November 7, 2019
Last night we spent another night in the book of Exodus. We had looked at God’s rescue of Israel from the land of Egypt the week prior, so this week we spent some time focusing on the Mosaic Law. We tried to answer the questions: Why does God create the 10 commandments? And, Why is it so important that God dwell in the midst of His people?
After talking about the grumbling of the Israelites (see Exodus chapters 16 and 17), and God’s providence to provide both bread from heaven, and water from a rock for them, He institutes the 10 commandments. We listed out the 10 commandments, which the students were very familiar with. Upon further study of the commandments, we found that they were grouped into two main sections: The first 4 focused on Loving God, and the last 6 focused on Loving Others. We talked about how God creates order out of chaos, and that these commands do the same. They give order to the new nation of Israel, and ultimately they help Israel to keep their eyes on God, and to love others as God would have them, setting them apart from the other nations. In Exodus 24:7, the Israelites agree to the commands of God, and say that they will keep them. THEN, only 8 chapters later, they break their word and build/worship a golden calf!
At this point, God has every right to strike them down. But He does not. He disciplines them, but He holds fast to the promise He had made to Abraham… He says that He will give this “stiff necked” people the land of Canaan by sending an Angel to go before them. But here’s the important part… Moses in Exodus 33:15-16 says that He WILL NOT GO without the Lord in their presence. Moses realizes the desperate need that the he and his people have for God. In order for God to do this, He must not only forgive the Israelites for their idolatry, but He must make a way to cleanse them from their sin. In Exodus 34:6-10, God accepts Moses’ plea on behalf of his people, and passes before Moses, proclaiming that He is a merciful and gracious God who will make a way for sinners! WHAT GOOD NEWS! Despite Israel’s sin, God states that He WILL dwell in their midst, and go before them, leading the way to the promised land.
Just like it was for the Israelites, it is essential that God be in the center of our lives. Here’s some questions as you recap with your students about what we talked about last night:
- In what ways do you find yourself grumbling like the Israelites? What do you think is the root cause of your grumbling?
- What are the ways that God has provided for you today? How can you turn your grumbling into praise?
- How does God become a central part of your life? What can you do to make Him central?
- Why does it matter so much that God be central in your life?
- Does your life look different than a non-christian life? How so? Why should we care to be different than the world?
With you and for you in Christ.