The Story: Week 5 Guide (Ch. 5- Deliverance / Ch. 6 – Are We There Yet?)

General Resources:

Week 5 Resources:

The Story – Chapter 5

Introduction

In this chapter, we finish Exodus as we look at Moses interactions with God and the receipt of the Ten Commandment. If you don’t have The Story book, you can read Exodus chapters 19-20, 24-25, 32-34 and 40.

 Chapter 5 – New Commands and a New Covenant

The journey had begun. And, like all journeys, there is a “from” and a “to.” God saved Israel from slavery, and He saved them to become a holy nation – set apart for His purposes. God intended Israel to be different than the pagan nations surrounding them; they were called to honor God and to point others to this LORD. Just weeks after the exodus, God inaugurated a new covenant with Israel that, if obeyed, would shape them into the holy nation that He intended them to be.  At Mount Sinai God gave Moses the Ten Commandments – God’s expectations for His covenant people.

Unfortunately, even as Moses was receiving God’s commandments, the Israelites were forgetting that they had just promised they would obey all that God said. While Moses was on the mountain with God, the people began worshipping a golden calf, causing Moses to shatter the Ten Commandment tablets when he came back and saw what they were doing.

When God proposed to send Israel on to Canaan without Him, Moses prayed for God’s presence to remain. God graciously agreed and promised He would remain with Israel, in the form of a cloud over the Tabernacle. After spending forty days with the LORD on Mount Sinai, Moses came down with two new tablets of the covenant law. Moses’ face was so radiant after time with God that he had to be veiled because the people were afraid. 

Discussion Questions

As you read, remember there are discussion questions for each chapter beginning on page 473 of the book and also questions that can be found on The Story bookmark (which are also on our website). Also, feel free to consider some of the questions below:

  1. Moses was an intermediary between Israel and God. Has there been someone in your life who prayed for you, helped you see God’s will, or acted as a spiritual mentor? Would that type of relationship be a blessing to you today? How could you seek it out? How could you do this for someone else?
  1. The Lord spoke to Moses “as one speaks to a friend” (p. 67). What was there about Moses that God found so pleasing? How would you rate your relationship to God, from 1 = Total Stranger to 10 = Close Friend. Why do you rate it that way? What can you do to be in a closer relationship with God?
  1. When Moses comes down from the mountain for the first time and gives the people the law they rejoice saying, “everything the Lord has said, we will do.”  Yet when Moses returns up the mountain and stays longer than they expect they quickly become afraid. They turn from worshipping God to worshipping an idol they forge out of their melted-down jewelry.  Why do you think it was so easy for Israel to slip from covenant affirmation to idolatry? Have there been times in your life you felt God had left you or found it hard to wait on God?  What sustained you in those times? 
  1. What role do the Ten Commandments play in your life with God? Should and/or how can they play a more significant role?
  1. The Israelites’ journey through the wilderness is one with both great victories and terrible defeat. How do you see God relating to his people when they lose faith in His promises? Is he consistent? How do you relate to God in the midst of great times or great struggles in your own life? How have you seen God respond to you during these times?
  2. What questions came up for you while you were reading this chapter?

The Story – Chapter 6

Introduction

This week we look at parts of two rather difficult books to read – Numbers and Deuteronomy, as we explore the Isrealites journey through the desert and Moses farewell discourse. If you don’t have The Story book, you can read chapters 10-14, 20-21, 25 and 27 in Numbers and chapters 1-2, 4, 6, 8-9, 29-32 and 34 in Deuteronomy.

Chapter 6 – Are We Almost There Yet? (In the book it’s called Wandering, but we’re calling it Are We Almost There Yet?)

God’s plan was clear: deliver His people through a series of miracles, defeat their enemies, give them a covenant and set of laws to make them a chosen nation, and provide them a land of promise. Simple, right? God speaks, the people listen. God delivers, the people believe. God provides, the people trust. Well, maybe not so much.

God always held up His end of the bargain: He always provided, always delivered, always kept His promises. It turns out the people were equally consistent: They always forgot, always questioned, always rebelled. Their lack-of-faith list was long. When daily bread fell from heaven, they craved a taste of Egypt. Even Moses’ siblings, Miriam and Aaron, grew jealous and undermined their brother’s leadership.

When they neared the Promised Land, Moses sent twelve leaders to spy out Canaan. Ten of the twelve said the cities were too strong, the people too big, and God was too small. Only two, Caleb and Joshua, trusted God enough to encourage Israel to go and take what God had given them. But the people complained and failed to believe.

So, Israel spent the next forty years wandering aimlessly in the wilderness. The faithless generation would die out before they set foot on the other side of the land of promise. Only Caleb and Joshua would outlive them all to eventually cross over into their inheritance. (Even Moses ignored God’s commands at one point, so he too did not enter the Promised Land.) Before his death, Moses commissioned Joshua as Israel’s new leader.

Discussion Questions

As you read, remember there are discussion questions for each chapter beginning on page 473 of the book and also questions that can be found on The Story bookmark (which are also on our website). Also, feel free to consider some of the questions below:

  1. The Israelites’ journey through the wilderness is one with both great victories and terrible defeat. How do you see God relating to his people when they lose faith in His promises? Is he consistent? How do you relate to God in the midst of great times or great struggles in your own life? How have you seen God respond to you during these times?
  2. Moses called the people of Israel to a life of obedience, promising that life and blessing would flow from it. With such a clear blessing extended to us, we still find it difficult to remain obedient. What role, if any, do you think “remembrance” has in remaining faithful?
  3. Israel believed the report of the faithless spies out of fear. What do you think was the cause of their consistent lack of faith and trust?
  1. God punishes Miriam and Aaron for slandering Moses (p. 74). Have you ever had to deal with lies spoken against you? How did you handle it? How did Moses handle it, and what does God do in response?
  1. Despite his years of service, Moses’ disobedience kept him from entering the Promised Land. What did Moses do wrong? Do you agree with the punishment? What does this teach you about God’s expectations for leadership?

6. What questions came up for you while you were reading this chapter?

Permanent link to this article: https://crossofglory.com/the-story-week-5/