Exodus 12.31-51 – July 17, 2020

Exodus 12:31–51

During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”
33 The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” 34 So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

50 All the Israelites did just what the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.  (Exodus 12:31-36, 50-51 , NIV)

Imagine if you had been one of the Hebrew people who say the power of God displayed and then got to realize the freedom for which you had longed for.

Thought Questions:

If you do not know the entire story of the Exodus from Egypt, be sure to read that chapters in the book of Exodus prior to today’s text. Knowing the whole story, why do you think it took Pharaoh so long to full recognize–and accept–God’s power?

If you had been one of the Hebrew people leaving Egypt that night, how do you think you would have thought of and treated God from day that forward? What, if anything, could have changed your mind from your dedication toward him?

Perhaps you have not been freed from a foreign country, but in what ways has God given you your own exodus, or leaving, from a situation that held you captive?

Exodus 3.1-4.17 – June 17, 2020

Exodus 3:1–4.17

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
 (Exodus 3:1–10, NIV)

So how do you think you would have responded if you saw a bush that was on fire, yet did not burn up, then from the bush a voice spoke?

Thought Questions:

Moses was a sheep herder because he left his life as the adopted son of Pharaoh to get away from a role he did not want to be in any longer. How do you think he reacted to this sudden calling, interrupting his attempt to “get away” from it all?

In what ways does God call us to tasks he has for us today? In what ways do you think it would be easier to be called through a burning bush? In what ways do you think it would be more difficult?

If you read all of the story for today, you discover that Moses really did not want to perform the task God has for him, trying several times to get out of it. Why are we, like Moses, hesitant to fulfill the things God has called us to do? In what ways has God proven that following him is a trustworthy endeavor and not to be feared?

Exodus 14.14 – May 22, 2020

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14, NIV)

Because we are creatures wired for flight or fight, simply being still seems an awfully hard way to go about accomplishing things, doesn’t it?

Thought Questions:

Why do you think humans spend so much of their time and energy trying to accomplish things … even when the odds are stacked against them?

What events have happened in your life that you knew you were the only hope for your rescue and even then, it didn’t look good? How did your attempts to defeat the obstacle in this event work out for you? How would it have worked better by letting God fight for you?

How is being still an admission of the power of God and your faith in him? What can you do to be still today?

Exodus 13.17-14.31 – March 4, 2020

Exodus 13.17-14.31

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:13–14, NIV)

It is one of the greatest victories in Israel’s history, the “fight” between Israel and Egypt at the Red Sea. You find references to the victory throughout the entire Bible. And what did the Israelites do to accomplish that victory? Nothing … they only had to be still.

Thought Questions:

Think of a time when you felt trapped between a rock and a hard place, much like the Israelites were in this story. What plans did you make to get out of the mess you were in? Why did you think you had the wherewithal to accomplish those plans?

Why is it so difficult for us to be still in the midst of adversity?

How can you trust God more today to accomplish that which really, only he can accomplish in your life anyway?

Camel Hair and Locusts – February 15, 2019

Exodus 39.1-40.38; Mark 1.1-28; Psalm 35.1-16; Proverbs 9.11-12

If John the Baptist showed up at a worship service today, we probably would think he was some sort of kook … if we even let him stay. You have to ask yourself: What’s with the crazy outfit? Yet the people came from all of Judea to see him. They saw something in him–and his outfit–that perhaps we miss when we are focused on his outfit too much. Maybe a better question is this: What does it look like for someone to appear as a messenger for God in such a way that “all the people” want to hear the message?


Why is it significant that the writer of Exodus says at least three different times in this section that Moses did “just as the Lord commanded him?”

All throughout the Bible, demons recognize and state who Jesus is: the Holy One of God. Do we recognize this?

Have you ever felt like the writer of today’s psalm? How do we seek God’s retribution on others in holy and healthy ways, versus vindictive and evil ways?

How have you experienced the benefit of Godly wisdom?

Just as he said… – February 14, 2019

Exodus 37.1-38.31; Matthew 28.1-20; Psalm 34.11-22; Proverbs 9.9-10

In hindsight, it seems so clear, doesn’t it? All of the things Jesus said about what would happen to him … his death … his resurrection … his being the sacrifice for us … they actually happened, just as he said. It makes you wonder: What sort of things has he told us that we have to be reminded of after the fact?


When you read about all of the furnishings for the Tabernacle, what sort of sense do you get about the attitude of the people as they gather to worship? Have we lost some of this awe in our own worship? If so, how do we regain that sense of being overwhelmed by the presence of God?

How well does Matthew 28.18-20 serve as an organizing principle for how you live your life?

In what ways do you gain comfort from hearing that God is close to the brokenhearted? How have you experienced this in your own life?

How do you sense God as the foundation of all wisdom?

Simon – February 13, 2019

Exodus 35.10-36.38; Matthew 27.32-66; Psalm 34.1-10; Proverbs 9.7-8

Simon was a man who was in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time. I guess which it was all depends on your perspective. Right or wrong, Simon’s life was most likely never the same after this encounter with Jesus. How has your life been changed by an “accidental” encounter with Jesus?


Why do you think the writer of the book of Exodus was so certain to detail the steps the builders undertook in constructing the Tabernacle? Why is following instructions so closely such an important thing to those who follow God?

Why do we, much like the people of Jesus’ day, find it so east to pile on and laugh at someone who has “failed?”

The psalmist says: “I will boast only in the Lord.” In whom do you boast?

Rebuking a mocker, according to the writer of the Proverbs is a wasted effort, leading to insults and pain. When then is it so easy for us to do this anyway?

Slow to Anger – February 12, 2019

Exodus 34.1-35.9; Matthew 27.15-31; Psalm 33.12-22; Proverbs 9.1-6

Angry people are no fun to be around. How often do we seek out someone who could be characterized by their rage against others, seeking to spend time just “hanging out and being angry?” We don’t, which is why it is such a comfort to read that God is a “God of compassion … slow to anger and filled with unfailing love.”


Why was making a treaty with the people of the land the Israelites were to inhabit such a bad idea?

What purpose do you sense Matthew was trying to accomplish by describing the reactions to Jesus of both Pilate and his wife?

In what ways have you seen God watch over those who fear him?

The persona of wisdom is much like God and righteousness: it seeks the simple to give them wisdom, versus them having to have wisdom before they are accepted. How is this a word of comfort for you?

Lead Me! – February 11, 2019

Exodus 32.1-33.23; Matthew 26.69-27.14; Psalm 33.1-11; Proverbs 8.33-36

Days. Not months. Not years. Days Moses was gone and the people of Israel assume the worst, which for them would have been they have no one to lead them. Make us a God to lead us, they cry, we cannot bear to be without someone telling us what to do. Here’s a question: Just what exactly does it say about a people that in such a short span, they freak out without someone in a visible role to lead them? What does such action say about their understanding of God’s leadership? Can we say the same things about ourselves?


Why do you think Moses’ request from God was that Moses be allowed to see God’s glorious presence?

What are ways we deny Jesus today?

The psalmist writes that, “we can trust everything [the Lord] does.” How do our lives demonstrate we believe this?

How does hating wisdom mean we love death?

Keep the Sabbath – February 10, 2019

Exodus 30.11-31.18; Matthew 26.47-68; Psalm 32.1-11; Proverbs 8.27.32

We are way too busy, as proven not only by our lack of “free time,” but also demonstrated by our overloaded calendars and underfunded saving accounts. (There is a reason someone once said: If you want to discover your true priorities, look at your checkbook and your calendar.) So there may not be a better time in history than now to hear to words of God in earnest: Remember to take time for Sabbath. It reminds you that I–not you, your schedule, or your ability to buy your way into contentment and peace–am your God. How are you taking Sabbath today?


Exodus 30.15 is a great verse: The rich are not to pay more of a ransom payment than required, the poor are to pay no less. Why do you think such a principle would be important in this situation? How might it also be an important principle for us today?

What do we learn about the teachers of the law when we discover they came to arrest Jesus in the garden after the evening meal, rather than in the temple where, according to Jesus, they saw him every day?

Can you remember a time when you stopped trying to hide your sin and guilt, but rather confessed it? What was the result of that process for you?

How is there wisdom to be found in the creation of the world?