Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 7: God Raises Up a Deliverer
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Weekly memory verse:
Psalm 77:11 – “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”
God Moves in a Mysterious Way (free download)
Are there more gods than one?
There is only one true and living God.
Day 31: A Father’s Wise Instruction
Reading: Proverbs 4–5
Proverbs 4, Verse 4. Heart. It is instructive that the focus here is on the heart holding fast to the father’s wise instruction instead of the mind.
Verse 23. Heart. In modern thought, the heart is often simply associated with feelings; however, in ancient Hebrew thought, the heart was the totality of what made a person and from which life itself flowed. Thus, as this verse emphasizes, the heart must be guarded diligently.
What we believe is very important, but it is not all that is important. At a fundamental level, life flows from our hearts. Therefore, we must diligently guard those things that influence our hearts.
- What kinds of things influence your heart?
- How can you guard you heart from bad influences?
- How can you know if your heart is being influenced in a negative way?
Day 32: The Birth of Moses
Reading: Exodus 1:1–2:10
Chapter 1, Verse 7. Increased. The growth of the nation of Israel grew from 70 men to 603,000 men 20 years of age and older, leading to the conclusion that the entire population was likely around 2 million (Numbers 1:46) by the time of the Exodus.
Verse 8. New King. This was likely one of the Hyksos kings of Egypt who reigned from approximately 1730 to 1570 bc.
Verse 22. Pharaoh. The timing of Moses’s birth shortly after this decree leads to the conclusion hat this Pharaoh was Thutmose I.
Chapter 2, Verse 5. Daughter of Pharaoh. This was likely Hatshepsut.
God’s provision for his people in Egypt allowed them to grow into a great nation as he had promised to Abraham. This led to further hardship, but God once again intervened and through his kind providence began to raise of a deliverer.
- Do you think what the midwives did was right?
- What did the midwives’ action tell us about their respect for human life?
- What value was it for Moses to be raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter?
Day 33: God Hears the Cries of His People
Reading: Exodus 2:11–25, Psalm 90
Exodus 2, Verse 15. Midian. The Midianites descended from Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1–4). They lived on the eastern side of the Gulf of Aqabah in the Arabian Peninsula.
Verse 24. Heard . . . remembered. This are anthropomorphic descriptions of God, since God knows all things and never changes. They simply affirm that God was faithful to his covenant with Abraham in his dealings with the people of Israel.
Psalm 90. Moses. This may have been written during Moses’s exile in Midian as an expression of trust and dependence upon God.
Verse 4. Watch in the night. This refers to a four hour period of time.
Nothing escapes the knowledge of the Lord. God providentially arranged for the future deliverer of his people to be protected and raised in Pharaoh’s court and then for him to spend time in exile in Midian. He had arranged for his growing people to find refuge in Egypt where they were able to flourish for a time, but now he has also arranged for them to be delivered and taken back to their promised land. God will always keep his promises, often through mysterious ways.
- What did Moses’s killing of the Egyptian reveal about his relationship with the nation of Israel?
- Why do you think God wanted Moses to spend time out of Egypt in Midian?
- What characteristics of God can give us hope and confidence, even when we don’t understand his ways?
Day 34: The Burning Bush
Reading: Exodus 3:1–4:18
Chapter 3, Verse 1. Horeb. This is another name for Mt. Sinai, which because of what takes place later after the Exodus, becomes known as “the mountain of God.”
Verse 2. The Angel of the Lord. As before, this is God himself.
Verse 14. I Am Who I Am. Here God discloses his unique, covenant name to Moses. God refers to himself using the Hebrew verb that means “to be” (hayah) and relates it to his divine name, Yahweh (v. 15). In most modern Bible editions, “Lord” in all caps indicates a translation of “Yahweh.” The consonants from the Hebrew word Yhwh, combined with the vowels from one of God’s other names, Adonai, form the English word, “Jehovah.”
God puts in motion his plan to deliver his people and bring them into the promised land by revealing himself to Moses and calling him to lead the people out of Egypt. He discloses his unique, covenant name, Yahweh, and answers all of Moses’s objections. God will use this weak man to lead the nation, but ultimately his supernatural acts will reveal that he is truly the one who delivers his people.
- Why do you think God commanded Moses to remove his shoes?
- What does the name “I am who I am” reveal about God?
- What does God reveal as the central purpose for the Exodus in 3:18?
Day 35: Moses and Aaron
Reading: Exodus 4:19–31, Psalm 77
Exodus 4, Verse 21. Harden. The tension between God’s divine providence and human responsibility is one of the most difficult to reconcile in Scripture. Ten times in the story of the Exodus the text indicates that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and ten times the text indicates that Pharaoh hardened his own heart. It is both true that God sovereignly acted in this affair and that Pharaoh was personally responsible for his actions.
Verse 24. Death. This incident reveals the seriousness God places upon the unique sign of the covenant, circumcision. Apparently Moses had not performed this sign with his own sons, and thus Zipporah quickly performed the procedure.
Psalm 77. This is a community lament in which God’s people call out to him for help, making specific reference to God hearing his people’s cries and delivering them through Moses and Aaron (v. 20). References to “the years of the right hand of the Most High” (v. 10), “redeemed your people” (v. 15), and “led your people like a flock” (v. 20) connect this psalm with the Exodus.
God promises to care for his people, and he will keep his promises. He sometimes moves in mysterious ways in accomplishing his will, but we can trust in him. When we call out to God in our distress, he hears us and answers, providing deliverance and comfort.
- On what basis can you trust the Lord, even in distress?
- What responsibility to do you have toward God in this life?
- Why is it important to regularly remember all the good that God has done in the past for his people?
About Scott Aniol
Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies 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.