Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Great People of the Bible Week #5- Moses

Some people can't stay out of trouble. When conflict breaks out, they always manage to be nearby. Reaction is their favorite action. This was Moses. He seemed drawn to what needed to be righted. Throughout his life, he was at his finest and his worst responding to the conflicts around him. Even the burning bush experince was an illustration of his character. Having spotted the fire and seen that the bush did not burn, he had to investigate. Whether jumping into a fight to defend a Hebrew slave or trying to referee a struggle between two kinsmen, when Moses saw conflict, he reacted.

Over the years, however, an amazing thing happened to Moses' character. He didn't stop reacting, but rather learned to react correctly. The daily leading of some two million people in the desert was more than enough challenge for Moses' reacting ability. Much of the time he served as a buffer between God and the people. At one moment he had to respond to God's anger at the people's stubborness and forgetfulness. At another moment he had to react to the peoples bickering and complaining. At still another moment he had to react to their unjustified attacks on his character.

In Moses we see an outstanding personality shaped by God gave him confidence in his plan and He took Moses and molded him to do what God wanted him to be.

"I'd rather not get involved." That does not sound like the one who came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. But that was his first reaction. And God persuaded him to get involved.

Read Exodus 3:1-10
-What emotions might have come to Moses in this desolate place?
-What might the passage convey by the mysterious phenomenon of the burning bush?
-Many people feel that remote settings disorient them and make them feel detached from their roots or even from God. If this was Moses' feeling, how doe this message from God reassure him? Does he seem to feel reassured?

Read Exodus 3:11-15
-Moses begins a series of objections to the mission God has for him. There are two in this chapter and two in the next. Do you think the objection of verse 11 indicated modesty or cowardice? Does God answer to him provide any immediate assurance?
-Do you think self-confidence is determined by one's personality, circumstances, family upbringing, or something more? Are there clues in this passage to the confidence Moses had?
-How do verses 13-15 pull together past, present, and future in God's relationship to his people?

Read Exodus 3:16-22
-How does this scenario illustrate the faithful presence of the Lord that the earlier verses have implied?
-What characteristics of God are displayed in chapter 3? Describe each.

Read Exodus 4:1-9
-Moses third objection raises a problem with implementing God's plan. Would this problem occur today?
-The signs in verse 2-9 each confronted and Egyptian superstion: the snake was on Pharaoh's own crown, leprosy was considered a curse and the Nile River was regarded as almost divine. Moses would show that God's power triumphs easily over all human powers. Today you would have a different list of "sacred" superstitions and treasures. Make a list of the ones you think God might use today.
-Do you think Christians need evidence of God's reality today? Explain.

Read Exodus 4:10-17
-Objection #4. What this speach issue a real problem or simply a baseless worry by Moses?
-What is the link between our natural talents and the tasks God gives us? Do you think God matches our mission to our talent?
-If Moses were interviewed for the job of leading the Israelites out of Egypt, what would his strong and weak points be? Do you think he was a "natural" leader?
-Think of the hardest thing you believe God wants you do do. Does your experience match Moses'? Which gifts and talents do you think you need in order to take the next step in your own mission?

Next week-Deborah


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