Week 9: Leviticus 1-15

Prepare these questions for Sunday, April 28, 2013.

Leviticus is named for the tribe/descendants of Levi (they taught the law and served the temple) and it concerns the rules regarding sacrifices and purity.  The book of Leviticus is also usually about where people give up on reading the Bible.  It is somewhat tedious, hard to relate to from a modern perspective, and kind of gross (there's a lot of smearing/scattering blood).  It is generally thought to have been written by Moses, but (as always happens with the Bible) people argue about that. Try to imagine living in a culture that attempted to abide by the rules and regulations discussed in this book.

1.  Chapters 1 through 7 list and describe 5 different kinds of sacrifices or offerings.  What are they and when are they used?

2.  Who is anointed and installed as priests over Israel in Chapters 8 through 10?

3.  Chapters 11 through 15 have some pretty specific (and gross) rules about diets and health.  Which ones stand out to you as surprising or unusual?

4.  What value did all of these sacrifices, rules, and regulations have for the Israelites?  How is their worship of God different from Christian worship today? Are there ways in which it is similar?

Week 8: Exodus 32-40

Prepare these questions for Sunday, April 21, 2013.

In this part of Exodus the Israelites seem to forget God's presence and rebel against Moses, yet still come together to create the tabernacle.  Think about what circumstances might have encouraged their rebellion as you read.

1.  What was the Golden Calf and how did Moses react when he learned about it?  What was God's reaction to these events?

2.  What was unusual about Moses and his face after he met with God?  What does this reveal about God?

3.  Why is the description of the tabernacle so very detailed?  What can those details tell us about these people and their community?

4.  How did the Israelites determine when to stay and when to go during their time in the desert?  What impact could this have on how the Israelites viewed God?

Week 7: Exodus 13-31

Prepare these questions for Sunday, April 14, 2013.

These chapters occur as the Israelites are fleeing Egypt and moving through the desert with Moses as their leader.  Think about what it would be like to travel with around 2 million people or so while camping in the desert as you read this section.

1.  What miracles allowed the Israelites to escape Egypt and survive in the desert?

2.  What are the Ten Commandments and how did they come to be?

3.  What other kinds of laws are stated in these chapters?  Why would these laws be given to Moses at this point in the Israelites' story?

4.  What is the Ark of the Covenant discussed in Chapter 25?  What did the Israelites do with it and why is it significant?

5.  The Israelites experienced inspiring acts of miraculous love from God, but still needed to establish laws and the rule of judges to function as a society.  What does that say about their characters?  Do you relate to any of their behaviors or reactions to these experiences?

Week 6: Exodus 1-12

Prepare the following questions for Sunday, April 7, 2013.

In Exodus we return to the story of the now-called Israelites (the family of Jacob that settled in Egypt to avoid famine).  Things don't go so well for them and they have to leave (which is what Exodus means) under the guidance of Moses, who is generally thought to have written down the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.)

1.  Who was Moses and what are the highlights of what happened to him in these chapters?

2.  What might Moses have been thinking during the rather dramatic events of his life (raised in palace, on the run for murder, burning bush, speaking to Pharaoh)?  How could those thoughts affect how he viewed God?

3.  List the plagues discussed in these chapters.  Were the plagues effective in getting Pharaoh to release the Israelites? Why?

4.  How does the story of Passover (Chapter 12) relate to what you know of the story of Jesus from the New Testament?  (Luke 22:1-20 might help with ideas)