Reluctance - Exodus 3:1-4:16

1.      Think of a time when you were completely out of your comfort zone. What fears did you have during those moments?

2.      What can cause a person to doubt his or her ability to accomplish a challenging task?

3.      How do your doubts feed your reluctance and hesitation to act?

God gives many strengths and talents to His people, but sometimes He calls us to act in areas where we feel the weakest or least confident. God desires that we remain obedient, trusting Him despite our reluctance or fear.

Though Moses feared public speaking, what people would think, and repercussions of facing his past, God promised to provide everything Moses needed, asking him to trust and obey.

Over the next three months we will examine significant passages in Exodus and Leviticus. Exodus presents to us the formative revolutionary event that brings a group of people into existence as a national political entity. The people of Israel become the fledgling Nation of Israel.

            In Exodus we see seven themes: Bondage; Deliverance; Sacrifice; Redemption; God’s Nature; The Law; and Continuation and Expectation.

            In Leviticus the following themes are developed: Holiness; Sacrifice; Ceremonial Purity; and Worship.

(Consider using the questionnaire about Moses to begin the lesson.)

Today we will see that God calls and empowers people to serve Him and His purposes.


The Approach! Read Exodus 3:1-6


1.      How did God get Moses’ attention? (Notice God took the initiative to reveal Himself to Moses.)

2.      How would you characterize Moses’ initial response when he observed the burning bush and realized it was something only God could do? (Moses’ first response of reverence and fear of the Lord made him attentive to further conversations with God.)

3.      How did God establish His identity? (Moses had surely been exposed to many impostor gods in his lifetime. God was very clear as to who He was.)

4.      What does this tell us about Moses’ knowledge of his ancestry?

5.      What does our response to God reveal about our view of God?

6.      What does our response to God reveal about our view of ourselves?

God showed Moses this was something bigger than just the present situation. God personally brought Moses into His plan to dwell with His people and bring them into a whole new way of life.


The Assignment! Read Exodus 3:7-10


1.      What did God reveal to Moses in verses 7-9? (God had heard the cry of His people in Egypt and had compassion on them. God was ready to act on behalf of His people.)

2.      How did God describe the land He was going to give to His people?

3.      What do these actions here reveal about God? (No matter how long it takes, God will fulfill His promises that He makes. He had promised Abraham that his descendents would possess the land of Canaan. They had been in Egypt 400 years!)

4.      How can this depiction of God in these verses comfort you in times of suffering and affliction?

5.      How do the cross and the resurrection of Jesus remind us that God has ultimately heard our cries?

6.      What did God tell Moses to do in this passage?

We see a pattern throughout Scripture of a sending God who asks people to trust and obey Him. God is at work in the past, present, and future to bring about His will. We can trust that when He invites us to respond to Him He is already preparing the person and working in the circumstances!


God told Moses what He would do and that He was going to use Moses to make it all happen. Moses offered some options.


The Authority! Read Exodus 3:11-14


1.      What do you think is the “real” question behind the questions Moses posed? (Who am I?—a nobody! Who are You?)

2.      Who did God say He was? (I AM! Not was or will be or has been, but I AM! The eternal God, Creator of all that exists and Sustainer of the universe! The Everlasting!)

3.      In a world filled with unreliable people and broken promises, how does God’s promise enable us to trust Him despite our challenges or circumstances?

4.      How did knowing God’s identity bring assurance to Moses?

5.      How does knowing God’s identity bring assurance to you?


Moses came up with every excuse you can think of to get out of what God was calling him to do. God gave him a couple of demonstrations to show the people so they would know God had sent him. His staff turned into a snake and back to a rod again. His hand became leprous and was clean again.

The Assurance! Read Exodus 4:13-16


1.      How would you paraphrase Moses’ last excuse in verse 13?

2.      Do you consider God’s response to be firm, diplomatic, conciliatory, or impatient?

3.      How do we push God to the limits when He tells us to do something?

4.      Numbers 12:3 tells us that Moses was the most humble man on earth. How is God’s power magnified through a person like Moses?

5.      How did God plan on demonstrating His power through Moses’ weaknesses?

6.      What does this passage teach about how God uses our weaknesses to accomplish His purposes?

7.      Aaron was on the way before Moses ever knew God was sending him to rescue his people. How does God meet our fears of obedience like He did with Moses?

8.      How do you see God affirming spiritual community in this passage?

God calls every believer to walk with Him in faith. What He asks us to do, He will empower us to complete and bring support. He relates to us individually and as a people.


Summarize and Challenge!


1.      What role does God desire you to play in redeeming His people?

2.      What steps do you need to take to carry out the mission you know God has for you?

3.      What holds us back from surrender and obedience? The cost? The fear of failure? The fear of rejection? Risking the approval of others?

4.      What do our excuses reveal about our faith in God?


Take time to examine your life and what keeps you from consistent obedience. Habits don’t change on their own, so make a plan for obeying God when He calls!