Standing in the Gulf of Mexico, my son and I dropped our rods not far from our feet. We were using triple hooks this time, loaded with bits of hot dog. The catfish swimming near us usually loved those.
Soon we each had a good sized fish grabbing the meat, and taking off. Jerking the line to “set” the hook, we reeled them in, put them in the bucket and started again. Neither of us minded these early morning jaunts to the beach, and most mornings found us at some favorite fishing spot.
We had quickly learned different fish will grab different bait. No big surprise there, right? After all, in a group of friends, how many all have the same “favorite” food? James–the small book following Hebrews that is filled with phenomenal wisdom–likens Satan’s dastardly plots to tempt us or to attack us (or get us to take the bait) to the same techniques the fishermen use to fish. He studies us, or his demons do, until they know us better than we know ourselves, then use the exact bait that will cause us to grab the hook, and we start feeling ourselves reeled in. Is it any wonder we find temptation at every turn? He knows our greatest weaknesses and attacks at that very spot.
The past few weeks the sermon series at Thomas Road Baptist Church has focused on the internal struggles we might feel if God seems to be calling us to do a certain work for Him. We have studied the life of Moses, as God raised him up to lead over two million Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been enslaved over four hundred years. Moses used every excuse he could think of to get out of the calling, and then some. Today we are going to focus for the week on the external struggles that Moses faced. Those people and situations that caused him to want to throw up his hands and quit! Have you been there? Think of those people as being placed in your life as bait from Satan, trying to get you to give up, crawl in your hole, and not come out. Yet God wants you to hang in, and be an “overcomer!”
Now is a good time to watch the sermon from Sunday, July 31, by clicking on http://www.trbc.org/service-archive and select the sermon just preached. After watching it, get your notebook handy, grab a friend or group if you’d like, and take time to study the sermon in depth from the questions below. You can do them in one setting, or spread them over several days! Enjoy “hungering and thirsting after righteousness,” learning and growing in the knowledge and understanding of the Lord.
In this modern age of distractions, busyness, heavy schedules, and more, attacks—personal or general—seem to come at us daily. Can you think of some you’ve endured recently? Use your notebook to write down your thoughts.
Think About or Discuss:
Our Battle Is Bigger Than We Think
- Read Exodus 5:1-11. In the second half of chapter 4, Moses and Aaron went to the Israelites, and told them God had called the two of them to deliver the Hebrews from slavery. Next they went to Pharaoh. How did he react? The battle suddenly became more real, did it not?
- What kind of reaction should Moses have expected from Pharaoh? Read Ex. 4:21-23. What had God told Moses would happen?
- Sometimes being told someone will react in a certain way doesn’t come into focus until you are met with the action face to face. How would you have felt if someone so powerful or popular had been so antagonistic to you?
Our Hope Is Bigger Than We Believe
- Read 5:3a again. Think of something you recently tried to do for the Lord, or a new discipline you wanted to begin. How did it go, and were you met with obstacles (perhaps phone calls, distractions)? Did you quit or persevere?
- Why do you think Moses and Aaron persisted when it would have been easier to give up? Why would their refusal to quit have anything to do with their trust in the Lord?
The Attacks May (Will) Keep Coming
- In verse 5:7, what command did Pharaoh give? This attack seems to verge on insanity! Why are we surprised when sinners act like sinners?
- Why will attacks keep on happening as long as you are trying to do something that will help you to know and serve God better? Read Eph. 6:12 and 1 Peter 5:8. Do these verses explain the attacks?
The Victory Is His
- Read Ex. 9:16 and 1 Samuel 17:47. Are the battles you are engaged in going to be fought by you alone? How do they depend on you?
- What are the best things you can do to overcome the attacks?
As you move your focus from looking at the internal battles to those that come at you from outside, are you intimidated that you are in a war with Satan? He ultimately wants to take you down, and it is not going to be your strength that saves you. As you go into this new week, concentrate on the weapons of warfare that you need to use as you battle daily. They are outlined in Ephesians 6:10-18. Focus on the points in this sermon, and internalize them so that you realize daily that it is only your personal relationship with Christ that is going to bring you through as an “overcomer!” Pray for those you love, for the families, marriages, children and grandchildren represented by them. Try to make a disciple of someone this week, asking God to change a heart because of your witness.
Memory Verse: Exodus 6:1: “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.’”
Focal Passage: Exodus 5:1-11, 9:16, 10:1, 10:2, 14:4, 14:13, and 14:31
Further Study: Take time to read Chapter 4, seeing the challenges that Moses was going to be facing as he prepared the people to leave Egypt.
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