Sunday, October 3, 2021

Posted on Oct 01 2021

Exodus 2–4 God Appears to Moses

Bible Background: The book of Genesis ends with the family of Jacob, reunited in Egypt (having gone there because of famine, where Joseph ended up in power.) The book of Exodus begins on a hard note: a different Pharoah; afraid that the Hebrew people will become too numerous; harsh slavery; a death sentence for Hebrew baby boys; and the heroic effort to safe one of those babies-Moses! Moses is adopted by the princess of Egypt-how ironic? Moses knows the suffering of the people, but has committed manslaughter and has to flee Egypt. God knows the suffering of the people, and will not rescue them without help! Moses will be one of those main ‘helpers’.

Digging Deeper: 1. In the scene with the burning bush, Moses is curious, and God gets Moses’ attention! How might curiosity be a key part of our faith in God?

2. God speaks out of the burning bush, and Moses wants to know God’s name. The response “YHWH” (usually Yahweh in English), is wonderful and mysterious. It means something like: “I Am who I Am”, or “I will be who I am.” (The Hebrew verb is “to be”.) This becomes the most holy and personal name for God in the Bible, so that devout Jews would not even speak the name Yahweh aloud. (In most English Bibles, when you see LORD in all caps, that’s where the name Yahweh appears.)

3. Yahweh hears the cries of the Hebrews who are suffering terribly in Egypt. What does this tell you about God? About slavery? As the stories of Exodus unfold, we learn that it will take time for the people to be freed, and even more time for them to become a somewhat organized and settled nation of people. All along the way, God and Moses are with them: leading them; providing for them; teaching and shaping them; sometimes just tolerating them!

4. Moses (larger than life in the Bible and on the movie screen), is not exactly a willing servant/leader. Eight times in three chapters, he makes excuses about why he can’t do this job that God needs him to do. He even asks God to “please, send someone else!” Each time, God responds to those excuses and concerns, and promises to be with Moses. What gives us some sense of God’s presence when we have difficult tasks to do or roles to play in serving in God’s world?