Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Exodus 3:1-14 1
1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” 4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God. 7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

moses_burning_bush_bysantine_mosaicBackground 2

Exodus is one of the first 5 books of the Old Testament called ‘the Pentateuch’. It was the Greek translation that gave this book its name ‘Exodus’, meaning ‘to go out’. God helped the Israelites ‘to go out’ from Egypt. The book is in two parts:

  1. Chapters 1-18: the first part of Moses’ life; the Israelites’ troubles in Egypt; the events and the plagues that led the Israelites to leave Egypt.
  2. Chapters 19-40: how God gave the Law to Moses; how they built the special holy tent (Tabernacle); the rules for worship.

Moses was the most important person in all these events. Moses’ name appears 804 times in the Bible. It appears in the books of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Numbers 12:3 describes Moses as ‘a very humble man. He was more humble than anyone else on the earth’. But Moses was also a great leader. He had great courage and he had a very close relationship with God.

Exodus, emphasizes that God is holy. He looks after his people but he is separate from them. The Israelites had to stay away from Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:12). Not even Moses could see God himself (Exodus 33:18-20). They used many objects when they worshipped God. And each of those objects was special and holy. Each thing reminded the Israelites that nobody should approach God in a careless way. God expected his people to be holy. ‘Be holy, because I, the LORD your God, am holy’ (Leviticus 19:2). God’s 10 commandments and the other rules are in Exodus chapters 20-23. They show what God demands from his people. He wants moral behavior all the time in people’s ordinary lives. He loves and he forgives. Also he acts to punish sin (Exodus 34:5-7). People gained a more complete knowledge about God when Jesus came to earth. Jesus showed us what God is like (John 1:14 and 14:9).

Biblical Truth 3

Verse 1 Moses was looking after the sheep that belonged to his wife’s father. During this time, God was preparing him for his new task. The mountain called Horeb was part of the mountains in the region called Sinai.

Verse 2 ‘Angel’ means ‘someone who takes messages’. ‘The LORD’s angel’ means that God was there.

Verses 2-3 Fire is very powerful and it makes things pure. So ‘fire’ was a suitable sign for God. It showed that God was present. God had come to talk to Moses.

Verse 4 God called Moses twice because he wanted to say something important to Moses.

Verse 5 The ground was holy because God was present. So Moses had to remove his shoes. That showed that he respected God.

Verse 6 God spoke about himself to Moses. God described himself as ‘your father’s God’. Some people translate that as ‘the God of your fathers’. God was telling Moses who he was. He was different from the false gods that the Egyptians worshipped. God had made a promise to Abraham when he left his home (Genesis 12:1-3). God also made a promise to Isaac and Jacob (Genesis 26:23-25 and 28:1-15). And God would take Moses back to the country that Jacob had left. God had promised Abraham that his people would live in that country.

Verse 7 repeats the words from Exodus 2:24-25. God heard the Israelites’ when they cried for him to help them. He saw what was happening to them. He cared about their miserable lives. So God decided to rescue them.

Verses 8-10 God spoke to Moses. ‘It is a rich country with plenty of milk and plenty of honey’. Those words were a promise that there was plenty to eat. Milk would come from their sheep and their goats. The people would have milk to drink. And they could make butter and cheese. In Jeremiah 32:22 and Ezekiel 20:6 we read the same words to describe the country. They describe a successful life for people who wandered about with their sheep and their goats.

Verses 11-12 In the past Moses thought that he could help his people (Exodus chapter 2). Now he protested to God that he could not do that task. And God did not deny Moses’ protest. But God promised that he would always be with Moses. God may ask someone to do a special task. But he promises that they will never be alone.

Verses 13-14 Abraham and the Israelites called God ‘El Shaddai’. That means the All-powerful God (Genesis 17:1). The people would want to know who had sent Moses. Who is that God and what is he like?

Items for Discussion

  • What do you conclude about the nature of our God from these verses?
  • Why do you think God so often chooses to use ordinary people for His great works?
  • What do you think qualified Moses for the task ahead?
  • When Moses lacked confidence, God provided assistance—How does God do that today for us?

 

Acts 4:13-20
13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.” 18 Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Background 4

Most people agree that Luke wrote Acts. In Acts, Luke told how the good news about Jesus Christ spread. It spread to the world beyond Jerusalem. Luke was a Gentile and a doctor (Colossians 4:14). He worked with Paul and he travelled with Paul (Philemon 1:24). Luke was very careful about what he wrote. He knew that some things were true. And he wrote only those things. At the beginning of his Gospel, he wrote this. ‘You have heard many things. I am writing this account so that you will know the truth about them’ (Luke 1:4). In Acts, he continued with this account.

Luke was travelling with Paul. Luke wrote about what happened during that time (Acts 16:10-17; 20:5-21:18; 27:1-28:16). In these verses, he used ‘we’ instead of ‘they’ or ‘he’. So, we know that Luke was there at those times.
After Luke had arrived in Jerusalem (Acts 21:17), he stayed in Judea. He stayed there for two years. Then he left to travel to Rome (Acts 27:1). He went to Rome with Paul. While Luke was in Judea, he probably spoke to other witnesses. They told him about the other events that he describes.

We look to Acts for proof of Christ’s resurrection. (1-5) Christ’s ascension. (6-11) The apostles unite in prayer. (12-14) Matthias chosen in the place of Judas. (15-26)

Bible Truth 5

Peter being filled with the Holy Ghost, would have all to understand, that the miracle had been wrought by the name, or power, of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, whom they had crucified; and this confirmed their testimony to his resurrection from the dead, which proved him to be the Messiah. These rulers must either be saved by that Jesus whom they had crucified, or they must perish for ever. The name of Jesus is given to men of every age and nation, as that whereby alone believers are saved from the wrath to come. But when covetousness, pride, or any corrupt passion, rules within, men shut their eyes, and close their hearts, in enmity against the light; considering all as ignorant and unlearned, who desire to know nothing in comparison with Christ crucified. And the followers of Christ should act so that all who converse with them, may take knowledge that they have been with Jesus. That makes them holy, heavenly, spiritual, and cheerful, and raises them above this world. All the care of the rulers is, that the doctrine of Christ spread not among the people, yet they cannot say it is false or dangerous, or of any ill tendency; and they are ashamed to own the true reason; that it testifies against their hypocrisy, wickedness, and tyranny.

Items for Discussion

  • Who in today’s world are motivated against the truth of Christ? People, groups, etc.
  • What do you think our response should be?
  • Where do you find the corrupt passion, the closed hearts, and the non-compassionate in today’s world?
  • Why is it that we should not get discouraged?

Discussion Challenge

  • Why is our personal testimony so important in building and maintaining the kingdom of God?
Share