These are notes from the fifth part of a Bible overview series.
Recap last week. We looked at how God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt. We saw his power at work, as well as his holiness and judgement.
Summarise. Focus on the commandments.
There are three legal collections in the second half of Exodus (second – Book of the Covenant – laws related to community life; third is the book of laws in chapters 25-31 – concerned with worship).
1. Why is 20:2 important when understanding the context of the Ten Commandments?
It refers back to Egypt. These laws are for people who have experienced his past and are expecting his future (and therefore live in his present).
2. What are some of the main principles outlined in the commandments?
Respect. A healthy, holy society is built on respect.
Responsibility. We’re responsible before him for how we live with regard to this law.
3. How does the last commandment differ from the others?
Most of them are about acts or words but the last one is about feelings. When we desire something we don’t have, our problem is with our inner life.
4. What does Moses mean in 20:20? What does it mean to fear God?
A right fear of God will lead us not to sin.
Summarise. Focus on Moses’ prayer.
5. What went wrong? What’s happened? How is Aaron’s behaviour similar to Adam and Eve’s?
People have quickly forgotten the commands. Aaron blames others instead of taking responsibility for his actions.
6. What was Moses’ role?
He acts as a mediator between a just God and a sinful people but also shows righteous anger at their sin.
7. What do you notice about Moses’ attitude?
He’s not going to sit back and do nothing. He pleaded.
8. Looking at the content of the prayer, what characteristics of God does Moses talk about?
- Grace (brought out of the land of Egypt)
- Glory (God being discredited among the nations)
- Goodness (asks God to keep promises to Abraham, Isaac and Israel)
9. Looking at v14, it could be easy to think that God changes his mind. How do we know that this isn’t the case?
God didn’t destroy Israel and he knew he wouldn’t destroy it. He deliberately put Moses in that position so that he would show God’s heart for the people. He prayed in the way God wanted him to.
10. What can we learn about prayer?
God wants us to pray. We don’t have less privilege in prayer than Moses had. We don’t have less access to God. We should pray in a way that reflects God’s character and the love that he has for his people.
11. What do the glimpses of judgement tell us?
A warning of the final judgement to come.