Discussion/Observation questions: Why do you think the Israelites stayed as things got harder? The point/theme of vs 1-7 summarized in vs 7 is: The Israelites ________________. Does that continue in 8 – 14? What new factor(s) is (are) in the mix now? Verses 15-end (part three of Chapter 1) show a kind of flourishing. What is the reason for it? Not the specific actions, but what is behind it? (17 and 20, 21 hold keys) What kind of pressure has been building so far that comes to a head in the last verse? What changes or transitions from one thing to another are happening or begin to happen here?
The sermon was really only an introduction to some of the overarching themes of the entire journey.
Think of what happens in the full sweep of the Exodus story:
- Israel as a nation, as a people, is brought from oppressive slavery in one land to freedom in another one, with a full generation of waiting in no-man’s land in between. That’s a major change, a major transition, wouldn’t you say? :
- the main move in the story is more of a movement from bondage to Pharaoh to learning bonding with Yahweh-God.
- It is more a movement from enforced obedience to a human-who-thought-he-was-god to freedom to worship the God of Creation’s forces.
- It has in it a change from the forced building of monuments to Pharaoh to the people’s freely offering to construct a building for the worship of Yahweh-God.
- It is interesting for you to watch and ponder how God is not very visibly or obviously present in the beginning of Exodus, but how he is slowly revealed and becomes more and more known as the struggle goes on, until we get to the point where God’s presence, “Shikinah” fills the tabernacle.
- In between the beginning and end, much happens. The early part of the Exodus transition shows a fierce battle between Pharaoh-god and Creator-God. A battle with more flash-bang than the worst thunderstorm, more drama than TV wrestling showdowns.
So, since you are a congregation in transition, it seems fitting to look at this biblical story of transition for a while, to see what we can learn for Christ Community Church as she journeys forward. As we go, we can ask ourselves “Where is God in our journey?” What have we become the equivalent of enslaved to?” What might the land of promise look like for us?