Life Groups // Winter 2024 // Week 8

Posted March 1, 2024 — Lincoln Berean

Favor With God // Exodus 32:1-33:16

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This week we jump ahead again in Exodus past the descriptions given to Moses in preparation of the building of the tabernacle. Yet, as Pastor Bryan told us, the golden calf incident and what follows are related at least in the literary context to the tabernacle. The tabernacle is to be the place where God dwells among his people, yet the people seem to have a different idea about what that should look like. And we are left wondering whether the tabernacle will be built and whether God will continue to go with 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)

1) What was your favorite childhood meal?  


2) What lesson did you have to learn the hard way? 

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) This week read the passage as it is broken up in the questions. 

Study Questions (Suggested time: 40 min)

1) What questions or curiosities do you have after hearing the sermon on this passage of scripture? 




2) Read Exodus 32:1-9. Why did the people make a god(s) for themselves? 




If you had been among the people of Israel during this time, how do you think you would have responded to Moses’s absence and the building of the golden calf? 





What parallels do you see with Genesis 3:1-6 and Genesis 6:12? What is the core issue? 






Is there an area of your life in which you are obstinate or stiff-necked toward God? What is the core issue in this area? 






3) Read Exodus 32:10-14. How do you reconcile the idea that a sovereign, unchanging God changed his mind?




How does this passage confirm or change your thoughts about prayer?




What characteristics of Moses or his prayer do you think caused God to change his mind? 




4) Read Exodus 32:15-35. Compare and contrast Moses and Aaron as leaders throughout this passage, paying particular attention to verses 19-26 and 29-34. 





5) Read Exodus 33:1-16. Again, what do you notice about Moses in terms of his leadership of the people of Israel in this passage? 




Looking back over what we have covered in Exodus, what do you think brought about these changes in Moses from when he as originally called by God in chapter 3? 





Do you see God working in your own life to grow you in similar ways?  

If so, and you are willing, share this with your group.






If not, this might be something to talk with God about and ask him to reveal to you how He is working in your life. 






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.

Scripture Focus: Spend time reading Psalm 139 this week. Meditate on God’s closeness and intimate knowledge of you. Spend time journaling about your response to this Psalm.

Prayer Focus: Pray Psalm 139:23-24 several times this week asking God to reveal any idols that may be in your life. Listen for how the Lord may respond to this prayer. Is God asking you to do something specific in removing these idols from your life?

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?