God Is Able
Passage: Exodus 4:1–4:17
Community Group Questions: Exodus 4:1-17 - "God Is Able"
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Read Exodus 4:1-17 aloud as a group and the work through the following questions together:
- When God calls Moses to do hard things, Moses’ first impulse is to object (review Moses’ three objections in verses 1, 10, and 13). What about you? When God calls you to do hard things in your life, do you find yourself making excuses and objections? How does Moses’ struggle encourage us in our own struggle to obey God when he calls us to challenging things?
- Moses’ first objection is “They won’t listen – the problem is with them” (vs. 1). God answers by giving him three “signs” to change the people’s minds. First, Moses should transform his shepherd’s staff into a snake, and back again. The serpent was the symbol of Pharaoh’s power, and this sign would predict Moses’ ability to take on Pharaoh’s court. Secondly, God instructed Moses to inflict his hand with leprosy, and then heal it. Leprosy was a sign of divine judgment, and therefore, this sign proved that the power of God’s judgment was given to Moses. Finally, Moses should take a cup of water form the Nile and pour in on dry ground, turning it into blood. The Nile was the very source of life for Egypt, and to turn it into blood would show God’s power to bring the whole nation to its knees. All together, these signs answered Moses’ objection: God himself would change the hearts of his people by convincing them with these miracles. How does God’s reply to Moses apply to our own lives when we are called to evangelism, or peacemaking, or other ministries of teaching and communication, all the while fearing that our message will have no effect? How does God’s answer apply to our calling as parents, spouses, friends, and colleagues?
- Moses’ second objection is “I can’t speak – the problem is with me” (v. 10). God answers that he made Moses’ mouth, and he will use it as he sees fit!” Why are we so often insecure about how God made us? How does God’s answer to Moses dovetail with Psalm 139’s message that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”? What’s the difference between “self-esteem” and “God-esteem,” and which does God promote in these verses?
- Moses’ final objection is “Send someone else – the problem is with you, God” (v. 13). Moses implicitly accuses God of making a mistake and sending the wrong man for the job! Yet, even in the face of such obstinance, God graciously provides for Moses. He sends Moses’ brother, Aaron, to be a helpful support and a vital ministry partner. God takes the shortcomings of Moses (his complaints and insecurities) and transforms them into an opportunity to provide something good (ministry partnership). Have you ever seen God override your complaints, and transform a tragedy into an opportunity for good? Share the story.
- Moses is a very imperfect, messy example of trusting God’s strength in times of weakness. However, Moses’ story points us to someone who never failed, the greater Moses, Jesus Christ! Jesus asked honest questions about his calling, but he also made an important qualification: Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). How does Jesus teach us to wrestle with God’s calling responsibly and faithfully?
- Moses needed to move from saying, “I can’t, so I won’t,” to an attitude that says, “I can’t, but God can, so I will!” How does this principle apply to your life when God calls you to do hard things?
Prayer suggestion: Take time to share the most difficult challenges that God is calling each member of the group to face in these times. Pray for one another, for the strength to do hard things with the strength that only God can give!