God corrects and confirms
Passage: Exodus 4:1–4:31
Freed to be God’s people: a study of Exodus
God corrects and confirms – outline
God corrects Moses’ excuses and confirms His purpose to use him to deliver his people
1) Moses objects that the people won’t believe him so God gives him signs to perform, 4:1-9.
In 3:18, God told Moses the elders would listen to him. But here Moses says they will not believe him or listen to him, for they will say the Lord didn’t appear to him. (Note the 5 uses of the word “believe in these verses). Yet in the following verses God doesn’t rebuke him, but gives him signs to prove God appeared to him. Why? Why might God have chosen the three signs that he gave to Moses to do? (For the serpent sign, consider Genesis 3:15, and the fact that the serpent was a prominent symbol in Egypt of both power and fear. For the Nile, consider that it was seen as a god, and as life-giving). How does Moses doing these signs prefigure Jesus’ ministry?
2) Moses objects that he can’t speak well so God says he will be with his mouth and teach him, 4:10-12.
In light of how Moses speaks in the rest of the story and Acts 7:22, does it seem like he has a legitimate speech problem, or is this just an invented excuse? Talk about how God answers him. how should we apply this to hard assignments God gives us? In light of verse 12, how does Moses picture the way Jesus gets his teaching (see John 12:49)?
3) Moses asks God to send someone else so God gets angry and tells him to give words to Aaron, 4:13-17.
Although God gets angry at Moses for begging God to send someone else, how does God respond to him? how might this be good for re-introducing Moses to Israel? The staff is not a “magic stick or wand.” It is just a shepherd’s staff. Yet God makes sure Moses takes it and will have Moses use it in some of the signs. Why?
God tells Moses to go back to Egypt and instructs him what to do and say, 4:18-23.
God is telling Moses in advance that he is not planning on simply freeing the people of Israel in one powerful confrontation. How does he say he is going to free Israel? What does this imply about God’s purpose in how he frees Israel? What is unique about the last “miracle”, the killing of Pharaoh’s firstborn son?
4) God threatens to kill Moses/his son so Zipporah circumcises her son and God spares him, 4:24-26.
In light of Genesis 17:9-14, what are likely reasons for God threatening to kill Moses (or his son)? What does this teach us about how seriously God takes disobedience?
5) Moses meets Aaron and they tell the people what God said and do the signs, and the people believe, 4:27-31.
What is significant about Moses meeting Aaron at the mountain of God (Sinai) to share God’s words and do the signs that God commanded him to do? What does this passage reveal about God’s heart for his people? How does this relate to God’s heart in sending Jesus? What does this picture as the appropriate response of God’s people to his visiting us in our affliction?