“Home-Study Lesson: Exodus 1–13 (Unit 9)” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Unit 9,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
According to prophecy, Moses was called to deliver the Lord’s people from their bondage in Egypt. The Lord reassured Moses after Moses expressed his reluctance to accept this call.
Display the picture Moses and the Burning Bush on the board (Gospel Art Book , no. 13; see also LDS.org). Write on the board, near the picture: Who? Where? What? Why?
Ask students: Who is this? Where is this happening? What is happening? Why is this happening?
Invite students to turn to Bible Photographs, no. 2, “Mount Sinai (Horeb) and the Sinai Wilderness,” in the LDS edition of the Bible.
Invite several students to take turns reading Exodus 3:1–6 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what Moses saw while on this mountain.
Invite students to look at verse 2, footnote a, and notice how the Joseph Smith Translation changes the phrase “angel of the Lord.”
Rather than an angel, who was it that appeared to Moses? (The Lord.)
According to verse 5, why did the Lord stop Moses from coming closer? (He needed to remove his shoes because he was on sacred ground.)
By asking Moses to remove his shoes, what did the Lord teach Moses before he could receive His message? (Sacred places require us to be reverent; showing reverence to the Lord in sacred places prepares us to draw near to Him.)
Speaking about the importance of reverence, President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught:
“When we meet to learn the doctrines of the gospel, it should be in a spirit of reverence. …
“… Reverence invites revelation” (“Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 21–22).
Ask students to share some ways they can demonstrate their respect and reverence for God in sacred places (such as the home, a chapel, or the temple).
Invite students to read Exodus 3:7–8 silently, looking for what the Lord planned to do for the children of Israel. Then invite them to read Exodus 3:10 silently, looking for how (or through whom) the Lord planned to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt.
According to verse 10, how did the Lord plan to answer the prayers of the children of Israel? (By raising up Moses to deliver them.)
Help students understand that the Lord’s prophets are foreordained to perform certain missions on earth. Remind them of the promises that God previously made to raise up a prophet to “deliver my people out of Egypt in the days of thy bondage” (Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24 [in the Bible appendix]).
Invite a student to read aloud Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:29, in the Bible appendix. Ask students to follow along, looking for one of the tasks Moses was called to perform.
According to this verse, what is one of the purposes of Moses’s ministry? (To deliver God’s people out of the land of Egypt.)
Explain that similarities between the life of Moses and the life of Jesus Christ are interesting and instructive. Both escaped a decree of death while in their infancy. Both were called to deliver Israel. Both overcame confrontations with Satan. Both remained in exile until the kings who sought to kill them had died. Both controlled the winds and the sea. Both miraculously provided bread. Both provided lifesaving water. Both were great lawgivers. Both were mediators between God and their people.
Invite students to imagine they have been called by the Lord to tell an oppressive world leader who opposes the Church to allow Church members in his country to worship God freely.
How would you feel if you were called to accomplish this mission?
What would help you have courage to accept this call?
Explain that Moses expressed his concerns to the Lord about his ability to deliver Israel as the Lord had called him to do.
Divide your class into groups of two or three students. Provide a copy of the following chart for each student. (Do not put the italicized answers on the chart.) Instruct students to study the verses listed on the chart as a group and to list each of Moses’s concerns and the Lord’s solutions in the boxes provided for each verse. (To help students understand how to complete this activity, you may want to complete the first two boxes together as a class.)
The Lord’s Responses
1. Exodus 3:11
Who am I to be able to do what you have asked?
1. Exodus 3:12
I will be with you.
2. Exodus 3:13
Who should I tell them sent me?
Tell them I Am sent you unto them. (You might need to explain that “I Am” is another name for Jehovah.)
3. Exodus 4:1
But they will not believe me or listen to me. They will say I am lying.
3. Exodus 4:2–9
Perform the three signs that I will give you (turn a rod into a snake, display a hand bearing leprosy, and turn water into blood).
4. Exodus 4:10
I have never been a good speaker. I am slow of speech.
I made your mouth, and I will be with you and teach you what to say.
5. Exodus 4:13
Please, Lord, send someone else.
I will make Aaron a spokesman for you and teach you what to do.
After giving students sufficient time to fill out the chart, ask:
What did the Lord tell Moses that could help someone who feels inadequate about accepting or performing a difficult calling?
What are some principles and doctrines we could learn from the Lord’s response to Moses’s concerns? (After students respond, summarize their answers by writing the following truth on the board: The Lord is with those He calls, and He gives them power to accomplish His work.)
To help students better understand this truth, invite a student to read aloud the following statement by President Thomas S. Monson:
“Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies” (“Duty Calls,” Ensign, May 1996, 44).
What experiences in your life have shown you that the Lord gives His servants, including you, power to accomplish His work?
Summarize Exodus 4:18–31 by explaining that after his encounter with the Lord, Moses left Midian; met his brother, Aaron; and traveled with him to Egypt. Together they told the elders of Israel all that the Lord had commanded. The children of Israel believed Moses and Aaron and worshipped the Lord.
Ask students to consider the following questions: What miracle did God perform to help the Israelites when they were trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army? How did Moses help the armies of Joshua win a battle? What happened when Moses’s raised hands became tired and started to lower? Who helped Moses? Do you know the Ten Commandments by memory and where to find them in the scriptures? Have you ever been tempted to murmur or complain because of something you had been asked to do? Explain that as they study Exodus 14–20, they will learn about the complaints of the children of Israel after they left Egypt and how the Lord taught them to trust in Him.