Sunday, March 3, 2024

Exodus 32:1-34 & 34:6-9

Moses led the people out of Egypt and through the Red Sea, but he had been up on Mount Sinai for 40 days. Moses left the people waiting in the wilderness with Aaron in charge. A lack of faith and a loss of leadership led to an idolatrous act, but one which the Lord would forgive.

Starting Out:
1. Do you notice behavior or attitude change when an authority figure is absent from your place of work?

Read Exodus 32:1-4:
2. What assumption did the Israelites make about Moses? How did this affect their subsequent choices?
3. What did the Israelites ask Aaron to do for them? How did Aaron respond? Why do you think all of them fell so quickly into the sin of idolatry?
4. How did Aaron falter in his leadership? What factors may have contributed to Aaron’s poor leadership?
5. Do you think this incident was a momentary lapse of good judgment or an act of deliberate rebellion? Does it make a difference one way or the other?

Read Exodus 32:30-34:
6. What did Moses ask God to do if He was unwilling to forgive the Israelites? What does God’s answer in verses 33-34 teach us about God’s view of sin?
7. How do God’s words here about the people’s accountability for their sin relate to His forgiveness and grace?

Read Exodus 34:6-9:
8. What terms are used to describe God in verses 6-7? Which of them do you find the most compelling? How do these character traits relate to God’s willingness to forgive us?
9. Why did God say He was willing to forgive the people even though they had sinned greatly? What characteristics of God can we count on when we falter?

Taking it Home:
10. Does God remember our sin after he forgives it?
11. How do we know God takes sin seriously even though he is merciful?
12. How does a follower of Jesus show mercy and grace to people? Doesn’t that open them up to being taken advantage of?

Other Scriptures to engage with this week:
Romans 6:1-13, Nehemiah 9, Matthew 5:38-42