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Gods amazing rescue

Studies & Sermon Series Autumn 2012


By Ros Clarke & Philip Sowerbutts

Exodus

Acknowledgements Cartoons are by Jack Foster and are Copyright to him. They have been reproduced by kind permission. Copyright Castle Church 2012 Castle Church Office Castle Church Hall Newport Road Stafford ST16 1DP 01785 241894 www.castlechurch.org.uk admin@castlechurch.org.uk

Contents
Page

Introduction Exodus 1:1-22 Exodus 2:1-25 Exodus 3:1-4:17 Exodus 4:18-31 Exodus 5:1-21 Exodus 5:22-6:12 Exodus 6:13-7:13 Exodus 7:14-10:29 Exodus 11:1-10 Exodus 12:1-30 Exodus 12:31-50 Exodus 13:1-14:31 Exodus 15:1-21

4 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31

Introduction
Last November we ended our 4 years of Autumn sermon series in the book of Genesis. We saw how mankind fell away from his creator preferring to go his own way, ruling his own life. But we also saw how God loved us so much, He always had a plan to rescue us. Through Abraham He made a special covenant with His people. A covenant promise that he would give His people a special land, many descendants and he would bless them and make them a blessing to others. As well as Abraham, we saw how that covenant was worked out in the lives of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. When we left Genesis, Gods people were happily living in a fertile region of Egypt and life was good. But Egypt wasnt the promised covenant land and over the years life became difficult. After summarising the end of Genesis, the opening verses of Exodus are stark: Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them. Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. Look, he said to his people, the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country. So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labour.

The word Exodus is a Greek word that literally means going out or departing. Our true story is all about how God miraculously rescues His people from their slavery and guides them back towards their covenant land. In this series, were going to get as far as Chapter 15 when they physically manage to escape across the Red Sea. Well return next Autumn to see how God gives them a framework for existing as His people when theyre free and not under slavery. Our journey will take in some famous bible stories that you might know; Moses in the bulrushes, Moses at the burning bush, the ten plagues etc. They may be familiar stories but we want to come to them afresh to get a much bigger and better understanding about the God who rescues.

When Did The Exodus Happen?


Well, thats the million dollar question. Bible boffins have debat ed that for years. Most think it was either 13th or 15th Century BC. There is biblical and non-biblical evidence for both. If we get hung up on dates then we might miss the main point of the account. Its safe to say that it happened and theres good evidence for it!

Where Did It All Happen?


Were dealing with well known places! Lots of people go on holiday to Egypt to cruise the Nile, see the pyramids and the Sphinx or go to one of the popular Red Sea resorts. Ancient Egypt is taught in Primary Schools, so our children will know something of the Pharaohs mentioned in Exodus. Egypt has also been in the news in the last couple of years with unrest and the overthrowing of the old regime.
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Exodus

How To Use This Booklet

The following pages take us through the passages that will be preached on each Sunday. The 20 minutes or so we have to look at Mediterranean Sea the text cannot do justice to the text. Sometimes we wont have Israel time to read the longer sections in the services. If you are prepared to read them in advance and think Egypt through the questions, you will get so much more out of the series. River Those same questions will be used Nile in many of our home groups. Why not start the new series by joining Red Sea one? Begin by saying a short prayer asking God to help you know and understand more about Him by reading the passage. Read the passage slowly, if possible a couple of times. Maybe divide the longer passages over a few days of the week. Try and answer the questions for yourself. Dont worry if you struggle understanding, maybe the sermo n will help clarify things. If you miss the Sunday sermon for some reason, make a commitment to catching up by watching the Castle Church Vimeo Channel on the internet (linked from the downloads section of the website www.castlechurch.org.uk). Finally say a prayer asking that God would help you put into practice what you have learned or maybe say a prayer thanking God for His character as shown in the bible text youve read.
Cyprus
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9th September - Exodus 1:1-22


Exodus begins by telling us that Gods people, the Hebrew Israelites prospered in Egypt. This is evidence that the Covenant promise of descendants is still in place. However, a new Pharaoh, who has never heard of Joseph and how he rescued Egypt from disaster is on the throne. Hes nervous about the Hebrew population increasing and is worried that they may rebel or join foreign armies and overthrow the ruling Pharaoh. He therefore acts, forcing them into hard labour. He is also ruthless and evil, ordering that all their baby boys be killed.

A Note About Numbers


Very often people get hung up on all the numbers that we have in the bible. We need to remember that theyre not there to prove something mathematically, theyre there to make much bigger points. Take this passage for example; Moses used the round number 70 for the number of Jacob's descendants who entered Egypt (v. 5; cf. Gen. 46:27). The writer's purpose was to contrast the small number of Israelites who entered Egypt with the large number that existed at the time Exodus begins (v8-22), about two million individuals. The point the writer is making is to show that the fruitfulness of the Israelites in Goshen is due to God's blessing, just as He fulfilled His promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (v. 7).
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Questions To Think About


1. What were the circumstances that led to the sons of Israel moving to Egypt? Why was Joseph already there? In v. 7, were told that the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly. Who was told to be fruitful and multiply in Genesis? They also became exceedingly numerous. What promise does this remind you of? What changes happen in vv. 8-10? How well do the Egyptian plans work (vv.11-14)? The next Egyptian plan is even more drastic (vv. 15-19). Why does this one fail too? What is the end result of the Egyptian plan for the midwives to kill the Hebrew boys? Throughout this chapter, the Israelites suffering increases. How do we know that God had not abandoned them? Do you think they knew that God had not abandoned them? What happens when Pharaoh sets himself against Gods plans? Can you think of other examples when a similar thing happened?

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

9.

10. What is Pharaohs next step (v. 22)? What do you think he expects to happen next? What do you expect to happen next? 11. What perspective does this passage give on our own experiences of suffering and persecution?

16th September - Exodus 2:1-25


In this passage were introduced to the family of Moses. His life story will dominate the rest of Exodus as God uses him to be His rescuer. He has a difficult start under the Egyptian regime. By rights he shouldve be drowned in the Nile but is rescued by Pharaohs daughter allowing him access to the upper echelons of Egyptian society. Even then things dont go well as he kills a man and has to flee Egypt for fear of repercussions.

Whats In A Name?
As weve seen before, bible names arent just random! They say something about the person. The name Moses was probably an Egyptian name but became popular with the Hebrews. It relates to the names of other great Egyptians of that period (e.g. the Pharaohs Ahmose, Thutmose.) Moses literally means draw out so the phrase 'drew him out' (v. 10) is a Hebrew pun on the name, emphasising the baby's rescue from the waters of the Nile. The name became even more appropriate as Moses' great life work of drawing the Israelites out of Egypt took shape.

Questions To Think About


1. Why did the Levite woman need to hide her son? Why do you think she decided to place the child in a basket in the Nile? (Look at what Pharaoh ordered in 1:22.) How is the child saved (vv.5-10)?
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2.

3.

God is not mentioned in 2:1-10. How can we see that he is at work in this situation? What prompts Moses to kill the Egyptian (v. 11-12)? Where do his loyalties lie? When Moses sees the two Hebrews fighting, what does he do? Why do you think the Israelite man responds so negatively (v.14)? What is Pharaohs response? How is Moses saved this time? (v. 15) Moses runs to Midian where he meets and marries his wife. Why does he name his son Gershom? Where do his loyalties lie? What sort of upbringing did Moses have? Why do you think God gave him this background? What was life like for the Israelites at this time (vv. 23-25)? How do they respond? How does God respond? 10. Moses lives in the Egyptian palace and then in the land of Midian, but throughout, he identifies as an Israelite. What can we learn from Moses about living as an alien in a foreign land as Christians?

4.

5.

6. 7. 8. 9.

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23rd September - Exodus 3:1-4:17


The action moves quickly. We are only in week three and Moses has grown up and married Jethros daughter Zipporah. He is a Hebrew, educated and raised by Egyptians, now in exile in Midian working for his father in law as a shepherd. He has no home and no identity. Into this situation God reveals himself to Moses at a burning bush and sets Moses on the right path. It seems that Moses is not full of self-confidence and God needs to work in his life in order to make him the rescuer he was born to be.

Questions To Think About


1. If you were appointing a new leader for our church, what sort of qualities would you be looking for? What sort of qualities do you think God requires from leaders? How does Moses know that he is in the presence of God (vv. 2-6)? What is Gods plan and what is Moses role in that plan? (vv. 7 10)? What is Moses response? Look at 3:11, 3:13, 4:1, 4:10. In v. 6, Moses is afraid to look at God, but by v. 11 he is arguing with God. What does that say about his attitude to God? How does God reassure Moses? Look at 3:12, 3:14, 3:15-22, 4:2-9, 4:11-12.
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2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7.

Does it matter that Moses doesnt have the qualities he thinks a leader should have? Why not? Eventually Moses runs out of excuses and just pleads for God to send someone else. How does God respond (vv. 14-17)? Why?

8.

God could have chosen a leader who lived among the Israelites, who was confident and eloquent. Why do you think he chose Moses instead? What qualities does God actually require of his leaders? Look at Is 53:2-3. 10. If God chose Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, is there anyone he couldnt choose? What about you?

9.

Gods Name At The Burning Bush


When Moses asks God his name at the burning bush, God answers I am who I am. It can also be translated I will be who I will be. This name is crucial in the whole of the rest of the bible. From it we get the Hebrew special name for God Yahweh. In our bibles, whenever you see the word LORD in capital letters its a translation of the Hebrew name Yahweh. Moses was a reluctant hero. God used all kinds of miracles to show He was a powerful God who would be with him
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30th September - Exodus 4:18-31


After God gives Moses special signs of His help and presence, its time for him to return to Egypt. Hes reassured that all those who wanted him dead are no longer on the scene. He sets off with his new family and as a special sign that they have been included in Gods covenant, Zipporah circumcises (probably)* their son. Moses brother Aaron comes out to meet him with all the Hebrew elders who accept Moses leadership after he performs all the miracles God allowed him to do in Midian. * see notes to question 5 below

Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. Why might Moses be anxious about returning to Egypt? (see 1:1415) Why does he go? What does God say will happen when Moses goes back to Egypt and does everything God tells him (v. 21)? Why is that surprising? What does it mean for Israel to be the Lords firstborn son? Who would you expect to be called the Lords firstborn son (see Col 1:15,18) Why does the Lord threaten to kill the Pharaohs firstborn son? Is this an appropriate punishment for the Egyptians? (see 1:15-22, but also 1:23) v. 24-26 are difficult to understand because the Hebrew does not always make it clear who is being referred to (Moses or his son). The most likely interpretation is that Moses son is circumcised, but Zipporah touches Moses with the foreskin to cleanse him. What is the significance of circumcision for the Israelites? Why does the Lord require Moses son to be circumcised? Why is it
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4. 5.

6.

Moses who is endangered, not his son? Think about the role of fathers in Israelite households. 7. 8. 9. What is Aarons role in Moses ministry? How do the Israelites respond to what Aaron tells them and the miracles they perform? Do miracles always lead to faith and worship? Does the message of Gods rescue plan always lead to faith and worship?

10. Why do the Israelites respond with faith and worship, while Pharaoh will respond with a hardened heart? Why do some people accept the gospel message and not others?

Reminder: What Is Circumcision For?


Remember that back in Genesis 17, there is a covenant between Abraham and God. A covenant is what we'd call today a contract, and a contract is simply a legally enforceable agreement between one or more "parties." We might not think about it too often, but we all have contracts with other "parties." We probably have contracts between us and our mortgage lenders, or if we rent, with our landlords. We have contracts with credit card companies, banks etc. If you read the fine print of a contract, it explains what both parties bring to the agreement, the obligations (things that WE must do), in return for other things (the things that THEY must do). In the case of a mortgage for example, we have an obligation to pay the right amount of money every month to the lender, and if we do this then after a certain period of time, the lender gives us complete ownership of the house. That's their obligation. God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 17 is no different in principle. Abraham has some obligations, and so does God, although the terms and conditions of this contract are a little bit more unusual than the terms and conditions of your mortgage! The sign and seal of the covenant was that all males under the covenant would be circumcised.
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7th October - Exodus 5:1-21


God had warned Moses that Pharaoh wouldnt give up his free labour without a fight! When Moses and Aaron stand before him, he shows his utter contempt for the God of the Hebrews. Instead of giving a favourable answer, life is made more difficult for Gods people. Because of Moses and Aaron, the suffering they have to bear as a is terrible and they turn on them, angry at the result.

Confronting A Pharaoh!
Pharaoh was not only the king of Egypt; the Egyptians regarded him as a divine person; he was a god (v. 2). Consequently when Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh to accede to the command of Yahweh, Pharaoh saw it as a threat to his sovereignty. He knew (i.e., had respect for) the gods of Egypt, but he did not know (have respect for) Yahweh, the God of his foreign slaves. If Yahweh had identified Himself with these slaves, and if He had not already delivered them, why should Pharaoh fear and obey Him?

Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. What do Moses and Aaron ask Pharaoh for? What response do you think they are expecting? How does Pharaoh respond? Why? Compare Pharaohs response in v. 2 with Moses response to God in 3:11. How does Aaron answer Pharaohs question? Do you think this is a good answer? What else might he have said?
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4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

This is a different Pharaoh from the one in Exodus 1. In what ways is his attitude the same as his predecessors? See 1: 8-14. What does Pharaoh do to stop Moses and Aaron leading the people out into the desert? The Israelite foremen first complain to Pharaoh and then to Moses and Aaron. What is their complaint? Why has their attitude changed so much since 4:29-31? In what ways do our own circumstances (work, family, health etc.) affect our faith? How do we respond to this?

Brick Making In Egypt


We read in this section about the Hebrew slaves needing to gather their own straw for the clay bricks. Lots of clay products require the addition of other materials to add strength and durability. In the case of bricks in Old Testament Egypt, river clay from the Nile was usually composed of very fine particles and so would dry slowly. Adding straw would "open up" the clay, allowing it to dry more readily and so be more quickly and successfully fired. The ancient brick-making process can still be seen on Egyptian tomb paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This wall painting, from a Egyptian tomb is interesting because the workers are not Egyptian, pointing to the fact that foreign slave labour was readily used in major building projects.

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14th October - Exodus 5:22-6:12


Gods people need re-focussing on who they are as Gods covenant people and what has been promised to them in terms of land, blessing and descendants. But in the face of real suffering they werent interested in the miracles that Moses could do with his staff, so God reminded them of their heritage and where they were heading. This still didnt convince them that their future was secure. The result of all this is that Moses has another wobble and is losing confidence in his ability and Gods power to save.

A Pivotal Old Testament Passage


There are some passages in the Old Testament that are key in summarising what has already happened and what will happen in the future. This is one of those! This small section of narrative sketches out the argument of the whole of the first five books of the bible. God made a covenant with the patriarchs to give them the land of Canaan (6v4). He remembered his covenant when he heard the cry of the Israelites in Egyptian bondage (v5). He is now going to deliver Israel from their bondage and take them to Himself as a people and be their God (v6). He will also bring them into the land which he swore to give to their fathers (v8). The die is now cast for the remainder of the events narrated in Genesis to Deuteronomy.

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Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. What is Moses complaint in 5:22-23? Do you think it is a reasonable complaint? What does God promise to do in 6:1? Will the people be let go or driven out? Does that sound like a pleasant experience? Why does the Lord once again remind Moses of his name and of the covenant (6:2-5)? See especially Genesis 15:13-14. What encouragements are there for the Israelites in 6:6-8? Why arent the Israelites encouraged by it (6:9)? Despite the Israelites response, God continues with his plan and sends Moses to Pharaoh. What is Moses complaint this time? Do you think this is a reasonable complaint? What things make us complain to God? What effect does complaining have? See also Phil 2:14-16. What promises has God actually made to us? What things hasnt he promised us? What things stop us listening to God? How can we do better at this?
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7.

8. 9.

21st October - Exodus 6:13-7:13


This section is divided into two. We have the leaders and brief genealogy of the Hebrew families before God gives Moses more instructions. He warns that it is not going to be straightforward, but that will only multiply the number of miracles God will do. Moses is still nervous and reverts to reminding God that he has a speech impediment. God simply uses Aaron as Moses mouthpiece.

Moses Family Tree

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Questions To Think About


1. 2. Why do you think all the families of Israel are listed here? Why are they important in the covenant promises? Look at 6:13, 26-29. How many times is the word Egypt repeated? Why is it significant that the Lord speaks to Moses in Egypt (and not just out in the desert)? Why is Moses still making excuses (6:30)? How does God describe Moses and Aarons relationship? What is Moses role and what is Aarons role? Again God promises to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. What will this rescue involve (6:3-5)? How will the Egyptians come to know that the Lord is God? What does the miracle show (6:8-12)? How are the magicians able to imitate the miracle? What is the result of the miracle? God promises in this passage that the Egyptians will acknowledge that he is God. He gives them the chance to recognise his miracle but warns that eventually they will recognise him through his judgement. 8. 9. What makes people harden their hearts to God? How did you come to recognise that the Lord is God? Were you attracted by his promises or afraid of his judgement?
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3. 4. 5.

6. 7.

28th October - Exodus 7:14-10:29


This is a very long passage and we wont be able to read it all during our Sunday service but it is well worth reading in full! We are told this amazing account of God sending 10 plagues on the land of Egypt in order to force Pharaoh to let His people leave their slavery. Each time we see Pharaoh relent before hardening his heart and changing his mind. This week well deal with the first nine, and save the tenth for special attention next week.

Questions To Think About


1. The first eight plagues all follow a similar pattern. Look at 7:14-24 and fill in the outline.

The Lord says:

Moses and Aaron do:

The Egyptian magicians do:

Pharaoh does:

2.

The pattern isnt always exactly the same. Whats different in 8:1 15? Whats different in 8:1-19? If you have time, look through the other plagues to see where they follow the pattern and where they are different. Each time, the Lord tells Moses and Aaron to say the same thing to Pharaoh, Let my people go. What is the status of the Israelites in Egypt? Earlier in Exodus, the Lord has called Israel his
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3.

firstborn son. On what basis does God tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go? 4. 5. Each time, the Lord warns Pharaoh what will happen if he does not let the people go. Why doesnt Pharaoh let the people go? Each time, Moses and Aaron perform the miracle and the plague comes just as God said. What is God demonstrating through these plagues? See 8:10, 8:22-23, 9:29, 10:1-2 On some occasions, the magicians are able to copy the miracles, but in the later plagues they cannot. What is God demonstrating through these miracles? What can we learn about God from his judgement on the Egyptians? How should we respond to Gods judgement? Pharaoh shows some signs of relenting as the plagues increase: 8:8, 8:25-28, 9:27-28, 10:7-11, 16-17, 10:24. What prompts him to say these things? What has he learned during the plagues? When each plague ends, how does Pharaoh respond? (8:15, 8:32, 9:34-35, 10:21, 10:27-28). What does this show about his heart?

6.

7. 8.

9.

10. Why do some people appear to show signs of understanding the gospel but then harden their hearts? What can we do to help in this situation?
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4th November - Exodus 11:1-10


All the nine plagues weve seen so far are horrific in themselves but are nothing compared with the horror of the tenth. This is God at His most powerful and awesome. Notice Moses is not timid and scared any more; he has seen God work amazing miracles and when, once again Pharaoh hardens his heart, Moses almost shouts out Gods judgement of the final miracle and leaves burning with anger v8.

The Purpose Of Plague 10


The most important lesson that Pharaoh and the Egyptians were to learn from this last plague was that God would destroy the power of the Egyptians' gods. Pharaoh was seen as a god and so was his firstborn son who would succeed him. The Egyptians attributed the power to procreate to various gods. It was a power on which the Egyptians as well as all ancient peoples depended. By killing the firstborn, God was demonstrating His sovereignty once again. However this plague had more far reaching consequences and was therefore more significant than all the previous plagues combined.

Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. What has been the pattern for all the plagues so far? What will be the result of the final plague (11:1)? Why does God tell the Israelites to ask for silver and gold (11:2-3)? And why do the Egyptians give it to them? Is this surprising to you?
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4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Who will be afflicted by this final plague (11:4-6)? Why does the Lord target the firstborn sons? Who will not be afflicted by this final plague (11:7)? What does this show about Gods judgement? What will be the end result of this plague (11:8)? How will Pharaoh be affected by this final plague (11:9-10)? Why does God arrange for things to happen this way? How do the events of the final plague help us to understand Gods salvation of his people through Christ?

10. What is the ultimate purpose of both judgement and salvation? Why doesnt God just save everybody? Why does God save anybody?

But, Is That Fair?


Some people have challenged God's justice in putting to death so many so-called "innocent" children. Looked at one way, whatever God does is right because He is God. Looked at in another way, God as the giver and sustainer of life is righteous in withdrawing life from any creature at any time because life belongs to Him. He can take it as well as give it at will. But maybe more importantly we need to remember the fact that all humans are sinners and our sin results in Gods righteous justice on us; the penalty of which is death. That means that God is just and right in requiring the punishment for any individual's sin at any time. We do not have any claim on God's grace. Maybe it would be better to look at it from another angle and rightly say; Isnt it amazing that God graciously didnt kill all the Egyptians.

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11th November - Exodus 12:1-31


In these verses God gives clear instructions how His people can avoid the horror of the final plague. The instructions also tell them how they should be prepared for the escape from Egypt. Their salvation will come from the blood of an unblemished sacrificial lamb.

Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. What do the Israelites need to do to escape the plague of the firstborn (12:1-13)? What kind of animal must they sacrifice? Why do they need to sacrifice an animal at all? What do they do with the blood? What does this signify (12:1213)? How must they eat their meal? What does this signify? After the Lord gives Moses the instructions for the first Passover, he then gives instructions for how it should be commemorated every year. What must they do at this commemoration (12:1420)? What will the unleavened bread remind them of (see 12:3334)? Moses relays Gods instructions to the Israelites. Why do you think they are more receptive than the last time Moses addressed them (5:19-21)? What does Moses remind the people of in 12:25? Why is this important at this time? In 12:30 were told that there was not a house without someone dead. Are there any houses in Egypt where there is no death that
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6.

7. 8.

night? Why doesnt God just save the Israelites without the sacrifice? 9. How do the events of the Passover help us to understand Gods salvation of his people through Christ?

10. The Israelites were given elaborate instructions for a celebration which would help them always remember the Passover. What ways do we have to remember the greater salvation we have in Christ?

Passover And Jesus


Passover is the most important Jewish festival when they remember with a special meal the night that God rescued them from slavery in Egypt. Christians cannot ignore the significance of Passover. Remember, it was at the Passover where Jesus was sentenced to death and crucified. It was His sacrificial blood shed for us that causes God to, in a way, pass over our deserved judgement for sin. The price is paid by one sacrificial lamb, Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul says Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. In the book of Revelation, Jesus is referred to as the lamb who now sits on the throne. And, of course we too remember Jesus sacrifice for us with a communion meal, when we eat bread and drink wine to remind us of His broken body and shed blood.
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18th November - Exodus 12:31-50


Pharaoh finally admits defeat and summons Moses in the middle of the night to tell him that Gods people can leave. The whole operation was planned by God and was executed with military precision. We read that there are 600,000 men, their families and livestock. It would have been the most incredible sight, all these people moving out in the dead of night. The final section contains Gods brief instructions as to who can eat the Passover when it is celebrated in future years.

Questions To Think About


1. What prompts Pharaoh to let the Israelites go? What would have been different if Pharaoh had let the Israelites go the first time Moses and Aaron asked him (5:1)? How could Pharaoh and the Egyptians have avoided this terrible judgement? How can people avoid Gods judgement? Do the Egyptians want the Israelites to go or stay (12:33)? Why? Why do the Egyptians give the Israelites gold, silver and clothing (12:34-36)? Can you think what use this will be to the Israelites? How many Israelites were there in Egypt at the beginning of Exodus? How many are there now? Why is that significant? What else do the Israelites take with them out of Egypt? What did they have when they first came into Egypt (Gen 46: 5-7)?
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2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7.

How long did the Israelites spend in Egypt? For how long were they enslaved? What did God promise them about this time? See Gen 15:13-15. How has God kept his promises? When the Israelites leave Egypt they are more numerous and better off than when they arrived. Has this time been a positive or negative experience for them? What effect do you think it has had on their faith? Who is the Passover for (12:43-49)? Why is circumcision the prerequisite for the Passover celebration?

8.

9.

10. What is the Christian fulfilment of the Passover? Is this available to everyone or is it restricted like the Passover? Why or why not?

Israels And Our Redemption By God


This is another passage that is very important in the whole of Gods salvation history. It is possible to see God in two roles in this section, representing the two parts of Israel's redemption. First, He appears as the righteous judge satisfied by the blood of the innocent sin-bearer, and then He is the deliverer of Israel liberateing the nation from its slavery. These two roles do not change under the new covenant in Jesus. God is the righteous judge who is satisfied by the once-for-all shed blood of His own Son on the cross, the innocent sin-bearer. Then He is the deliverer who liberates His people from their slavery to sin, the one thing that separates them from Him.

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25th November - Exodus 13:1-14:31


The escape is now in full swing but God first of all tells them how and when they should celebrate it. The crossing of the Red Sea is an exciting game of chase. Pharaoh naturally changes his mind and sets off with his army to round up the Hebrew slaves. But nothing can get in the way of Gods plan of rescue.

Was It All A Miracle Or Not?


Many boffins have tried to explain away God's supernatural deliverance of Israel and have attacked this story. But we need to note that immediately after this deliverance, the Israelites regarded their salvation as supernatural and they continued to do so for generations (eg: Psalm 106:7-8). The people of Canaan heard about the miracle and it terrified them (Joshua 2:9-10; 9:9). Those supposed boffins problems may be more moral than intellectual. Some of them dont want to deal with the implications of there being supernatural phenomena so they try to explain them away. The bible clearly presents a supernatural miraculous deliverance and even says that God acted like He did to prove His supernatural power (v 4 & 18).

Questions To Think About


1. Once again, the firstborn is given a special significance in 13:1. Why must every firstborn be consecrated to God? What does that represent? What is the purpose of the commemoration of the Passover (13:310)? Why is it a reminder that the law should be on their lips (13:9)? The Israelites are told to redeem every firstborn among their sons. What must they do to redeem them? Why is sacrifice needed for redemption?
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2.

3.

4. 5. 6. 7.

How will the meaning of the Passover be passed on to each generation (13:14-16)? What things do we do as Christians which need to be explained to the next generation? Why doesnt God take the Israelites the shortest way out of Egypt (13:17)? How do the Israelites know which way to go (13:21-22)? Why do you think God gave them this visible sign of his presence with them? Why doesnt God give us a similar visible sign of his presence with us? What do we have instead? What does Pharaoh worry about after the Israelites have gone (14:5)? What does he decide to do? What is God going to do (14:3-4)? Are the Israelites pleased to have been rescued from Egypt (14:1012)? Why not?

8.

9.

10. How does Moses reassure them? How has his faith developed over the events of Exodus 2-14? 11. What is the purpose of the Red Sea crossing (14:15-18)? What do the Egyptians think about the Israelites God (14:23-25)? What do the Israelites think (14:29-31)? 12. Think back over all the events of Exodus 1-14. What has God shown about himself through this? What is the appropriate response to this God? 13. Once again, God rescues his people. How do the events of the Red Sea help us to understand Gods salvation of his people through Christ?
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2nd December - Exodus 15:1-21


What is the most natural way of celebrating what God has done for you? Well maybe its what Moses and his sister Miriam did, sing a song! We might think that the words wouldnt sound right in one of our songs or hymns that we sing at church, but it speaks real truth about God which makes it a good one!

Questions To Think About


1. 2. 3. Summarise everything that the Israelite people have been through in the last few months. The Israelites response to all this is to sing songs of praise to God. What actions of God do they praise? What aspects of Gods character do they praise? How have these been shown in the events of Exodus so far?
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4.

In the first part of the song, the focus is on the individual (15:1-2) but in the later part of the song, it shifts to the community (15:1318). In what ways is their salvation individual and in what ways is it corporate? What are the Israelites looking forward to in this song (15:13-18)? What actions do we have to praise God for? Should we praise God for his acts of judgement? Can we praise God for the same aspects of his character? What other aspects of God should we praise him for? Should our praise be individual or corporate? How do we balance the two? What things do we have to look forward to?

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

10. Could we sing Exodus 15:1-18 in church? Why or why not? What can we learn from it about the purpose of our worship songs? 11. What do you want to praise God for today?

A Model Hymn Or Song?


Question 10 above asks if we could sing these words in church. It might feel weird to be singing about God crushing horses and riders etc. However there is something important to learn about what were doing when we sing together in Church. Were not just singing praise vertically up to God; there is a horizontal aspect where we sing to each other about God. This encourages us about the truth were singing. This song has the horizontal and the vertical and it alternates between the two. eg v1: I will sing to the LORD for he is highly exalted etc...(horizontal). v6: Your right hand, O Lord, was majestic in power etc... (vertical). Both are important and we have balanced songs! Maybe see which are in focus in our worship together this Sunday!

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