A non-Christian friend asks you how you square belief in God with the existence of suffering. What do you say?
Break into four groups. One group should take each of the following passages:
Answer these questions and then feed them back:
What’s going on?
How is the suffering described?
How does God redeem the suffering?
By the time we get to chapter 3, the people have been groaning for 400 years (Genesis 15:13) and Moses is 80 years old (Exodus 7:7), what does this teach us about how God works His salvation?
God is seldom mentioned in chapters 1 and 2, would it be fair to describe Him as ‘silent’ or ‘absent’ at this time?
Notice the verbs used of God in v24-25. What are they? What do they tell us about God’s relationship to His suffering people?
In chapter 3, the God who may have seemed very distant shows up in a powerful way.
Read Exodus 3:1-22
What do you think the burning bush symbolizes?
Think of the significance of plants (e.g. the vine) and of fire and furnaces (e.g. Deut 4:20). Perhaps read Psalm 80 to see how Israel, the vine, suffering, fire and the Son of God relate.
“Him who dwells in the bush” is a title for the LORD (Deuteronomy 33:16). What are the other titles for this Person? (v2,4,6,14) What do each of these titles tell us?
What does it tell us that 'The Angel' is found in the midst of the bush in flames of fire?
Note the verbs again in verses 7-9 and 16-17: How does the LORD relate to the suffering of His people?
How does the great I AM use His power in this chapter?
We have seen in chapters 1 and 2 how the LORD redeems/works-through/transforms the suffering of the people. In what ways do we see that here?
Compare this rescue to the great I AM’s rescue in the New Testament. What are the similarities?
What do we learn about the Lord Jesus and His Father from these chapters?
What do we learn about God and suffering?