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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 8: God Saves His People

This entry is part 8 of 38 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 8: God Saves His People

Weekly memory verse:

Exodus 15:1 – “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Weekly hymn:

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (free download)

Weekly catechism:

In how many persons does this one God exist?
God exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in essence, power, and glory.

Day 36: Let My People Go

Reading: Exodus 5:1–6:13

Notes

Chapter 5, Verse 11. Straw. Straw was a necessary component for making bricks in ancient Egypt since it helped to bind the clay together.

Chapter 6, Verse 4. Covenant. God based his promise once again on the covenant he had made with Abraham.

Verse 12. Uncircumcised lips. This is an expression that refers to Moses’s lack of eloquence.

Summary

God’s promises are fundamentally rooted in his nature and character—he is a covenant keeping God. God has providentially arranged for the circumstances of his people to be such that he will begin to powerfully display his nature and character through powerfully delivering them from bondage.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did God providentially arrange for his people to be put in bondage, for their deliverer to be someone who lacked eloquence, and for Pharaoh to be so defiant?
  2. How do seemingly unsolvable circumstances lead us to trust in God?
  3. Have difficult circumstances in your life ever tempted you to distrust God’s promises?

Day 37: The First Seven Plagues

Reading: Exodus 7:1–9:35

Notes

Chapter 7, Verse 1. Like God. Moses spoke with authority as God’s representative before Pharaoh, and Aaron was his mouthpiece.

Verse 11. Magicians. These enchantments were part of the pagan religion of Egypt. It is unclear whether their magic was illusion, skill, or demonic influence.

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Verse 14. Each of the ten miraculous plagues against Egypt specifically targeted one of their pagan deities, revealing that Yahweh was the true and living God.

Chapter 8, Verse 22. Goshen. This clearly indicates the supernatural nature of these plagues in that the land where the Israelites lived was spared.

Summary

Contrary to the claims of false religions throughout history, Yahweh is the one and only true and living God. The plagues against Egypt give a powerful demonstration of this fundamental truth.

Discussion Questions

  1. How did the plagues demonstrate that God is the one and only true and living God?
  2. How did the failures of the magicians demonstrate the falsity of their pagan religion?
  3. How did the responses of Pharaoh and his people increase their own guilt before God?

Day 38: The Passover

Reading: Exodus 10:1–13:16

Notes

Chapter 12, Verse 2. This month. The Passover event marked the beginning of Israel as an independent nation, and thus, the beginning of their religious calendar going forward. The month of Abib (March/April) was to be the first month of the year for Israel. Later, the month of Abib would become Nisan (see. Neh 2:1; Esther 3:7).

Verse 6. Twilight. By Israelite reckoning, a new day began at sunset. In the observation of the Passover, the lamb was to be sacrificed before sunset while it was still the 14th day of the month. This was the time at which Christ would later die (Luke 23:44–46).

Verse 14. Memorial. The detailed observance of the first Passover was to be observed as a liturgical memorial in Israel every year. In liturgical language, a “memorial” is a reenactment of an act of God on behalf of his people in such a way that people in future generations will be shaped by the event as if they had been there themselves, in this case, the redemption of Israel.

Verse 37. Six hundred thousand men. Based on this figure, a conservative estimate of the size of the nation at the time of the Exodus is around 2 million people.

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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 34: Babylonian Captivity

Summary

With the final plagues against Egypt and the first Passover, God fulfilled his promise to redeem his people from their bondage. This event marked the most significant holy day for Israel, a day each year on which they would reenact God’s redemption on their behalf, actively passing that experience down to future generations.

Discussion Questions

  1. Of what significance was it that the final plague targeted the firstborn sons in Egypt, including Pharaoh’s own son?
  2. What did the first Passover foreshadow with relation to Christ?
  3. What does reenacting a work of God on behalf of his people do for those who participate?

Day 39: Crossing the Red Sea

Reading: Exodus 13:17–15:21

Notes

Chapter 15, Verse 1. Sang. This is one of three songs composed by Moses (see Deut. 31:22; Ps 90). The hymn is divided into four stanzas, each ending with parallel ideas: (I) vv.1b–5, (II) vv.6–10; (III); vv.11‑16a; (IV) vv.16b–18. Additionally, each stanza has three parts: An Introit (vv.1, 6, 11, 16b); a Confession (vv.2–3, 7–8, 12–12, 17); and a Narration (vv.4–5, 9–10) or Anticipation (vv.14–16a, 18). Thus the progression of ideas through the hymn move from recounting the Lord’s deeds in the past toward anticipating his help for the future.

Verse 21. Prophetess. Miriam is the first women to be given this title. She leads the other women in singing Moses’s hymn and dancing with tambourines. This kind of folk dancing involved the women forming circles and spinning around as they sang and hit the tambourines.

Summary

God’s ultimate power in delivering his people was displayed in the crossing of the Red Sea. There could now be no doubt for the people of Israel that God was with them and would do what he had promised. Their only appropriate response was a song of praise and trust in the Lord’s power and promises.

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The road from interpretation to application

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were the people so quick to complain against the Lord?
  2. Does the fact that God used an east wind to make a path for Israel diminish the miraculous nature of the event?
  3. What can we learn from Moses’s song?

Day 40: Bread from Heaven

Reading: Exodus 16:1–36

Notes

Verse 1. Fifteenth day. Thirty days had passed since their departure from Rameses.

Verse 16. Omer. This was a little more than two quarts.

Verse 31. Manna. The Israelites coined a new term for this bread from heaven, which literally means, “What is it?”

Summary

God’s grace and love for his people is so steadfast, that even in the midst of their unfounded complaints against him, the Lord hears their cries and provides for them. His promises to Abraham were unconditional, and he is going to keep those promises.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do the people’s perpetual complaints against the Lord reveal about them?
  2. What does the fact that God provided for their needs, even in the midst of their complaints, reveal about him?
  3. What did the fact that no bread fell on the seventh day reveal about this day?
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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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