Opening Questions and Prayer
Tell a brief story about a time when you got disrespectful with someone in authority and got in trouble. (This could be from childhood or school days.)
What are some ways you push the boundaries of rules and authority in your life currently?
Ask the Lord to guide your time together as you study the Bible.
Read Exodus 19:1-2 NLT
1 Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai. 2 After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai.
What have the Israelites been doing the last two months after being freed from slavery?
How had God kept His promise to Moses?
See Exodus 3:11-12 11 But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” 12 God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.”
How did Moses remain faithful to the Lord during the several months that passed before the promise was fulfilled?
What are some things you are waiting on the Lord for?
How can you remain faithful to God while you wait?
Read Exodus 19:3-8
3 Then Moses climbed the mountain to appear before God. The Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “Give these instructions to the family of Jacob; announce it to the descendants of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me. 6 And you will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses returned from the mountain and called together the elders of the people and told them everything the Lord had commanded him. 8 And all the people responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has commanded.” So Moses brought the people’s answer back to the Lord.
How was the Lord reminding the Israelites of His faithfulness?
What was His new promise to them?
What were the conditions of this promise?
What was the Israelites' response to the Lord?
What are some things you have promised God over the years?
Did you keep those promises?
Read Exodus 19:9-15
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will come to you in a thick cloud, Moses, so the people themselves can hear me when I speak with you. Then they will always trust you.” Moses told the Lord what the people had said.
10 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go down and prepare the people for my arrival. Consecrate them today and tomorrow, and have them wash their clothing. 11 Be sure they are ready on the third day, for on that day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai as all the people watch. 12 Mark off a boundary all around the mountain. Warn the people, ‘Be careful! Do not go up on the mountain or even touch its boundaries. Anyone who touches the mountain will certainly be put to death. 13 No hand may touch the person or animal that crosses the boundary; instead, stone them or shoot them with arrows. They must be put to death.’ However, when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, then the people may go up on the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down to the people. He consecrated them for worship, and they washed their clothes. 15 He told them, “Get ready for the third day, and until then abstain from having sexual intercourse.”
Why do the Israelites have to be consecrated (someone define that) before they come into the Lord’s presence?
How do you prepare your heart before times of worship (church, small group, personal Bible study)?
What are some ways people forget the holiness of God?
What’s something you can do this week to remind yourself of God’s holiness?
How might living in God’s holiness change the way you approach your life?
Read Exodus 19:16-20
16 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply. 20 The Lord came down on the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses climbed the mountain.
Why did God choose to appear this way to the Israelites?
When you picture God in your mind, does this come to mind or something else?
Why is it important that we remember this aspect of God?
In God’s awesome, powerful, holiness, why does He desire that we come close to Him?
What’s a way you can spend time in God’s presence this week?
Read Acts 2:1-4
On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4 And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
What was Pentecost, and why was it significant to the Israelites?
How does this moment parallel Exodus 19:16-20?
What is significant about the Holy Spirit filling us?
What is Jesus’ role in giving us access to the Holy Spirit?
How can you listen more to the Holy Spirit's leading in your life this week?
Read Exodus 19:21-25
21 Then the Lord told Moses, “Go back down and warn the people not to break through the boundaries to see the Lord, or they will die. 22 Even the priests who regularly come near to the Lord must purify themselves so that the Lord does not break out and destroy them.”
23 “But Lord,” Moses protested, “the people cannot come up to Mount Sinai. You already warned us. You told me, ‘Mark off a boundary all around the mountain to set it apart as holy.’”
24 But the Lord said, “Go down and bring Aaron back up with you. In the meantime, do not let the priests or the people break through to approach the Lord, or he will break out and destroy them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people and told them what the Lord had said.
Why did the Lord want Moses to remind the people to stay back?
Why does God give us rules and guidelines for life?
What happens when we break those rules?
What are some ways God’s rules feel restricting?
How are God’s rules actually freeing?
What is one rule this week you need to work on?
How will this draw you closer to God and give freedom?
Read Romans 8:14-17
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
In what ways does this aspect of God as our Dad seem different than the picture of God we get in Exodus 19?
How are they similar?
How can we keep the reverence and holiness of God in mind, but still approach God as a child would approach their dad?
What’s something you can do this week to approach God like a loving Dad?
How might you approach prayer and Bible reading differently looking at Him through this lens?
Read James 4:7-8
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.
How does James say should we approach God?
How does this approach keep the holiness of God in mind, while still coming to Him like a loving Dad?
What role did Jesus play in giving us access to the presence and Holiness of God?
What are some ways your thinking about God has changed over the years?
How can you continue to grow in your relationship with Christ this week?
Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Closing thoughts and prayer
We all have preconceived notions about who God is and what He is like. This affects us when we enter into worship. The more we study His word, engage in Biblical community, and worship together, the more our view of God will be properly shaped. We should approach God with awe and reverence because He is holy, and we should also approach Him like a kid approaches their Dad. He’s both Holy and Dad. Spend some time praying and thanking God that He loves us and is approachable. Thank God for sending Jesus to make a way for the presence of God to always dwell with us. End your time praying for our country and church leaders.