WORSHIP GUIDE |

July

2

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July

3

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2022

Transitions Amidst the Seasons of Life

A message from
Pastor Josh Laxton

Exodus 2-3 (NIV)

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Exodus 2-3 (NIV)

Exodus 2 (NIV)

The Birth of Moses

Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.

7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, "I drew him out of the water."

Moses Flees to Midian

11 One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. 12 Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. 13 The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong,"Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?"”

14 The man said, “Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?” Then Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”

15 When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. 16 Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. 18 When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”

19 They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” 20 “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”

21 Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. 22 Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying "I have become a foreigner in a foreign land."

23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Exodus 3 (NIV)

Moses and the Burning Bush

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

4 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.” 5 “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing of milk and honey— the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." 11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you." 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers— the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Isaac and the god of Jacob—has sent me to you.' the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
   the name you shall call me
   from generation to generation. 16 “Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.'

18 “The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians and with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 “And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians."

Worship Focus

Today, we worship the God who holds the power to set us free from the hold that sin has over us. When we seek God’s truth, we can walk through the seasons of life in freedom.

Digging Deeper

THIS WEEK'S Bible study

DIG DEEPER HERE +

Transitions: Transitions Amidst the Seasons of Life

Are you enjoying our series on Transitions so far? We’ve looked at many types of transitions in the last few months. Have we covered something pertinent to your life? 

We’ll stay in the Old Testament this week and focus on another important figure, Moses. Moses faced transitions during the various seasons of his life. He made some mistakes, but God never left him. Moses went on to enjoy some tremendous accomplishments. He wrote the first five books of our Old Testament. Imagine being the person who wrote, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Moses was also the leader who ushered the Israelites out of their bondage in Egypt. He had direct contact with God Himself and received ten commandments on tablets written by the finger of God. Moses was an eyewitness to God’s provision of manna from the sky and water from the rock in the desert. He met with God regularly, so much so that his face shined with the reflection of God’s glory.

But, all the great things Moses would do in his life were imperiled by one impulsive act during the first season of his life. How does a person come back from a failure that seems to have ruined everything? Let’s see how Moses transitions from his great mistake and turns his face toward the future with God.

How to Use This Guide 

Thank you for taking the time to do this Bible study. When we dig deeper into God’s word, He promises to bless us. We follow in the footsteps of King David, who wrote in Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

This guide will provide a weekly framework for spiritual conversations with friends or family. We encourage you to reach out to a friend or two, pick a time to get together each week, and work through this guide together. This Bible study can also be a good tool for families, perhaps coordinated with mealtimes.

What does the Bible say?

Read Exodus 2-3.

Keep in mind that Moses was the one who wrote down his miraculous birth story. In Exodus 1, we read that after moving to Egypt from the land of Canaan because of a famine, Moses’ ancestor Jacob, also named Israel by God, and his descendants grew from seventy people to becoming “so numerous that the land was filled with them” (Exodus 1:7). The current king was not impressed with Jacob’s famous son Joseph’s legacy and made all the Israelites slaves to the Egyptians. This Pharoah even commanded the two Hebrew midwives to kill the baby boys of the Israelite women as soon as they were born. Moses records the names of these courageous women: Shiphrah and Puah. Thanks to their ingenuity, Moses lived out his destiny: to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and help them return to their land.

Moses’ birth story is filled with clever women. First, we meet Moses’ mother, a Levite woman. She married a man from the tribe of Levi and became pregnant with Moses. The first miracle of Moses’ life is that he survived his first few months. What did Moses’ mother do to protect her son in Exodus 2:1-4? Why did she do this? 

The next woman we meet is Pharaoh’s daughter, who went to the Nile river to bathe. What did this royal lady see, and what did she do about it in Exodus 2:5-6? 

Who enters the scene in Exodus 2:7, and what does she suggest? This is Miriam, who would eventually accompany both her brothers, Moses and Aaron, out of Egypt and journey toward the Promised Land. Because Miriam took initiative in Exodus 2:8-9, Moses’ mother was paid by Pharoah’s daughter to nurse her own baby! Who named Moses, and why did she name him this? 

Moses owed his life to two midwives and essentially had two mothers as well as a strong sister. These women came together to protect and care for a baby that they all must have agreed was special and perhaps would have an important purpose in life. These women likely instilled in Moses a sense that he was destined for big things. We know this to be true. But, the path to Moses’ great accomplishments would contain some dead ends that threatened to derail his destiny. 

Moses does not write any more about his childhood or adolescence. Being raised in Pharaoh’s palace would have had its advantages, particularly when it came to Moses’ education. There would not have been a more fine education than the one he received in Egypt at that time.

What did Moses do after he “had grown up,” according to Exodus 2:11-12? Perhaps Moses struggled with his dual identity. He knew he was a Hebrew (an Israelite), but he was somewhat detached from his people’s hardships due to his life in Pharaoh’s palace. Whose side did Moses take in the altercation he witnessed? Moses then took matters into his own hands. What did he do? How do his actions show his inner conflict? Moses could have returned to his life as it was in the palace, but instead, where did he go the next day? What kind of trouble did he get into this time in Exodus 2:13-14? 

Moses thus alienated himself from his own people, the Israelites (Hebrews), and now, he would also flee Pharaoh and Egypt. He who had not one, but two families, suddenly had no one. Why did Moses leave Egypt, and where did he go? 

Moses embarked on a journey that would take him to the other side of the Sinai Peninsula. What kinds of thoughts do you think he had as he traveled alone? He, who had been such a special child and had grown up with all the advantages the world could offer, ran for his life in fear. Maybe you can relate to how Moses might have felt. Have you ever made a big mistake, one that changed the course of your life? You may not have murdered someone like Moses, but have you ever experienced a failure that made you believe your life was over? Most of us can relate to making decisions that we regret, being impulsive, and neglecting to think before we act. Remember, Moses is narrating his own story. It is for our benefit to see that God was not finished with Moses. His mistake, though against God’s code, did not exclude Moses from his part in God’s bigger plan. The same is true for us today.

Upon his arrival in Midian, Moses sat down by a well. Who did he meet there, according to Exodus 2:16, and what chivalrous act did Moses perform in 2:17? How did the girls describe Moses in Exodus 2:19? Their father, Reuel (also known as Jethro; see Exodus 3:1), showed hospitality to Moses and even gave his daughter to him in marriage. Once again, God used women to help Moses create yet another family and a third identity as a foreigner and a shepherd (see Exodus 3:1). What did Moses name his son? 

In Exodus 3, God will meet Moses and bring him back in line with his destiny. Where was Moses when God appeared to him, according to Exodus 3:1-3? We heard about Mount Horeb last week when we read about the prophet Elijah and his encounter with God (1 Kings 19). Mount Horeb is also referred to as Mount Sinai. This sacred spot would be where God gave Moses the ten commandments (see Exodus 19-20). 

Look through Exodus 3 and write down the attributes and qualities God reveals to Moses about Himself. In so doing, God begins to shift Moses’ thinking about himself and his purpose. God helps Moses see his own life within the framework of His design. This is not something Moses could have considered before his encounter with God. In a sense, Moses acted prematurely when he killed the Egyptian oppressor. His impulse to free his Hebrew brother was right, but his idea of how to accomplish this was too narrow in scope. What Moses needed was some perspective. What plans does God reveal to Moses in this chapter? What will be Moses’ part? 

There are many more lessons to be learned in this story about Moses. But, our purpose this week is to examine how we can transition from a life-altering mistake to being in God’s will. We’ve seen that God allows Moses to process the changes that God proposes. When Moses finally understands who God is and what He is about to do, he is able to accept his part in it, unlikely though it may be. 

As long as we are alive and willing to hear from God, we can be a part of God’s plan. God loved the world so much that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Even though we have made serious mistakes, there is someone in our life that we can love and care for. When we do so, we are doing God’s will. 

Prayer: Lord, we worship You for Your perfect plan. Somehow, Your plan is not derailed by the mistakes we make. Because You are good, You invite us to join with You again. You hold the power to set us free from the hold that sin has over us. When we seek Your truth, we can walk through the seasons of life in freedom. Thank You. Amen.

About This Sermon Series

Transitions, as we know, are part of life. We experience personal, familial, vocational, cultural, national, and even organizational transitions. In fact, Northland is a church in the midst of change and transition. We have called our new lead pastor, Dr. Josh Laxton. Interestingly, while we experience a myriad of transitions in a lifetime, there is a difference between change and transition. Change is situational whereas transition is psychological. In other words, transition involves processing the change.

READ MORE +

Transitions, as we know, are part of life. We experience personal, familial, vocational, cultural, national, and even organizational transitions. In fact, Northland is a church in the midst of change and transition. We have called our new lead pastor, Dr. Josh Laxton. Interestingly, while we experience a myriad of transitions in a lifetime, there is a difference between change and transition. Change is situational whereas transition is psychological. In other words, transition involves processing the change.

After experiencing a change and transition, we can look back and see that we were changed—or better yet transformed. And who you became, the kind of transformation that occurred in that transition was the direct result of how you processed or didn’t process the change.

In this series, Transitions, we will take you on a journey through Scripture looking at various transitions in the life God’s people as well as various passages that deal with how we should process changes in our life. Our hope and prayer in this series is that you will learn how to process the various changes in life and allow the Holy Spirit to use transitions to conform you more into the image of Jesus.

Upcoming Weekends

» July 9-10
TRANSITIONS | Preventing Bad Transitions |
Lead Pastor Josh Laxton

» July 16-17
TRANSITIONS | Transitions and Pain |
Lead Pastor Josh Laxton

Upcoming Worship Services

» July 9-10
TRANSITIONS | Preventing Bad Transitions |
Lead Pastor Josh Laxton

» July 16-17
TRANSITIONS | Transitions and Pain |
Lead Pastor Josh Laxton

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