Life Groups // Fall 2023 // Week 1

Posted September 8, 2023 — Lincoln Berean

Blessing and Despair // Exodus 1:1-22

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This week marks the start of a new session of Life Groups, and the start of a new sermon series on the book of Exodus. Over the next several weeks and months, we will discover the riches to be found in this historical narrative that is not mere history, but it is our history. This is our story because the God who delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt is the same God who delivered us from the bondage of sin through His Son, Jesus Christ. As we walk through the exodus narrative, it is our hope that you will be able to grow in your love for who God is and the incredible lengths He goes to in order to redeem His people. 

To think through the main ideas in the sermon and prepare for your discussion together, we invite you to look over all the questions on the following pages and write your thoughts down before you meet with your group. Due to preferences over a wide range of groups, we do not expect you will cover every question each week.  

Warm Up (Suggested time: 30 min)

For Life Groups that are meeting for the first time: 

1) Go around the circle and ask everyone to answer these “F” questions. 


First Name – Introduce yourself. 

Family – Describe your family. 

Faith – What is your faith background? 

Fun – What do you like to do for fun? 

Food – What is a favorite food of yours? 


2) What are you most looking forward to in the next six months?


For Life Groups that are reconnecting: 

If you have a couple of new members in your group you might want to have everyone answer the questions above before continuing with the questions below.  


1) What did you do this summer? 

2) What is happening in your life/family right now? 

3) How did God work in your life this summer? 

4) What are you most looking forward to in the next six months? 

Getting Started

1) Open group discussion with prayer. Here are a few potential prayer items: 

a. For the Spirit of God to lead you in truth 

b. For the fruit of the Spirit to be cultivated in your lives 

c. For grace to hear and apply what the Spirit says to you  

2) Choose someone to read the passage aloud for the group.  

Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)

1) If we were reading Exodus in the Hebrew language, we would find that the literal translation of the very first word of the book is “and”. From this we know that Exodus is the continuation of a story. What were some of the contextual details given in Ryan’s message that stood out to you as relevant to how you will continue to hear the rest of the exodus story? 





Whether you know a little or a lot about the God-sized story of the Bible, it is always beneficial to know your starting point. Discuss as a group your familiarity of what happens in the narrative of Scripture prior to the beginning of Exodus. What are some key moments?





Where do you see echoes of Genesis in this first chapter of Exodus?  


2) With new power and leadership under a new Pharaoh came oppression and slavery for the Israelites. God’s people, once highly favored in the land, are now slaves and exiles. Why do you think Pharaoh was so fearful of the Israelites? How does fear influence his decisions and actions in the rest of chapter one? 





Although God is not mentioned until later in the chapter, where do you see the faithfulness of God to the Israelites in verses 1-16? 





Share of a time/moment in your life when even though you were experiencing trials, you were able to see God’s blessing and faithfulness to you. What was it about your relationship with God that gave you the clarity to see Him working in the midst of struggle?


3) In verses 15-22, we see how God is about the business of working in unexpected ways. God chooses to begin the work of redeeming His people through the work of two Hebrew midwives. What are some adjectives you would use to describe these two women (Shiphrah and Puah)?  





What detail about their contribution is most surprising to you and why? 





Perhaps it is the unexpected workings of God that cause us to love and fear Him more. It is a way for us to identify His hand in our life, even in the simplest of details. In your personal salvation story, how have you seen God work in unexpected ways? How did this make you love Him more?  


Personal Spiritual Exercises

Just like physical exercises help strengthen and stretch our bodies for healthy living, these spiritual exercises are meant to move us spiritually in ways that may be new so we might experience inner growth. Since God longs for us to experience Him with our whole selves—mind, body, spirit—we invite you along each week to strengthen your souls with suggestions and prompts. Next week in Life Group, take a few moments to share how the Lord may have used this exercise in your life. 

Prayer Focus: When we are in the hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to forget how God has kept us, provided for us, and sustained us previously. Recall one to three significant events or people in your life that could serve as reminders of His faithfulness during trials.  

As you reflect on these moments, express your heart of gratitude to God, thanking Him for how He revealed His faithfulness to you in these moments. Possibly take things a little further by finding a meaningful way to mark or celebrate each moment. 

Scripture Focus: Commit this week to learning more about the context of Exodus in the overall big picture of the Bible. A helpful place to start can be found at the beginning of Exodus in your Study Bible. There is often introductory content such as vital statistics, timelines, themes, outlines. Reading through this information thoroughly can help with your study of the book in the weeks to come.  

Other great resources can be found at The Bible Project website. Peruse through their guide to the book of Exodus. These resources can be found at

Prayer (Suggested time: 20 min)

A significant part of “coming together” is being open and honest with our lives. Sitting in a group of people for prayer may be new or it may be familiar to you. If you would rather not pray aloud when it is your turn, feel free to pray silently and then say “Amen” aloud signaling the next person in the group to pray. Whether or not you choose to verbalize your prayer, everyone is a participant in sharing this time before God together. 


Take a few moments to prepare a prayer request. What did the message, working through the above questions or the discussion cause you to notice about your own relationship with Jesus? Would you be willing to share your prayer request with the group?