“March 21–27. Exodus 1–6: ‘I Have Remembered My Covenant,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Old Testament 2022 (2021)
“March 21–27. Exodus 1–6,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2022
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The invitation to live in Egypt literally saved Jacob’s family. But after hundreds of years, their descendants were enslaved and terrorized by a new pharaoh “who knew not Joseph” (Exodus 1:8). It would have been natural for the Israelites to wonder why God allowed this to happen to them, His covenant people. Did He remember the covenant He had made with them? Were they still His people? Could He see how much they were suffering?
There may be times when you’ve felt like asking similar questions. You might wonder, Does God know what I’m going through? Can He hear my pleas for help? The story in Exodus of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt answers such questions clearly: God does not forget His people. He remembers His covenants with us and will fulfill them in His own time and way (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:68). “I will redeem you with a stretched out arm,” He declares. “I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under [your] burdens” (Exodus 6:6–7).
For an overview of the book of Exodus, see “Exodus, book of” in the Bible Dictionary.
One of the central themes in the book of Exodus is that God has power to free His people from oppression. The enslavement of the Israelites as described in Exodus 1 could be seen as a symbol of the captivity we all face because of sin and death (see 2 Nephi 2:26–27; 9:10; Alma 36:28). And Moses, the Israelites’ deliverer, can be seen as a type, or representation, of Jesus Christ (see Deuteronomy 18:18–19; 1 Nephi 22:20–21). Read Exodus 1–2 with these comparisons in mind. You might notice, for example, that both Moses and Jesus were preserved from death as small children (see Exodus 1:22–2:10; Matthew 2:13–16) and that both spent time in the wilderness before beginning their ministry (see Exodus 2:15–22; Matthew 4:1–2). What other insights do you learn from Exodus about spiritual captivity? about the Savior’s deliverance?
See also D. Todd Christofferson, “Redemption,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 109–12.
Today we know Moses as a great prophet and leader. But Moses did not see himself that way when the Lord first called him. “Who am I,” Moses wondered, “that I should go unto Pharaoh?” (Exodus 3:11). The Lord, however, knew who Moses really was—and who he could become. As you read Exodus 3–4, note how the Lord assured Moses and responded to his concerns. What do you find in these chapters that might inspire you when you feel inadequate? How does the Lord bless His servants with increased power to do His will? (see Moses 1:1–10, 24–39; 6:31–39, 47). When have you seen God do His work through you or others?
Although Moses courageously went before Pharaoh, just as God had commanded, and told him to release the Israelites, Pharaoh refused. In fact, he made the Israelites’ lives harder. Moses and the Israelites may have wondered why things weren’t working out even when Moses was doing what God asked him to do (see Exodus 5:22–23).
Have you ever felt you were doing God’s will but didn’t see the success you expected? Review Exodus 6:1–8, looking for what the Lord said to help Moses persevere. How has the Lord helped you persist in doing His will?
Jehovah is one of the names of Jesus Christ and refers to the premortal Savior. The Joseph Smith Translation clarifies that the prophets Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knew the Lord by this name (see Exodus 6:3, footnote c). Usually, when the phrase “the Lord” appears in the Old Testament, it refers to Jehovah. In Exodus 3:13–15, the title “I AM” is also a reference to Jehovah (see also Doctrine and Covenants 38:1; 39:1).
Several women played critical roles in God’s plan to raise up a deliverer for the Israelites. As a family, you could read about the midwives Shiphrah and Puah (Exodus 1:15–20); Moses’s mother, Jochebed, and his sister, Miriam (Exodus 2:2–9; Numbers 26:59); Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:5–6, 10); and Moses’s wife Zipporah (Exodus 2:16–21). How did these women further God’s plan? How do their experiences remind us of Jesus Christ’s mission? You could also gather pictures of female relatives and ancestors and share stories about them. How have we been blessed by righteous women? President Russell M. Nelson’s message “A Plea to My Sisters” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 95–98) could add to your discussion.
When Moses approached the burning bush, the Lord told him to remove his shoes as a sign of reverence. How can we show reverence for sacred places? For example, what can we do to make our home a sacred place where the Lord’s Spirit can dwell? How can we show more reverence in other sacred places?
The Lord gave Moses power to perform three miracles as signs to show the children of Israel that He had sent Moses. What do these signs teach us about Jesus Christ?
What might it mean for us to “know” the Lord? How do we come to know Him? (for example, see Alma 22:15–18). How does our relationship with Him affect our desire to obey Him? (see also John 17:3; Mosiah 5:13).
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.
Suggested song: “Reverence Is Love,” Children’s Songbook, 31.