Exodus 4-7 Bible Study
In chapters 1-2, how was God at work through the suffering of the Israelites?
Every hardship was turned by the LORD into some kind of blessing:
1:1-14 – they multiplied under oppression;
1:15-22 – the midwives were blessed for helping the Israelites;
2:1-10 – Moses was saved by being cast into the Nile;
2:11-25 – Moses fled Egypt but found a wife.
In chapter 3, what was the LORD’s response to the suffering of the Israelites?
The LORD comes down to rescue them from the Egyptians with a mighty hand and bring them out to a land flowing with milk and honey.
Moses and His Calling
Moses is a reluctant leader to say the least. How does he react to God’s call and what then is God’s response?
|Moses’ reaction||God’s response|
Who am I??
I will be with you
Who are you??
I AM WHO I AM
What if they don’t listen?
I’m a poor speaker!
Who gave man his mouth? I’ll help!
Please send someone else!
Burning anger – provides brother
Thinking back over Moses’ life, why do you think he might have been reluctant to ‘take up the reins’?
He’d tried to save his people before (Ex 2:11ff; cf Acts 7:25) and it ended in total failure and 40 year exile!
How would you characterize God’s response to those who resist His call?
Patient, reassuring, equipping, but in the end our resistance deserves anger. Even so our disobedience doesn’t thwart God – He always has His own ways (eg Aaron).
Are there areas of service God has called you to and for which you feel unprepared? What do these verses say to us?
We haven’t got time to go over these verses but people may have questions, especially about vv24-26. If they are raised, here’s my best stab at those verses:
- Moses was about to lead the nation of Israel and declare God’s word
- Yet he’d not been leading his household properly nor keeping God’s word
- He should have circumcised his boys or been cut off himself. (Gen 17:10-14)
- The LORD has sacraments (external signs of His gospel) in both testaments:
- In the OT: circumcision and Passover; In the NT: baptism and Lord’s Supper
- The LORD clearly takes these outward signs seriously and so should we.
- Moses is shown yet again to be a very flawed and weak vessel!
- Verse 26 reveals the nature of circumcision: “Bridegroom of blood”
- The LORD pledges Himself to us in blood as our true Bridegroom.
- Circumcision is the sign of this and the LORD wants us to honour His signs.
- As an analogy: being careless with your wedding ring will anger your spouse!
Read Exodus 5:1-23
Any idea how old Moses and Aaron are as they address the most powerful man in the world? (Have a guess – the answer is in chapter 7:7)
80 and 83 respectively
How did their demands sound to Pharaoh’s ears?
First of all, absolutely ridiculous (v2). Then as cover for idleness (v4ff)
Later, when the Israelites were rescued and living in the wilderness with the LORD, they would reminisce about their time in Egypt: “we sat round pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted” (Ex 16:3). But what are their conditions really like as described in this chapter?
Labour, work (v4)
“don’t reduce the quota, They are lazy, that’s why they’re crying out” (v8)
“Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working” (v9)
“Your work will not be reduced at all” (v11)
The people scattered (v12)
The slave drivers kept pressing them (v13)
The Israelite foremen were beaten (v14)
“Lazy, that’s what you are, Lazy!” (v17)
They were in trouble (v19)
“We are a stench to Pharaoh” (v21)
Jesus said that we are naturally slaves to sin (John 8:34ff). How is this chapter a good description of that slavery too?
Egypt is the place where harsh taskmasters make you work harder and harder for less and less. And even as you do more and more, you are branded as idle. Our bondage to sin and Satan is just like this. We chase after moving targets and never get the verdict we’re looking for.
Under pressure, the Israelites would later re-imagine their life in Egypt as ‘a land of milk and honey’ (Num 16:3). Are you tempted to think of non-Christian life as ‘the good old days’? What should we remind ourselves of?
Let’s read about the LORD’s response…
Read Exodus 6:1-12
When someone vows “I will” over and over again, what does it bring to mind?
Find all the “I will”s in verses 6-8. What are the promises attached to these “I will”s?
I will BRING you out (v6)
I will FREE you (v6)
I will REDEEM you (v6)
I will TAKE you (v7)
I will BE your God (v7)
I will BRING you (v8)
I will GIVE it to you (v8)
Are there any conditions attached to these promises?
None! The LORD WILL do it!
How were these promises received at the time?
V9: the people are too discouraged to hear
v12: Moses is unbelieving again!
What is the point of declaring promises to discouraged and disbelieving people?
It shows us what kind of God the LORD is! The promise making God! And He will declare His marriage-like promises even over completely unresponsive people.
We know that Jesus is our LORD and Bridegroom and He has promised us salvation through His mighty redemption from sin and Satan. But sometimes we can be too weighed down with sin or suffering to really hear His word of promise.
Split up into pairs and spend a couple of minutes discussing a current struggle you have with sin or suffering. In what ways do you feel the oppression of chapter 5?
Then take it in turns to read out Ex 6:6-8 to one another – personalizing it if you like:
`I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of ________. I will free you from being slaves…, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own… and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of ________. 8 And I will bring you to the land [of promise]. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.'
Pray for each other.