The Big Picture
The Exodus, Video discussion
(Instead of doing a Bible study, this week watch the episode on the Exodus from The Bible miniseries. It is the first half of the episode.)
In addition to standard icebreaker questions, answer the question, "What is one of the happiest moments of your life?"
Introduction (before the video)
Study 2 was about Abraham, a man God said would become a great nation that would bless the world. Abraham's descendants moved to Egypt during years of drought and famine, and grew to be a large group of people. They were so large the Egyptians worried they would take over, so they forced them into slavery. This video is the story of how God brought Abraham's people (called the nation of Israel) out of slavery. As you watch, make note of questions you have.
1. Who were the main characters in the story?
Moses, Pharaoh, God, the Israelites, the Egyptians
2. What was life like for the Israelites?
They were slaves, so it wasn’t good at all! They had lost hope and wondered why God abandoned them.
3. Why do you think Moses went back to Egypt, even when he knew he was wanted for killing a man?
God spoke to him in the burning bush, and he had faith in what God said. In the Bible, we see that Moses actually argues with God, saying that he must have the wrong guy because he wasn’t special. But God reminds him that it won’t be Moses doing the work, but God through Moses.
4. What happened when Moses went back to Egypt?
He came and told the Israelites that God told him he was going to free them. Then he went to Pharaoh and asked him to let the Israelites go. Pharaoh refused, so God sent plagues to show His power.
It was a little unclear in the movie, but he sent 10 plagues, starting with turning all the water in the land into blood. Then He sent a plague of frogs, gnats, flies, killed the livestock, boils, hail, locusts, and darkness. Each plague coincided with one of the Egyptian gods to show that their gods were powerless compared to the God of Israel. In between each plague, Moses would go to Pharaoh and ask him to let the Israelites go, but Pharaoh kept refusing. Finally, God warned Pharaoh that the last plague would be the worst-every firstborn son in all of Egypt would die. But Pharaoh refused, so God told Moses to prepare. (The firstborn son of the Pharaoh was very important, because he would be the heir to the throne. They viewed the firstborn son as a sign of their god’s ongoing presence with them. So to take away the firstborn son showed that the God of Israel was more powerful.
5. But God told Moses that there was a way to be saved from the death that was coming. What was it?
Anyone who took the blood of a lamb and smeared it around the door of their house would be saved. They would then eat the lamb for a special meal and prepare to leave Egypt. If you’ve ever heard of the Passover, this is the Jewish holiday where they remember this meal and time in Israel’s history. It is called the Passover because God passed over the houses with lambs blood. (People may ask questions and think this was very unfair, and in all honesty, its hard to answer why God did it this way. But it may be helpful to share that the Egyptians could have followed these instructions too, but most chose not to. [This is also a great chance to point out the similarity between Jesus and the Passover lamb…we call Jesus the lamb because he was our sacrifice for our sins, and because he shed his blood, we were forgiven as the Israelites were passed over. He was even crucified during the Passover festival]
6. What happened next?
Many people died and Pharaoh finally let the Israelites go. But, he changed his mind after they left and chased after them. Seeing that they were trapped between the Egyptian army and the sea, Moses prayed to God, and God parted the Red Sea so that they could pass to safety, and then drowned the Egyptians once the Israelites made it to the other side.
7. Why do you think Pharaoh didn’t keep chasing the Israelites?
He was scared to, because he saw the power of the God of Israel! The Bible talks about how people all over the Middle East were terrified of the Israelites after this event for hundreds of years afterwards because they heard how their God had parted the Red Sea.
8. Why do you think Moses obeyed God throughout this story? (Because many times, God asked him to do crazy things…)
He had faith in God. (What did God say to Moses over and over?- I am with you!) Moses believed that God was powerful and that He was with them. God promised to set them free and Moses believed that promise.
9. What do you think this story is supposed to teach us about God?
God is powerful to do all things, and is faithful to fulfill His promises. When you trust him and obey, it is the best thing you can do! We also see that he cares about His people and acts in order to help them.
10. Do you have any other questions?
The story of the exodus is important in the big picture because it is the first time you see God revealing his power to the Israelites. They go from being a group of slaves to being God's chosen people, a special nation. Their freedom reminds us of the freedom God offers.
We live in a broken world full of sin, but God wants to free us from brokeness and give us new life. He offers that freedom through Jesus. Sometimes Jesus is called the "greater version of Moses" because he leads us out of slavery (to sin).