Cultural Chaos (Exodus 1-3, Psalm 105)
The current state of our situation is not the result of a few rash decisions or changes that happened overnight. When you consider the state of evangelicalism in the past few decades, why would we not assume that we were on the fast track to a post-Christian America? We, as evangelicals, have been too silent and passive. The problems at hand are above all else an attack against God, the creator of life and originator of marriage, and against His Word. It is an attempt to overthrow the King Himself. This is not the first time things have been this bad. Throughout history, people have tried to topple heaven’s regime.
Death of a Dynasty (Exodus 1:1-7)
It was the judgment of God in the first place that caused Israel to make their way to Egypt. The famine that plagued Israel’s homeland was from God’s hand, and was a direct result of their disobedience. Our spiritual climate today is a direct result of our disobedience. What we are experiencing today is the kind remedial judgment of a good God who desires us to turn away from our disobedience and respond in heartfelt repentance.
– How would you define remedial judgment? In what ways are we seeing God’s remedial judgment in our day?
Dark Days (Exodus 1:8-22)
The more the Israelites were afflicted by the Egyptians, the more they multiplied and spread out. The hand of God is evident even in Pharaoh’s harsh dealings with them. If there had been no oppression, it is very likely that the Israelites would have blended right into the Egyptian race, being content to adopt the local superstitions and idolatries, which they had already begun to do. Pharaoh paid no attention to the covenant that God had made with Israel: “Be fruitful and multiply… I will make you a great nation.” When life is taken from the pre-born, it is not against babies that war is being waged, but against God. Sin has a natural tendency to grow, both in severity and boldness. What Pharaoh once did in secret, just with the midwives, he later did openly, commanding “all His people” to kill all male babies.
– What are other examples in Scripture of situations where God used trials to ultimately bless His people?
– When sin is left undealt with and unrepented of, it will grow bolder and more severe. How are you cultivating a sensitive conscience to your own sin, even in its earliest stages?
Dawn of a Deliverer (Exodus 2:1-10)
God remarkably orchestrates all things, and He moves in mysterious ways. From a basket in the river, into the arms of a princess, and eventually into the courts of the king, Moses is a demonstration of the mysterious ways in which God exercises is complete control. The river Nile and the royal house were both subjected to God’s providence.
– How should a right understanding of God’s providence affect the way you view your current circumstances?
Deliverance Delayed (Exodus 2:11-22)
In an effort to free his people, Moses takes things into his own hands, and as a result there is another 40-year delay. He understands his role, but incorrectly understands how to carry it out. Though Moses was beginning to lose hope, the irony of the situation shows that God is still in control. Pharaoh was set on killing the boys, but God was using the women and the girls to preserve Moses’ life. Pharaoh assumed that it was the sons that posed the greatest threat, but he was unaware of Who exactly he was dealing with. It was God who was bringing about His perfect plan. There is no hope in a mere man like Moses, but there is hope in God.
– In what ways do we try to take things into our own hands when we find ourselves in a difficult situation? As you think of specific situations, what would it look like to trust God rather than trust in your own strength?
Desperate Desires (Exodus 23-25)
The Israelites sighed and groaned, crying out for help. God heard their groaning and remembered His covenant with them. He saw His children and took notice of them (Exodus 3:7-9). After 400 years of bondage, in the midst of terrible oppression, as a result of horrific genocide, when all hope turns into disappointment, when days are dark and deliverance seems to be only a dream, then the people turn to God and cry out to Him. What will it take for us? Are we hoping in out-populating the enemy? Are we thinking we can bring about change by outwitting them in our dealings? Are we expecting a political strategy to be the ultimate answer? What we need is for Him to hear us, to see us in our affliction, and to take notice of us.