Concordia Adult Bible Class
Summary: Dig deeper into God's Word with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX.
It can be tempting to fall into a pattern of praying only in church and, perhaps, before a meal. But prayer is not an occasional activity. It is a whole way of life! When we “pray constantly,” we begin to see life differently – through God’s eyes.
We have all probably had a moment where we prayed for something and God said, “No.” We sometimes call these prayers “unanswered prayers.” But these are really “transforming prayers.” Even when God says, “No,” He uses His “no” to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him.
There are ways not to pray. James discusses some of these ways in James 4:1-3. But in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gives us a model for all prayer. Praying for things like God’s glory, God’s provision, and God’s forgiveness are vital to prayer. Praying for these things also orients us around what matters most.
The power of prayer is on its receiving end. When God receives our prayer, He answers it according to His will. Turning to God for help and guidance, then, is powerful. When we spend time in prayer, we begin to see how God has worked through prayer, which grows our faith in Him.
The thought that the God of the universe would be interested in conversing with us can seem improbable to some. Doesn’t God have better things to do? Hebrews 4 reminds us that the proof of God’s care for us in Christ. If God has come for us in His Son, we can come to Him through His Son.
When Moses spoke with God, his face glowed. But that glow faded. We need a face that will not just temporarily shine on us, but eternally shine on us (Numbers 6:25).
At the same time God is giving Moses a command to worship only Him as part of the Ten Commandments, the rest of the Israelites are building and worshipping a false God because Moses has been conversing with God for so long. At those times where God’s presence seems absent and His word and will seem distant, we must not fall into the temptation to look for another god.
God promises to be with His people, enthroned on the Ark of the Covenant. At the center of the Ark is a mercy seat, which covers the Ten Commandments kept inside the Ark. When we break God’s commandments, mercy covers us!
God gives His people Ten Commandments not to burden them, but to free them by guiding them. When God gives commands, He does so with our best interest at heart. Divine commandments not only reveal God’s will, but His tender heart toward us.
The Israelites just faced too much water as they stared down the Red Sea. Now they face the danger of too little water as they swelter in a desert. God provides water from a rock, which Paul says is nothing less than Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
God has provided for Israel through rescuing Israel from their slavery. But no matter what God does for the Israelites, they always seem to want more. In Exodus 16, God provides bread from heaven, which prefigures God’s provision in Christ as the Bread from heaven (cf. John 6:51).
No matter what obstacle we may face, God can make a way! When the Israelites believe they are backed up against a sea, God parts the sea. In what area do you believe there is no way out? Even if there is no way out, God can give you a way through, just as He does with the Israelites.
God has judgment against sin, as is seen in His judgment of Egypt. But He does not treat Israel as their sins deserve. Instead, He passes over them because judgment for them has fallen on lambs. God also passes over our sins because judgment for them has fallen on the Lamb.
God reveals His glory to Egypt in a series of ten plagues, many of which directly confront elements of the false Egyptian pantheon of Gods. The Nile, for instance, was considered divine and life giving. But the true God takes what gives life and turns it into a place of death. In His Son, however, He takes a death and turns it into life!
When the Israelites are in Egypt, they are not only oppressed, they are disparaged. When sin oppresses us and people disparage us, we can trust that God is right there, working for our rescue and good!