Sermon #4 from "Take Off Your Sandals" series on Exodus
When we take a stand for justice...and fail.
Based on Exodus 2:11-25
11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, “Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?”
14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock.
18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom,[c] saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.”
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.
1. After reviewing the passage, what are some of the things you like about this story?
2. What are some of the questions you have about this story?
3. Why was Moses' leaving the palace to be with the Hebrews an act of faith? (See Hebrews 11:24-26)
4. Play junior psychologist. What are some things we learn about Moses from his encounter with and murder of the Egyptian taskmaster? The encounter with the quarreling Hebrews?
5. Moses appears to fail miserably in his first attempt to rescue his people, and to lead them. What does the rejection of the Hebrews foreshadow?
6. Have you ever experienced a painful failure? Is there something about it that you'd be open to sharing with the group?
7. Moses flees to Midian. How was his experience in Midian different from his failure in Egypt?
8. Noting the characters and experiences in the Midian episode, what do you think God did in Moses' heart while in Midian?
9. "Moses spent 40 hears in Egypt learning something; he was 40 years in the desert learning to be nothing. And he was 40 years in the wilderness proving God to be everything." What do you think of this statement?
10. What are your personal takeaways from this story?