2 Objectives: Describe the role of Moses in the Exodus Describe the trust that is build between God and His people as they journey to the Promised Land.Discuss the 10 plaques.Discuss the Ten Commandments and how they foreshadow the Great Commandment taught by Jesus.Review the class objectives at the beginning of class.
3 Four weeks to prepare for the special feast of Christmas. Word of the Week:AdventFour weeks to prepare for the special feast of Christmas.The word of the week will be playing on the TV please direct your class to watch the video playing on the TV in the classroom.
4 Send Someone Else!The Bible is full of people whom God called to do his will. Moses is an example of a person God called. Read Moses response to God’s call in Ex 4:13.Like Moses, we may not feel worthy or capable of responding to God’s will; it may be out of our comfort zone. We just need to trust God enough and allow Him to work through Us!God provided Moses what he needed to accomplish his will (Aaron’s support), and he will help us too.
5 Father, Help me to know what your will is for me Father, Help me to know what your will is for me. Give me good judgment to know what you are calling me to do and the grace necessary to accomplish your will. Amen.
6 Exodus means “to go out.” The Book of Exodus sings of a God who save His people. It speaks of a compassionate God who sustains even in the most difficult situations and longs to be in a covenant relationship with his children.
7 What is the Book of Exodus about? Account of slavery, liberation, and trust1500 – 1250 BCEStory of the Israelites, who are enslaved in Egypt.God freed them through Moses, who challenges the Pharaoh and leads them through the wilderness to the Promised Land.After following Moses through the desert and being persecuted and facing obstacles, the Israelites become a holy nation who follow God’s law.Exodus, speaks of a compassionate God who sustains even the most difficult situations, a God who longs to be in a covenant relationship with his children.
8 The Book of Exodus Begins . . . Exodus begins by listing Joseph’s descendants and those of his brothers, who came to Egypt to live with him. Together they were the sons of Israel.Pharaoh Ramses II (1290–1224 BC) came to power and “knew nothing of Joseph” (Exodus 1:8).Ramses II felt threatened by the many Israelites, so he enslaved them.Image in public domainNotes: You may wish to review the story of Joseph and how he and his brothers ended up in Egypt (Genesis 37:1—47:11).
9 The Roots of Persecution To understand Exodus you must understand the situation of the Israelites of Egypt.After a week of peace in Egypt the Pharaoh begins the see the growing number of Israelites as threat.The leaders of Egypt forced the Israelites to do harsh and inhumane work.This resulted in the hidden identity of Moses in the courts of Pharaoh.
10 Who is Miriam?Miriam the prophetess was the sister of Moses and Aaron.She saved Moses from Pharaoh’s plan to kill all Israelite boys at birth by floating Moses on the Nile in a basket, where Pharaoh's daughter found him.Miriam also provided her mother the opportunity to remain in Moses’ life by suggesting her to Pharaoh’s daughter as a nurse for the infant Moses.Image in public domainNotes: Even in the midst of slavery and a brutal massacre, God’s providence is at work. Working through Miriam’s courageous action, God saves Moses, allows Moses to be raised by the Egyptian royalty, and even brings Moses’ mother to raise him.Miriam fades into the background of Exodus until after the Israelites pass through the Red Sea. The “Song at the Sea” (see Exodus 15:1–21) is likely one of the oldest writings in the Bible. It is notable also because it clearly describes a woman leading prayer.
11 Moses’ Early YearsMoses was brought up as Egyptian royalty, but his contact with his family gave him exposure to and sympathy for the Israelites.After Moses reaches adulthood, he sees an Egyptian striking an Israelite slave. In defense of the slave, Moses kills the Egyptian and hides the body in the sand.When it becomes known what Moses has done, he fears for his life and flees to the land of Midian.In Midian he encounters the daughters of Reuel, a priest of Midian. Moses stays with Reuel and marries his daughter Zipporah.Image in public domainNotes: During this part of his journey, Moses likely felt a wide range of emotions. An interesting exercise would involve having the students write a first-person journal entry in which they describe Moses’ feelings in this chapter of his life. A briefer exercise would be a large-group discussion to list the emotions Moses may have felt and why he would have felt them.
12 What happened to Moses?To save Moses, his mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the river.He’s discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter whom raises Moses.When Moses is an adult he sees and Egyptian strike a slave and Moses kills the Egyptian.
13 Young Moses(Continued) When people find out what Moses has done he flees Egypt to the land of Midian. He marries the priest’s daughter Zipporah.Through this we learn the mysterious and glorious work of God. This makes him an instrument of God’s will.
14 ExodusAs Moses is growing up, he is almost a witness of the Pharaoh’s decree of all Hebrew male babies should be killed.When he flees the palace of the Pharaoh, and calling out from a bush, God revels himself as his sacred, divine name, Yahweh (I am who am).Moses embodies the hopes and aspirations of God’s Holy People to live no longer under the darkness of Pharaoh’s reign, but rather to walk freely in the light of God’s Reign.
15 God Calls MosesYears later God reveals himself to Moses and calls him to a key role in the salvation of God’s People.Moses experiences a theophany through a burning bush.God identifies himself as “I am who am” and calls Moses to be his voice of truth and arm of justice.Theophany -a manifestation or appearance of God to a person.Notes: The communication by God through the burning bush is significant for a number of reasons. Chronologically it is the most direct communication by God to his People since the visit of the three men to Abraham (see Genesis, chapter 18) and Jacob’s all-night struggle (see Genesis 32:23–32). God says that he has “observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt” and that he will act through Moses to liberate his People. When asked by Moses, God introduces Himself as “I AM WHO (I) AM.” This holy name implies that God is eternally present and a wholly unique being in all of creation.These reasons relate directly to what this theophany reveals to the Israelite community about God. From it they learn that God is still speaking directly and clearly to his Chosen People; God not only hears the concerns of his People but also responds to them; God’s name is given, and along with it the revelation that God is eternally present and wholly unique.Image in public domain
16 What kind of Conflict and Contradiction ? Sent by God and assisted by his brother, Aaron, Moses stands up to Pharaoh by exclaiming, “Let my people go!” (Ex 5:1)Pharaoh is angry and orders even harsher treatment to the Israelites.To show who the true God is, God unleashes the 10 plagues onto Egypt, Pharaoh endures the first 9 plagues, but refuses to release the Israelites.The 10th plague takes the life of all first born males, human and animal, this event is known as the Passover.
17 What Are The Ten Plagues? First Plague: Water turned into BloodSecond Plague: FrogsThird Plague: GnatsFourth Plague: FliesFifth Plague: PestilenceSixth Plague: BoilsSeventh Plague: HailEighth Plague: LocustsNinth Plague: DarknessImage in public domainNotes: The first pre-plague sign that God gives is having Aaron’s staff turn to a snake in the presence of the Pharaoh (see Exodus 4:1–5). Pharaoh’s “sorcerers” were able to do the same with their staffs. Although Aaron’s snake consumes those of the “sorcerers,” Pharaoh is unmoved and “his heart was hardened.”The nine plagues that follow are extreme versions of natural events that occur in the Nile region of Egypt. The ninth plague of three days of darkness foreshadows the final plague that takes place in the dark of night.
18 The Tenth Plague and Passover Tenth Plague: Death of Firstborn malesGod spared the Israelites from this plague by passing over the houses marked with the blood of the sacrificial lamb. This event is known as the Passover.Image in public domainNotes: The final plague involves a twist on the massacre of Israelite boys, which begins Moses’ story. God is more merciful than Pharaoh, for God will strike down only firstborn sons rather than every boy.This event shows the connection between God’s power and protection and how these relate to obedience in following God’s commands. The Israelites are obedient to God’s specific commandments about the actions to take on the night that would come to be known as the Passover. The Egyptians, led by Pharaoh, do not obey God’s commandment to free the Israelites and then do not follow the commands for the night. As God promised, the Israelites are saved through their faithful obedience, and the Egyptians experience the loss of their sons and male animals. This confirms God’s promise that he has heard the cries of his People and will thus free them.What did the event of the Passover show the Israelites about God?
19 What is the Saving Act?After losing his son, the Pharaoh begs Moses to leave with the Israelites.Pharaoh changes his mind and tries to chase them, but God stops them in the miracle of the Red Sea.This story shows that God will keep promises to his people, even when they may appear impossible.
20 What did this event show the Israelites about God? Freedom from EgyptAfter the tenth plague, Pharaoh lets the Israelites go.Pharaoh soon changes his mind and the Egyptian armies pursue the Israelites. On the shores of the Red Sea, God defeats the Egyptians.Notes: This event gives the Israelites further insight into the power of God. When the Israelites are backed against the Red Sea by the advancing Egyptian chariots, they fear for their lives, crying out to Moses, “Were there no burial places in Egypt that you had to bring us out here to die in the desert?” (Exodus 14:11). God, who had previously led them by a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, tells them to trust in his power and commands Moses to raise his hand over the sea. God sends a strong wind and forces the waters back to expose dry land. No situation is insurmountable by the power of God and his will.What did this event show the Israelites about God?Image in public domain
21 Traveling through the desert forced the Israelites to rely on God for survival. How does life today make it easy for us to forget that we also need to rely on God?
22 How did God Build Trust?Liberation from Egyptian slavery and the crossing of the Red Sea was the start of the Israelites’ journey.When they entered the land where their fates were uncertain, food and water are scarce, and the natives were unwelcoming, they forgot the fact that God promised to protect them in the darkest times.God gave them manna, little flakes the Israelites boiled or baked that symbolized God as sole sustainer of life, when they needed food.He gave them water when they needed drink, and He protected them when they were afraid.Even though He provided the Israelites all of that, they still questioned the presence of God.
23 How Was Their Identity Formed? In all their struggles and complaints, the Israelites had to work together and to build a community based on God’s saving power.Some people were called to help Moses by becoming leaders.They helped the people to recall God’s wondrous deeds in the Exodus and to recognize God’s saving presence in their midst.They reminded the people about a God that never forgot his promises.The people are traveling an unclear road with many twists and turns, yet God never leaves them.God draws them together as a family and gives them a new identity. They become a people brought from the depths of slavery and called to a new land so they can be the Chosen people who sing of God’s greatness.
24 The Bread of LifeThe manna symbolizes God as the sole sustainer of life and foreshadows the Eucharist.In the Eucharist, Christ is fully present – body, blood, soul and divinity. While Jesus traveled on the earth, he fed people not only with food but with his presence and words.When did Jesus institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist?At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist with the intent that people of all times and places would be able to feed on his presence and word. Jesus is our Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation.
25 What Is The Sinai Covenant? Mount Sinai is the sacred ground where God forms a Covenant with his Chosen People.Contained within this Covenant are the laws and obligations known as the Ten Commandments.Within the framework of the Sinai Covenant, God declares himself to be their God, a God of fidelity, love, and justice.Notes: Ask a student to read aloud Exodus, chapter 20.The laws that God will give Moses on Mount Sinai form the foundation of the Sinai Covenant. The covenants God made with Noah and then the Patriarchs were mostly one-sided—God will be with the people and the people will follow a general, broad ethical code. On Sinai, God spells out the laws that his people are to follow. These laws, governing nearly every aspect of religious, moral, and civic life, will guide the Israelites going forward through time.
26 Loving LimitationsWhat happens when someone tells you that you are not allowed to do something?We tend to dislike having limitations put on us… even if it is good for us.For example, a mother tells her child not to leave the yard and run into the street. Why?In a similar way, God gives commandments to guide us, not to restrain us. He does this because he loves us.Pick one of the Ten Commandments that seems restrictive to you and write down the positive things that come from following it.
27 The Ten CommandmentsOn the third day at Mount Sinai, God summons Moses to the mountaintop and gives him the Ten Commandments.The Ten Commandments are the first stage of revealed law, telling of God’s expectations of his people. These express the Israelites’ covenant relationship with God.These ten norms express the law of God in the Torah.The Ten Commandments teach how people lead their lives.They lay the framework for building a more just society and teach us how to live in right relationship with God.
28 What are The Ten Commandments? I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.Honor your father and mother.You shall not kill.You shall not commit adultery.You shall not steal.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
29 The heart of the ten commandments is reverence and love for god and love of neighbor. The Old Law given to Moses is a preparation for the Gospel revealed by Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfills the Old Covenant and Law. Like Moses, he delivers the law from a mountain in the Sermon on the Mount.
30 Like the Old Law, the New Law is based in love of God and love of neighbor. It is a law of grace because the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to live it out through faith and the Sacraments. It calls us to freely share God’s love in acts of charity and justice.If you have additional time, do the Ten Commandments activity and Moses as a leader activities found in the teacher guide page 170.
32 Chapter Quiz 1. Why did the pharoh enslave the Israelites? 2. Who adopted Moses?3. What act caused Moses to flee Egypt?4. Who was Moses's brother?5. How many plagues were sent on Egypt?6. What was the first plague?7. What was the last plague?8. What food does God rain down from the Heavens for the wandering Israelites?9. What happens on Mount Sinai?10. What is the focus of the Ten Commandments?
33 Closing Prayer: The Great Commandment You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart,and with your whole soul,and with all your mind.This is the greatest and the first commandment.And the second is like it:you shall love your neighbor as yourself.