Many years pass from the end of Joseph's life to the beginning of the next era of the Old Testament, EXODUS. During those years the Israelite people live in Egypt, growing in number. Due to the passage of time, a pharaoh comes into power who knows nothing of Joseph. He likely knows very little about how or why the Israelite people came to live in Egypt. In the intervening time, the Israelites have been forced into slavery to the Egyptian people. Their work is hard and they cry out to the Lord for deliverance. Hearing their cry for help, God sets into motion His plan to deliver them out of their bondage.
Moses is the person God chooses to lead His people out of slavery. This week's reading recounts Moses' birth, calling, and preparation by the Lord for the task ahead of him. The preservation of Moses' life as a baby has a miraculous element to it. His calling involves the Lord speaking to Moses from a burning bush. He is given powerful signs to do before the Israelite people in order to prove his calling from the Lord. As their slavery and oppression become more severe, God promises to deliver them from the Egyptians and to return them to their home in Promised Land. God tells them, "I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians... I will redeem you with an outstretched arm" (Exodus 6:6). Through Moses' obedience to God and his leadership of the people, God is on the verge of saving the Israelites.
FOR THIS WEEK'S SERMON OVER EXODUS 3, LISTEN BELOW:
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FAMILY INGREDIENT: IDENTITY
After a miraculous deliverance, baby Moses grows up in the palace with Pharaoh's daughter. As an adult, he begins to understand the cruelty of the Israelites’ slavery. After murdering an Egyptian overseer who is abusing an Israelite, Moses flees to Midian to escape punishment. God calls Moses to lead His people out of slavery. Moses sees himself as unsuitable for the job, likely to fail, and possibly be killed. God knows the truth. With God's help, Moses can accomplish this seemingly impossible assignment. Moses resists, "Who am I?" he says. God answers a different question; He introduces Himself as the great I AM. "Look at Me and My power!" What our children believe about themselves, good or bad, is powerful. Different voices and sources will falsely label our children. The family ingredient of Identity is crucial. Our job is to counteract lies with the truth of who they are in God's eyes.
- How did God appear to Moses?
- What did God instruct Moses to do in His presence and why?
- What was Moses’ assignment? Why did Moses refuse at first?
- Who did God say He was? (see vs. 14) What do you think that means?
- When Moses thought about his own abilities, how did he feel about himself? When God thought about Moses working together with Him, what did He know was true?
- When we remember what God thinks and says about us, how will that change how we view ourselves?
Craft Idea: Search Pinterest "God made me special"
Toddler/Preschool Book Resource: God Made Just One by Bonnie Jenson
Psalm 139:1-14 beautifully describes how God created us. He knit us together. He never forgets us. He is never far away. Starting in infancy we can speak these life-giving words to our children. There will be times when angry words and harsh names will be thrown at them. Read and discuss this passage as a protection against lies. We are part of our child's defense system; God's presence with skin, reassuring and upholding them. May our words never support ugly lies that cut down our children, but always be in line with God's truths! Our children must know that their identity is not in their looks, friends, activities, or anything of this world. Furthermore, we must pray, as parents, that our children will realize that we are all sinners due to humanity's fall. That is why we need a Savior, Jesus. We can share with them the amazing truth that through Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection, we can be born again. Pray for this day of rejoicing!
- Is there a promise in which to trust or rest? When God revealed Himself through the burning bush, He called Moses to be His messenger to Pharaoh to release His people. This call scared Moses.
- Do you feel like God has placed a specific calling on your life?
- Do you feel unqualified for what God is calling you to do? Have you been arguing with God over your calling qualifications? If so, remember Moses. Remember that God’s call on you is ultimately not about you. It’s about Him.
- Are you willing for God to use your weakness to show how impressive He is?