LEADERS STUDY GUIDE THROUGH EXODUS

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1 LEADERS STUDY GUIDE THROUGH EXODUS Small Group Leader, Thanks for joining us in the study of EXODUS: The God You Thought You Knew. Every group member will need a workbook to work through and encourage each group member to do the homework each week. INSTRUCTIONS FOR GROUP MEMBERS You will notice in the table of contents (page 3) Introduction to Exodus which some instructions on how to proceed and an overview of the study. That page also includes the page numbers for the seven lessons you will be studying. When you go to week 1 for example (page 7) the title describes the focus of the week; WHO IS YAHWEY? It also shows the section of scripture where you will be studying and Week at a Glance which lays out the five days. You will notice that even though the lesson is Exodus 1-4 the passage for the week is Exodus 3:1-15. Encourage group members to read all four chapters and then complete the lessons for each day. The group will achieve the greatest benefit and you will have a better group discussion if everyone reads through all the chapters of Exodus for the week and then focus on central passage that will be completed in the 5 day study. As you gather in your small group, this Leader Study Guide is designed to help guide your group through the material they completed on their own during the week. Don t be discouraged if some in your group do not complete their homework. Encourage them, but don t make them feel bad for not completing their homework. Do all you can so that they don t lose heart and quit attending altogether. I am praying for you as you begin this study and am expecting God to use this study to grow your group spiritually. Serving with you, Ed Wilgus

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3 INTRODUCTION FIRST MEETING HAND OUT THE EXODUS STUDY GUIDE to each group member. Review the INSTRUCTIONS FOR GROUP MEMBERS in the cover letter to this Leaders Study Guide. Explain to the group how to use the workbook. THE GOD YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW Turn to page 8 and read the introduction to the study together. After reading, ask the following: 1. What has been your experience with people freely selecting their beliefs about God like grocery shopping in a supermarket? What dangers have you observed? GETTING OUR BEARINGS 2. Read Exodus 1:6-14. Describe the attitude of the king and how the Israelites were treated. 3. Read through the section Getting Our Bearings (page 8). Although the king of Egypt was ruthless to the point of killing babies, how do you see God at work in the story? How important was it that Moses life was spared? 4. Read Exodus 2: How might Moses have felt after trying to help his relatives, the Hebrews? What did Pharaoh try to do? What did Moses do? 5. Have you ever felt misunderstood like Moses who had to run for his life for doing what was right? Or have you felt like the Israelites who cried out to God but didn t see any answers? What attitude about God have you struggled with? What prayer are you waiting for God to answer? Take some time to pray for each other. Encourage the group to complete the 5-day study and be prepared to discuss next week.

4 WEEK 1 WHO IS YAWHEH? Exodus 1-4 THE GOD WHO CALLS Read the introduction to Day 2 (page 9). 1. Read Exodus 3:1-6. Why might the Israelites doubt God s promises (page 10)? 2. Why would God want to remind Moses of who he is (page 10)? THE GOD WHO CARES (page 11) 3. Read Exodus 3:7-12. How did God refer to the Israelites in verse 10? What does God intend to do? What does God promise? 4. What do you learn about God in this story? THE GOD WHO IS (pages 13&14) 5. Read Exodus 3: When asked who is sending me what name does God give Moses? 6. What does the name I Am imply about God s existence and attributes? What should our response be? 7. As you consider the challenges you face in your life, what do you take away from this story?

5 WEEK 2 GOD JUDGES Exodus 5-11 WHO IS THE LORD THAT I SHOULD OBEY HIM? Read the introduction (page 18). When reading through Exodus, God is the name for the all-powerful creator (Genesis 1) and LORD is the name implying surrender and obedience. LORD simply means, boss, the one in control. 1. What about you? How would you answer pharaoh s question? 2. Read Exodus 6:1-12 (page 20). According to verses 6-8, what is God promising to do? How is He planning to do it? 3. What is the response from the Israelites in verse 9? How does Moses feel according to verse 12? Can you relate to Moses doubt in your own life? If so, how? 4. Read Exodus 7:8-13. God is about to show His supreme power over Pharaoh and his magicians. Imagine the ten plagues being a challenge to the gods the Egyptians worshiped, why would attacking the Egyptian gods be an effective means of convincing them of God s supremacy? How important was this for the Israelites who believed in the Egyptian god s? 5. Of the ten plagues, which one would be most difficult? The most convincing that God should be obeyed? How has God got your attention in challenging circumstances? 6. Exodus 9:16 says, But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. God demonstrated His supreme power through Moses who obeyed Him. God demonstrated His power through Pharaoh whose heart was hardened toward God resulting in the ten blows over the gods of Egypt. God will accomplish His work on earth and you can obey God like Moses or stand against God like Pharaoh. As you reflect on this week s study, answer this question. Who is the LORD that you should obey Him?

6 WEEK 3 GOD REDEEMS Exodus Read Getting Our Bearings (page 30). Do you find yourself questioning God s action that brought death to so many on the night? 2. Read Exodus 12:1-3. What were the instructions for how the Passover should be observed? 3. What parallel do you see in the Passover and redemption through Jesus Christ? 4. Our society rightly condemns the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Europe, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Hutus in Rwanda, and ISIS in the Middle East. In the mind of some people, why would you then worship the God of Exodus 12? Do we clearly understand God s actions in judgment? 5. Read Exodus 12:12-13, (page 33). (page 34) What was the blood a sign of? What would have happened to an Israelite who did not opt in? What do you think would have happened to an Egyptian who did? 6. We cannot allow cultural influences to convince us that we have the right to judge Gods actions. We are wrong to think that our judgment will necessarily reflect that of the creator. You may be offended by God s judgment of sin until you are sinned against. Then you might be offended by his forgiveness. Can you think of an example where that might be true? 7. Read Exodus 13:14-16 (page 35). How has Jesus ultimately fulfilled the pattern set forth by God thousands of years before at the Passover? What do you glean from your reading through Exodus 12 this week that brings greater value to Jesus s death on the cross for all the sins of mankind?

7 WEEK 4 GOD DELIVERS Exodus Read the Introduction to Day 2 An Ominous Cloud (page 40). The Israelites witnessed the awesome power of God when He rescued them from Egyptian slavery. There were times of fear and times of great relief. But all-in-all they continued to struggle to trust and obey God. How do you find that to be true in your life? 2. Read Exodus 14: What was the response of the main characters? Israelites when they saw the Egyptian army? Moses when he saw the reaction of the Israelites? God when he saw Moses standing crying out to God? 3. The Israelites acted as if there were only two options: slavery or death. What were they failing to see? What had they failed to remember? How have you found this to be true in your journey in following Jesus? 4. Walls of water (page 42). What would it have been like to step foot on the now-dry ground, with a wall of water on either side of you? What kind of God brings this kind of salvation? 5. Read Exodus 14:19-25 (page 43). The angel of God is now in the form of a cloud pillar which was going before them and then moves behind them. This is the very presence of God leading and protecting them. What has God provided for us today to be like the cloud pillar of old? 6. Read Exodus 14:27-31 (page 44). How might you have felt as you saw the Egyptian army swallowed up by the sea and remembered all the events that had happened over the last several days? Would this be a moment of feeling free from slavery? What do you think? 7. The people feared the LORD and put their trust in Him. How does healthy fear in God result in greater faith and obedience?

8 WEEK 5 GOD PROVIDES Exodus Read the introduction to Testing and the abundant supply of water (page 49). How is testing from God similar or different from the kind of test you took in school? 2. Read Exodus 15:22-25a. What was the Israelites response? 3. How do you think you would have responded to a lack of water in the wilderness (page 50)? When we encounter difficult situations, do you ever think it is God who leads us there? What biblical reasons do you have for your answer? 4. Read Exodus 15:25b-26 (page 51). What point do you think God was trying to make in presenting them with this test? 5. Read Exodus 15:27-16:5 (page 52). What point do you think God was making with this test? What observations might you have about God s character in how He led the Israelites to these tests? How He responded when the Israelites grumbled and complained? 6. Read the last two paragraphs under Christ Connection (page 54). When experiencing testing, that is allowed by God, how do you respond? What have you learned about the faithfulness and grace of God?

9 WEEK 6 GOD INSTRUCTS Exodus Read introduction to Day 2: A treasured possession (page 58). God often uses the desert as a place to teach His people. It was in the desert that Moses heard God speak in the burning bush and now the Israelites are in the desert to hear from God. Why do you think God uses the desert as a classroom for His people? 2. Read Exodus 19:1-8. Of what does God remind them? What is the people s response? 3. God is a covenant making God He makes and keeps His promises. In Genesis 9 God promises Noah with a symbol of a rainbow that He will not flood the whole earth with water. In Genesis 12 God promises Abram to make his name great and he would become the father of a great nation. Both these covenants were unconditional, meaning God would do as promised whether the beneficiaries were faithful or not. But in Exodus 19, God is offering a conditional covenant if you will, I will Knowing the rest of the story, how did it workout for the Israelites did they keep their agreement? Did God keep His promises? 4. Read Exodus 20:1-11 (page 59). What does God remind them before He begins the commandments? Why? 5. The first 4 commandments were considered critical to their relationship with God. How would you summarize God s desire for priority as LORD, authority, provider, and protector? 6. Jesus summarized all the commandments into one statement in Mark 12: What are the benefits living under the New Covenant rather than the laws given to Moses? How does life in Christ, recipients of grace, cause you to be a worshiper of God?

10 WEEK 7 WHERE IS YAHWEH? Exodus Read the introduction Day 2: No other gods (page 66). Perceptions can be very deceiving. When the loving, providing, protecting God is eclipsed by neediness and feeling ignored and forgotten it causes one to experience negative emotions and to make bad choices. Can you think of a time when your negative feelings led you in the wrong direction? 2. Read Exodus 32:1-6, (page 67). How did the Israelites anger God? 3. Recall Moses during the first encounter with God at the burning bush in Exodus 3 (page 68). What has changed? In your opinion, what accounts for the dramatic transformation? 4. Read the last two paragraphs on page 68. How many of us would settle for safety, security, freedom and prosperity but not the presence of God? Would you be content with without God? 5. Read Exodus 35:4-10, (page 69). Why do you think God makes giving a matter of the heart rather than forcing it (page 70)? What does it say about God s character and His desire for us? 6. Read Exodus 40:17-38 (page 70). As the Tabernacle was completed, what filled it? What was the visible sign that God was truly with them? 7. 1 Corinthians 6:19 states that those who follow Jesus are now the dwelling place of God. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is peace. How would you describe the presence and peace of God in your life? Close Spend some time in prayer thanking God for His presence and peace and praying for each other to experience all God has for us this week.

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