 3:13 we hear a warning against allowing the deceitfulness of sin to cause our hearts to drift away from faith in Christ. I take it from the context that this drift is a subtle and simple thing. We take our eyes off Christ for a few “safe” moments and soon without even noticing it we are so far away we can’t remember what it was like to rest in his love. We start out by admiring a charismatic non-Christian friend, or by being drawn to something they own. We open ourselves up to a small bit of , envy, or covetousness. It’s hardly anything to take notice of. Surely God won’t mind if you indulge yourself this little thrill. It’s such a small thing.

But one day you realize that though you used to spend hours in the presence of God; reading his word, talking with the saints, singing songs, filled with joy, you are now not just a little bit unhappy, angry, filled with fear, and empty inside,. You’ve slid away from your first love. You’ve drifted from the faith you first received, you are in danger of being cut off for your unbelief. You may fear that you don’t know the way back.

The author of Hebrews goes on to tell us, however, that we have an advocate with the father who has been tempted in all the same ways we have. We can see from his experience that suffering temptations is God’s way of making us mature and suitable, holy and perfect. If he caused his son to be made perfect through suffering, how much more so will he use our sufferings to make us who we ought to be.

But more than this, this advocate is also the one who paid the penalty for our sins. And it is because he is a perfect sacrifice that he is able to intercede on our behalf. And since we have such a one, we are called to enter boldly into the throne room of God and ask for mercy and grace in our time of need.

Prayer of Praise

O God, Truly you are good to your people, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for us, our feet had almost stumbled, our steps had nearly slipped.

For we were envious of the arrogant when we saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore your people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches.
All in vain have we kept our heart clean and washed our hands in innocence.
For all the day long we have been stricken and rebuked every morning.
If we had said, “we will speak thus,” we would have betrayed the generation of your children.
But when we thought how to understand this, it seemed to us a wearisome task,
until we went into your sanctuary O God; then we discerned their end.

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin.
How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors!
Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
When our soul was embittered, when we were pricked in heart, we were brutish and ignorant; we were like a beast toward you.
Nevertheless, we are continually with you; you hold our right hand.
You guide us with your counsel, and afterward you will receive us to glory.

Who have we in heaven but you? There is nothing on earth that we desire besides you.
Our flesh and our heart may fail, but you, O Lord, are the strength of our heart and our portion forever.
For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
But for us it is good to be near you Mighty God; we have made the Lord GOD our refuge, that we may tell of all your works. And Amen!