An Identity Shaped by Captivity
I. Context: LIVING as SLAVES in Egypt. (Ex. 1-4)
A. A CHANGE in STATUS. (1:8-10)
B. Life SHAPES their IDENTITY. (1:11-14)
C. God SEES what is HAPPENING. (2:23-24)
As we move through the fall we will be following the Jews as they move from captivity in Egypt into the desert wandering and then finally to the edge of the “Promised Land.” Their journey speaks to our own spiritual journey from enslavement to sin toward an eternity in the presence of God. We have to start by seeing where it was they were when Moses shows up.
1. Kid’s question: When have you had to do a chore that you didn’t like? What would it be like to have to do that everyday of your whole life?
2. How has your normal everyday life (and you past history) shaped your identity – who you see yourself to be?
II. The CHALLENGE of CHANGE. (4:29-5:21)
A. Desire inspires BELIEF and WORSHIP. (4:29-31)
B. Reality (POWER) gets in the WAY. (5:1-17)
C. CIRCUMSTANCES crush HOPE. (5:17-23)
While no one loved being a slave in Egypt, leaving wasn’t easy. They had been enslaved for generations, and the powers that had held them there were not going to give up easily. While initially they were excited by God’s concern, the day to day reality was too overwhelming to hope for anything different.
3. Can you identify with moment when desire has inspired belief and worship? What was that like? Did it inspire long term transformation?
4. When has reality gotten in the way of your spiritual life? When have circumstances crushed your hope?
III. God SPEAKS a different WORD. (6:1-12)
A. An ANCHOR deeper than apparent CIRCUMSTANCES. (6:2-5)
B. A POWER that doesn’t DEPEND on us. (6:6)
C. The GIFT of a new IDENTITY. (6:7-8; 5:1)
D. A TRUTH too hard to BELIEVE. (6:9-12)
God speaks clearly to Moses. He has some specific things to say about who He is, who the Jews are, and what He is planning to do. The question really comes down to who will we choose to believe?
5. If God was “speaking a word about you” right now, what would be he be saying?
6. “My deepest identity is a holy, blameless child of God in Christ, deeply loved by Him.” What is your reaction to that statement? Do you live out of that?
IV. The CHALLENGE of growing toward FREEDOM. (Gal. 5:1)
A. Desire is VITAL, but not ENOUGH. (4:29-31; 5:19-21; 6:9-12; Rom. 7:15-19)
B. God’s WORK is the FOUNDATION. (6:2-8; Phil. 2:12-13)
C. The NEED for a transformed IDENTITY. (5:1; 6:7-8; Col. 2:9-10; Rom. 12:2)
D. FORMATION is a life-long JOURNEY. (6:9-12; Phil. 1:6)
In our own lives we long for transformation and change, but the realities we face on a day to day basis often push up to a point of hopelessness. Yet in the words God spoke to Moses we can begin to see that He is in this for the long haul. He will not give up on His people…He has a plan to form them to reflect Him to all creation.
7. When it comes to your own spiritual life, do you feel compelled to work or content to listen and respond? What is the difference and how does the difference look?
8. What is your expectation in regards to your own spiritual transformation…think especially in regards to time lines? Is it reasonable?