Opening Questions & Prayer

  • When you were a child what was something you were afraid of?

  • What or who helped you overcome those fears or frightening moments?

  • As an adult, what or who helps you when you are afraid?

  • Who is one person that seems to calm you when things are not going right in life?

  • How does the world handle fear?

  • How should a follower of Jesus handle fear differently than someone who doesn’t?

    • What are some ways we fall short of this?

  • What are some ways we might let fear control us?

  • What role does the Lord play in helping you handle fear?

  • Pray for our country and world, especially the leaders.  Ask God to help them lead out of love and not fear. Pray for your family and friends who may be living in a state of fear with this pandemic paralyzing our world.  Ask God to give guidance and reassurance as you study His word together today.

 

 

Read Exodus 5:22-6:5

Exodus 5:22-6: (all verses are NLT unless otherwise noted)

22 Then Moses went back to the Lord and protested, “Why have you brought all this trouble on your own people, Lord? Why did you send me? 23 Ever since I came to Pharaoh as your spokesman, he has been even more brutal to your people. And you have done nothing to rescue them!”

6:1 Then the Lord told Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh. When he feels the force of my strong hand, he will let the people go. In fact, he will force them to leave his land!”

2 And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the Lord.’ 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. 4 And I reaffirmed my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. 5 You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians. And I am well aware of my covenant with them. 

 

  • What was Moses upset about?

  • How did the Lord respond?

  • Why does the Lord remind Moses of His names?

    • How would this bring comfort to Moses’ fears and frustrations?

  • Why did God use a different name with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob than he did with Moses?

  • What is the difference between “El-Shaddai” (God Almighty) and “Yahweh” (I Am Who I Am)?

  • What’s the difference between knowing about God and knowing God?

  • Read Job 42:1-6- 

1 Then Job replied to the Lord: 2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. 4  You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

  • How did Job’s view of God change?

  • What was the difference for Job in hearing about the Lord and then seeing Him with his own eyes?

  • How is the Lord taking the Israelites on that journey?

  • How is the Lord taking you on that journey?

  • What are some things you’ve heard about the Lord?

  • How are you getting to know Him personally?

    • How do His names help you know Him more personally?

  • Why does God remind Moses of His promises?

  • In the middle of your fear and uncertainty, how can you be reminded of God’s promises?

  • What promise are you clinging to now?

 

 

Read Exodus 6:6-8

Exodus 6:6-8

6 “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the Lord. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. 8 I will bring you into the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will give it to you as your very own possession. I am the Lord!’”

 

  • What doubts and fears did the Israelites have? 

  • How was the Lord addressing those fears and doubts in this passage?

  • How will the Israelites know if is the Lord who freed them from their slavery?

  • Why doesn’t God just fix everything in an instant for the Israelites?

    • What might they miss if God just fixes it?

  • Why doesn’t God instantly fix everything going wrong in your life?

  • What are some things you’ve learned about the Lord by going through hardships?

    • How have you grown in your faith during hard times?

 

 

Read James 2:2-4

James 2:2-4

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

 

  • Why does James tell his readers to consider troubles as an opportunity for great joy?

    • What does he mean by this?

  • How does God use hardships, trials, and troubles to strengthen our faith?

  • How was the Lord using the oppression the Israelites were going through to help grow their faith in Him?

    • What was coming after their slavery that the Israelites were going to need strong faith for?

  • What’s the difference between the Lord using our hardships to help us grow and the Lord causing our hardships?

 

 

Read Exodus 6:9

Exodus 6:9

9 So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said, but they refused to listen anymore. They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery. 

 

  • Why did the Israelites refuse to listen?

  • What are some things that may happen in people’s lives that they stop listening to the Lord?

  • When is a time you have felt that way?

  • How does the enemy take our fears and doubts in those moments to further drive us from the Lord?

  • Who helps you in those moments to point you back to God and help you listen to Him?

 

 

Read Exodus 6:10-13

Exodus 6:10-13

10 Then the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Go back to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and tell him to let the people of Israel leave his country.”

12 “But Lord!” Moses objected. “My own people won’t listen to me anymore. How can I expect Pharaoh to listen? I’m such a clumsy speaker!”

13 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron and gave them orders for the Israelites and for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The Lord commanded Moses and Aaron to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt.

 

  • What was Moses’ response to the Lord?

  • How had Moses allowed the discouragement and fear of those around him to negatively impact his faith?

  • When was a time in your life that the discouragement, fear, and doubt of those around you negatively impacted your faith?

    • How did you get through that time or how are you working through that right now?

  • How did the Lord respond to Moses’ fear and doubt?

    • Why does He give direction instead of correction?

  • How does trusting in the Lord flatten your fear?

  • When you are afraid, how can you turn to the Lord first?

    • Who is someone that can help you do this?

 

 

Read 2 Timothy 1:7-9

2 TImothy 1:7-9

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 

 

  • What are the qualities of the God-given Spirit?

    • What qualities are not there?

  • Which of those things do you tend to listen to more?

    • If you listen to fear and timidity more, what do you need to do to trust God more and tap into that Spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.

  • What does Paul tell Timothy to do with the power, love, and self-discipline that God has granted Him?

  • How are people generally feeling now with the pandemic of the Coronavirus?

  • What are some creative ways you could tell people about Jesus while people are quarantined?

  • What does living a holy life look like?

    • Why does it require God’s grace?

  • How can you extend the grace and love of Jesus to your neighbor’s during this time of fear in our country and world?

  • Who can you reach out to this week with a word of comfort from the Lord, a grocery run for someone in need, or just prayer for someone who is living in fear?

    • Who will remind you to do this?

 

 

Memorize it!

2 TImothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

 

 

Closing thoughts and prayer

Just like the Israelites, we all have a breaking point where we shut down and refuse to listen to the Lord. With all the fear, feeling trapped in your home for an extended period of time, and a sense of unease about the future, some of you may be getting close to that. When we see Moses, one of the great ones in the Bible, floundering, frustrated, and furious with God, it can bring us courage. One of the mistakes that happened with the Israelites was that they only focused on themselves.  They forgot the character of God and His promises. Even when things seem too bleak to ever get better, God is still there and still in control.

End your time praying over the world, nation, and your city, especially the leaders of these areas. Pray also for your church, that you and the leaders would know how to lead during this time. Pray for those people who came to mind as you answered the questions today; those living in fear or in need.  Ask God how you can help them, while staying safe yourself.