***I am currently writing some curriculum for Hyphen small groups. This is my first attempt at such a format, so I wanted to share the first lesson and get some feedback. If you read this and would like to share your thoughts, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like this lesson, and would be interested in purchasing the series, it should be available in time for our national Hyphen tour. Thanks.***
UNMASKING MOSES – LESSON 1
Exodus 2:1 And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, this is one of the Hebrews’ children.
15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well. 16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, how is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. (KJV)
Additional scripture references:
· Romans 12:2
· 2 Corinthians 6:17
· James 1:27
· 1 John 2:15-17
· Culture is the behaviors and characteristics that define a group.
· As Christians we are supposed to live our lives according to the bible, but we are still subject to the influences of the world.
And knowing is half the battle
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition defines culture as, “the shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs, and affective understanding that are learned through a process of socialization. These shared patterns identify the members of a culture group, while also distinguishing those of another group”1
A more general definition of culture is: the behaviors and characteristics shared within a group. These behaviors and characteristics are what a culture considers to be normal. Everything from language to fashion is defined by these standards.
1. What fashion trend are you most ashamed to admit that participated in?
2. What do you see as some accepted cultural norms in America?
Will the real Moses please stand up?
Several millennia ago, a young man sat at a well. He was running for his life, but on that day he took the time to help a septet of shepherdesses water their flocks. When the girls arrived home, they told their father that an Egyptian had helped them. Here’s the problem; he wasn’t an Egyptian. He was a Hebrew and his name was Moses.
3. What are some characteristics that may have caused Reuel’s daughters to believe that Moses was an Egyptian?
4. Moses’ good deed was credited to an Egyptian. Do you feel that good works should only be done if they reflect our identity as Christians, or do you feel that good works are to be done even if Christ doesn’t directly receive the credit?
Obviously Moses felt an allegiance to the Hebrew people; otherwise he wouldn’t have been in the predicament in which he found himself. God orchestrated the situation so that Moses’ own mother was his nursemaid, so it would be safe to assume he had been taught about Jehovah and the story of His people.
He may have been Hebrew at heart, but the rest of him lived in an Egyptian world. He attended Egyptian schools, went to Egyptian dinners and sat in the court of Pharaoh. Eventually, the influence of Egypt took its toll. In short, the culture he lived in influenced him to the point that his true identity was camouflaged.
5. What do you see as Christian cultural norms?
6. A 2009 study, by the Barna Group, found that “less than one-half of one percent of adults in the Mosaic generation – i.e., those aged 18 to 23 – have a biblical worldview”2. What might be some reasons for this finding?
7. What connections could be made between Moses’ situation, and James 1:27? How could these same connections be applied today?
I’m lovin’ it
Moses’ dilemma is one that we share. As Christians we are commanded to be separate from the world (2 Corinthians 6:17), but we still have to live in it. Because of this, we are daily subjected to cultural influences that are contrary to our Christian identity. Even though we may have the desire and the knowledge to stay unspotted from the world, if left unchecked, a love for the things of the world will eventually overshadow our Christian character.
8. How would you explain to a non-Christian what it means to be in the world, but not of the world?
9. What are some areas in which Christian young adults might struggle to be separate from the world?
10. How could we use John 15:19 to understand the link between our love for the world and our need for acceptance?