What to Expect – Week 5

Why did God choose the Israelites as his people and not the Egyptians or the Ammonites or the Philistines or any of the other people groups we’ve read about? I ask this question because this week, in our Exodus readings, we will see the stark contrast between the Israelites and the Egyptians. God continually makes it clear who his people are and who his people are not.

In general, this seems to be the way we ask questions about Scripture: why did God do it this way? Why didn’t God do it that why? Why does the Bible say this?

What if we spun our thoughts on Scripture to see a good, loving, and all-powerful God who actually knows more than we do? Instead of asking, “why did God send down the plagues on the Egyptians”, could we say, “wow, it’s incredible the lengths to which God went to save the Israelites from the Egyptians.”

Yes, some stories are more complicated than that, but what if our questions and comments sought to find the ways God redeemed, blessed, and protected his people? It would greatly alter our readings.

And make a note of this Biblical theme:
In Matthew’s parable on January 30th, a theme of righteous, purposeful inequality will continue. It’s one to think about and check ourselves on. Frequently, when those who have remained righteous see grace offered to someone who has failed or fallen short, they’re outraged. It’s not fair! I’ve been faithful and they haven’t! If we were truly righteous, wouldn’t we be rejoicing with God over the repentant sinner?

January 29 – Daily Notes – Amanda

lies

It is a common theme in Scripture for people to make promises to God and then completely abandon them. The Israelites do it over and over as they commit to living faithfully and then worship other gods. Today’s culprit is Pharaoh. Note in the next few days just how many times he promises to release the Israelites.

Exodus 7:25-9:35:

  • 23 – what originally cause the Egyptians to be “not God’s people”?
  • So often we disobey God’s laws and commands and yet we’re surprised and even think it’s unfair of God when we experience consequences
  • 15 – Sometimes God hardens Pharaoh’s heart and sometimes Pharaoh hardens his own
  • 8 & 28 & 28- How often have we bargained with God, and like Pharaoh, not held up our end of the agreement?

Matthew 19:13-30:

  • 14 – childlike faith is praised several times in Scripture
  • 16-22 – selling possessions could be interchanged with anything we hold to more tightly than God. What would you hate for Jesus to fill in that blank with?
  • 30 – A countercultural thought. We, like ancient Israelites, try to get to the top. God calls us to humble ourselves instead.

Psalm 24:1-10:

  • A musical version of this Psalm:

Proverb 6:1-5:

  • Warning not to let others be in control of your life. Throughout Scripture, trusting others above God is a prominent sin of people