House Groups restart on the week beginning February 3rd.
Venues and times
Mon 10am – Campbellii, School Lane, Gulval (next to Village Hall) (Fen 3rd – Tremont, School Lane)
Wed 7pm (sometimes Thursdays) – 7 Reens Road, Heamoor
Thurs 2pm – The vicarage, Madron
Bible Notes to be used at groups or home from October to December – see below
We value reading and learning from the Bible since it is the foundation of our faith. Its teaching never goes out of date because God and people have not changed. In the Old Testament we read of how God made the world and tried to establish a relationship with us, which we kept breaking until we were almost completely out of touch with him. The prophets looked forward to a time when God would do something new to bring us back to God. This special agent or Messiah would be identified with God Himself.
In the New Testament we read of the coming to earth of this rescuer, Jesus. We read of his life, his teachings and miracles, his death and resurrection, God who became a man. We read then of what his disciples did in spreading the message about Jesus as rescuer. Paul and others write letters to encourage the early Christians in their relationships with the risen Jesus and with one another.
Our bible studies focus not on academic study but on finding out what the Bible is saying to us about how we should run our personal and church lives.
THIS term we focus on continuing the adventures of the Israelites in Exodus, learning their lessons about what it mean to be the people of God and to journey with him. We will also be looking at passages in Matthews’s Gospel which clearly have Exodus references, to see how our understand of that gospel is helped by our knowledge of Exodus events
The material is available in the three churches for those who wish to study at home. It is also printed below here.
SESSION 1 THE CONTEST BEGINS (Exodus 6.14 – 7.13)
Read Exodus 6. 13-14, 26-30, 7.1-7
Q1 There are many major themes in these few verses. Where are you in the complex story of your ancestors, siblings, family and children (6.13-27)?
Q2 Do you ever feel disqualified to act for God by age ? A titanic contest is about to begin, mainly between Moses and Pharaoh; but behind these men, the real contest is between the Lord and the gods of Egypt (see 12.12). Have you ever seen a bigger picture in some struggles you were engaged in ?
Q3 What do you notice about how Moses and Aaron act ? Are you equally scrupulous in how you act ?
Q4 What is God about to do to the Egyptians ? In what way is God both judge and saviour ? What is the flavour of the word ‘divisions’ or ‘hosts” (v.4) ? Does God show favouritism? How does heart-hardening work?
Read Exodus 7.8-13
Q5 Why did the Egyptian magicians do the same? Wouldn’t you expect them to do the opposite? What should the result have taught Pharaoh ? Should we be wary of people performing signs and wonders ? How do we know such things are of God ?
Read Matthew 1.1-17
Q6 Here we see the same focus on ancestors. What is the point of this dry beginning to the Gospel ? Who do you know here ? What light does it shed on the bit we missed out in Exodus 6 ? Do you know much about your family ? Have any influences come down to you from them ?
Read Matthew 5.17,18
Q7 What does the passage say about the importance of complete obedience ?
SESSION 2 THE TEN DISASTERS (Exodus 7.14 – 11.10)
If you read the passage out loud to yourself, it could take from 20 to 25 minutes; if you read silently, you may get through faster, but you may miss some things.
Read Exodus 7.14 – 10.end (skim read or dip in)
Q1 What were the ten signs or disasters?
Q2 What role did the Egyptian magicians play in this story?
Q3 At what points did God make a distinction between what happened to the Egyptians and what happened to the Israelites? In particular, where does it say that “Pharaoh hardened his heart” and that “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart”? (references in 11 verses)
Read Exodus 11.1-10
Q4 What shocks you in this chapter ? What surprises you in this chapter ? What does this tell us about Pharaoh ?
Q5 Moses went out of Pharaoh’s presence in hot anger (11.8). When is anger justified ? Hasn’t God told him Pharaoh would relent now ?
Read Matthew 2.13-18
Q6 What parallels are there between Herod and Pharaoh ? What are essential differences ? But how does Jesus’ experience parallel that of the Israelites before him ?
Q7 Jesus does not return to Bethlehem but goes north. The wise men do not return via the same way from visiting the boy king. In what ways have events altered the course of your life ? When have you known God’s protection ?
Q8 What did Egypt symbolise in Exodus & here ? Where should we leave ?
SESSION 3 PASSOVER AND ESCAPE (Exodus 12.1 – 13.32)
Read Exodus 12.1-16
Q1 What are the most important features of the Passover as described in chapter 12? How was the lamb used? How were people dressed? What did the Israelites have to do on their houses? What is the significance of the unleavened bread? NB John 1.29 – “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Read Exodus 12.43-49
Q2 Why are there restrictions on who can celebrate the Passover ? Anyone can come to a wedding in church but only a few to the reception – is that a helpful parallel ?
Read Exodus 12.31-42
Q3 We’re told the number of Israelites leaving Egypt (12.37ff) and how long they’d been there (12.40). Why are these details important to the story?
Read Exodus 13.3-10
Q4 What points would you want to emphasise if you were explaining the Passover to your son ? What would you say about the Lord’s “strong hand” (13.9, 14, 16); and what is the significance of the “sign on your hand” and the “memorial between your eyes” (13.9).
Read Exodus 13.17-22
Q5 Have you had to travel on the “roundabout way of the wilderness” (13.18)? And have you had any experiences of the Lord’s guidance which you might describe as a pillar of cloud by day or a pillar of cloud by night?
Read Matthew 26.17-30
Q6 How does Exodus enrich our understanding of communion ?
SESSION 4 THE CROSSING OF THE RE(E)D SEA (Exodus 14.1-15.21)
Read Exodus 14.1-16
Q1 Why does Moses go such a strange route i.e. to St Ives instead of up the A30 ? Comment on the people’s faith – why are they like that ? Why does God tell Moses off in v15 ? NB The geography and history are interesting, but they are not our prime purpose.
Read Exodus 14.23-31
Q2 The deliverance of God’s people from Egyptian slavery is the greatest act of “liberation” in the Old Testament: nothing can be compared with it. The only comparable deliverance is the one which Jesus Christ achieved in Jerusalem. People didn’t trust in Moses and God for long – Why ? Are we like that ?
Read Exodus 15.20,21
Q3 Miriam was driven by events to spontaneous praise, leading others in praise. Have we lost the will to celebrate spontaneously? When you praise God, how much do you relate that praise to what he’s done for you ? Is there any “gloating” in the song? Imagine how concentration camp prisoners may have sung at the end of the war.
Read Luke 9.28-36
Q4 When Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, Luke 9.31 says that they spoke together “of the exodus which he was about to accomplish..” How does Exodus look forward to the cross? How does Jesus lead us like Moses led the Israelites ?
Read Matthew 3.11-17
Q5 How does baptism reflect the crossing of the Red Sea and all it meant?
SESSION 5 GRUMBLING AND GLORY (Exodus 15.22 – 18.27)
Read Exodus 15.22-27.
Q1 How easy it is now, as always, for grumbling to overwhelm gratitude! What was the complaint? What did Moses do? How do we build on the promise, “I am the Lord, your healer,” today?
Read Exodus 16.1-23.
Q2 What were the grumbles? What lessons do we learn from the Lord’s provision?
Read Exodus 17.1-7.
Q3 What was the quarrel? What was the result? In 1 Corinthians 10.1-5 Paul suggests that Jesus was the Refreshing Rock.
Q4 John 19.31-37 refers to the piercing of Jesus and the water which flowed from his side. How does Exodus shed light on this ?
Read Exodus 17.8-16.
Q5 What was the threat? What lessons do we learn about prayer from Moses, Aaron and Hur? In what circumstances may the title “The Lord is my banner,” be important for us to remember?
Read Exodus 18.9-27.
Q6 What lesson did Moses learn from his visiting father-in-law which is important for us to remember?
Read Matthew 15.32-39 and John 6.30-33
Q7 How does Exodus help our understanding of what Jesus is doing and saying here ? In what way is he our true bread ?
SESSION 6 THE TEN WORDS AT SINAI (Exodus 19.1 – 20.17)
Read Exodus 19. 1-13
Q1 Which phrases strike you most? “I bore you on eagles’ wings (19.4)”? “my treasured possession” (19.5)? A kingdom of priests (19.6)? Why did God say these things as they arrive at Sinai ?
Q2 What reasons can you think of for this chapter’s emphasis on the “inaccessibility” of God?
Read Exodus 20.1-17
Q3 The “ten commandments” or “ten words” used to be visible on the eastern wall of almost all churches – although often in hard-to-read Gothic script. Can you (still) recite these commandments to yourself (we do not hear them so often these days)? Which ones are positive and which are negative? Which ones are the most difficult (a) to understand; (b) to practise? Why are they sometimes called “The Ten Great Freedoms”?
Read Exodus 20.18-22
Q4 Exodus 20.21 uses the phrase “… the thick darkness where God was”. Have you ever been in a life situation of deep darkness where, nevertheless, you could find God’s presence? The people try to hide from God behind Moses. Do people still think clergy are the ones to have the special relationship with God ? Do you hide behind anyone ?
Read Matthew 9.1-7 (and also Matthew 5.1-2 as intro to 3 chapters teaching)
Q5 How does Exodus form a backdrop to these events ? How does the disciples’ reaction mirror the reaction of the Israelites ? What does this event tell us about Jesus ? The passage is a fleeting glimpse, soon forgotten. The Israelites forgot Sinai. Have you remembered earlier encounters with God or a sense of awe ?
SESSION 7 MOSES AND GOD (Exodus 32 – 34)
Read Exodus 32. 1-6, 22-24
Q1 How does Aaron speak and behave in face of the people’s demand for gods which they can see ? What of the excuses which he made to Moses in v24 ?
Read Exodus 33.7-17
Q2 How does Moses come across here ? What did Moses do in the “tent of meeting” (33.7-11)? What can we learn from his words and attitude ?
Read John 1.14-18
Q3 How does Exodus shed light on these verses ?
Read Exodus 34. 8-14, 29-35
Q4 How do these verses enlarge your understanding of the character of God ? What does 34.14 means when it says that God is a “jealous God”? 34.29 says that the skin of Moses’ face shone because he had been talking with God? Can people tell from your appearance and behaviour that you have been talking with God?
Read Hebrews 11.23-29 – a review of the life of Moses)
Q5 What lessons can we learn from the life of Moses? From the time of his infancy? From his childhood and upbringing? From his exile in Midian and the call he received from God? From the dramatic confrontations that he and Aaron had with the Pharaoh? From his time as leader of the Israelites on their long and tortuous journey to the promised land?
Q6 Many men and women of faith are commemorated in Hebrews 11 –the writer uses this to encourages us to persevere in following Jesus – see Hebrews 12.1-2. What steps has our current bible study series inspired or prompted us to take which encourage us “ to run with endurance the race which is set before us”?