- What did God promise Abraham in Genesis 15:12-14? What do we learn about God from this?
- In the final verses of Genesis, Joseph says to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Joseph speaks of a future exodus, a departure from a place. Where do you want God to lead you?
Exodus 1:7–14, Exodus 2:11–25
From which places are you trying to leave…or escape? To where will you go? From which places does God want to free you? To where does God want to lead? In Israel’s case, that place was “slavery, pain, and oppression.” Ruthless pain. Sometimes ruthless pain lasts for a long time. For God, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, but to those of us confined to the rising and the setting of the sun, unrelenting, ruthless oppression can twist and contort the fabric of our being. Exodus can teach us. God hears. God remembers. God sees. And God knows.
- What covenant promise did God remember between Himself and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? Recall Bible stories that back this up. What do you learn about God’s people from this? How do these promises apply to you and your current situation?
- Which key characters are named in Exodus 1:8-22? Who remains nameless? Why might this be important?
- Why did Pharaoh order the murdering of Israelite boys? Do you recall another story like this from the New Testament?
- As Egypt oppressed the Israelites, what happened to them? What happened to the early church when they were persecuted?
- It says in Exodus 2:11 that Moses saw his people’s burdens. What did he do about it? Why was it right? Why was it wrong?
- Moses finds himself in Exodus 2:15 at a well. Why is he there? What happens to him? Where are other instances of God doing specific things at wells in Scripture?
- Sometimes there is a tension between God knowing but not stopping our suffering. Why would God not stop our suffering if he can? What are some reasons God might allow suffering? Do we always know why? What are you suffering through right now that causes confusion?
- Knowing God’s ultimate good for us can help us to be encouraged in the “big picture,” but how can that help us in our day-to-day lives? Is it possible? How can we support one another through suffering?
Our lives are like the water that runs through riverbanks. At some point the water meets the sea. The race we run will have a finish line. Sometimes the water is peaceful, quiet and calm. We may be tempted to stay and camp in those areas and be content not to move on. Sometimes the river rushes fiercely or we go through dark ravines with little hope. We are tempted to despair. But the water moves on and on until reaching its end. What are you holding on to? What do you fear will never end? Remind yourself this week that all of this is temporary scenery on our way home. How can you use your painful experiences or current contentment to bless someone else?
Think of one small and measurable way you can help someone else experience the truth this week that God hears. God remembers. God sees. And God knows.