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Growth Group Notes Exodus 19 Rescued for Relationship Warm Up! Do you think people in our era are more likely to treat God too casually or too formally? How about you personally? What might be the dangers of each extreme? Background to Exodus 19 In many ways this chapter is the turning point of the book of Exodus. God promised Moses back in chapter 3:12 that when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt they would come to this mountain to worship Him: now they are here. They stay here for about a year: not leaving until Numbers 10:11 (2 books of the Bible further on!). Something important is happening here! Into Exodus : Read Exodus 19:1-6 Who took the initiative in this covenant? (v4) How did he show this initiative – what did he do exactly? What response does God expect of Israel? (v5) What are God’s future plans for Israel? (v5-6) What kind of role for Israel do you think God expects in the whole world? 23 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”’ Zechariah 8:23 Reflect …..” What does the order of the different events here (rescue > response of obedience > blessing) teach us about how God relates to people today? How might this help you in a discussion with someone who thinks they will “earn” their place in heaven by trying hard to keep God’s laws? v5 “obey him fully” means literally “listen attentively to my voice”. What would it look like in practice for us to “listen attentively to God’s voice” today? Read Exodus 19:7-15 How do the people respond to God’s words? v8 Why do you think they respond so positively? How does God tell them to prepare to meet Him? What do all these instructions and warnings in v10-13 tell us about the nature of God? Reflect …..” We have this same God: How might these instructions challenge our thinking about God today? Read Exodus 19:16-25 What signs accompany God’s appearance? Why the second warning not to force their way into God’s presence? (v21-22) How might we describe God’s nature from this section? Moving into the New Testament Two NT passages stand out as linking directly on this section of Exodus. As we have already noted, the book of Hebrews draws on Exodus heavily. If you have time read Hebrews 12:18-29 (>> otherwise move straight onto the 1 Peter section) Reflect ….. How does the writer to the Hebrews compare the Christian experience of drawing near to God to the Israelites’ experience at Sinai? What are the similarities / differences? What is his conclusion for us as Christian people? v29-20 The other significant passage to read is 1 Peter 2:9-12 Reflect ….. What similarities can you see between how Peter describes Christian people and how God describes the Israelites in Ex 19:5-6? What are Christians called to do? v9, 12 How do you feel we are doing at this, as a church, as a group, as individuals? What has been the key challenge for you from today’s study? Do you need to have an action point? Into prayer: Spend some time praising God for who he is and rejoicing in his character. Then pray for one another, especially praying that we might encourage one another to listen attentively to His word. Reading on… do try to read on up to the end of Chapter 23 for next time.