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Bible Study: February 2, 2014

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.

Bible Passages: Exodus 3:1-11; Acts 7:20-29

Discussion Questions: Can you recall a time you had good intentions but bad timing. What life experiences require good timing? What goes into developing a good sense of timing?

Food for Thought:

Moses had an inkling of his purpose as a young man growing up in Pharaoh’s palace. He believed that his purpose was to deliver his people from bondage, and he believed “that his brethren understood that God was granting them deliverance through him” (Acts 7:25). Because Moses believed this, his actions reflected it. When he saw a fellow Israelite being mistreated, he came to the rescue and struck down the Egyptian (v. 22).

But as is the case with many of us, Moses had a sense of destiny without the proper sense of timing. He tried to make something happen when it wasn’t the right time. He used human effort, logic and strategy to attempt to accomplish a divine goal.

His goal was great: deliver God’s people. His strategy and timing, however, were off. And because they were off, he spent the next 40 years of his life in exile on the backside of a desert; there he herded sheep.

But those 40 years weren’t wasted. Because Moses would one day be called upon to lead the lost sheep of the house of Israel, God gave him experience leading sheep through a wilderness. God’s delays are often tied to our development.

Not only that, but God’s delays are also tied to His creating, or allowing, a scenario that will be most ideal for His purpose. Moses thought he was ready to deliver Israel. He had the education, wealth, eloquence, power and raw materials to do it. But he didn’t have a dependence on God shown in spiritual maturity or humility.

We can’t force things to happen with God. All we can do is proceed with our development, trusting God to make things happen in His timing. That’s what Moses did. He tended his sheep. Notice exactly where Moses tended his sheep. He was at “Horeb, the mountain of God” (Ex. 3:1). Moses was in the presence of God. He was doing his everyday task, that of leading sheep, purposefully in the presence of God. The place to go when we’re in a time of personal development in a wilderness is into His presence. That is being desperate for Him. That is saying, “Even though I don’t see anything or feel anything right now from You God, I am still going to hang out in Your presence because I know that if I do, I will find You.”

MasterWork is an ongoing Bible study curriculum based on works from a variety of renowned authors and offers pertinent, practical messages that adults will find uplifting and enriching. The list of authors and their books to be studied in upcoming months can be found at

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at www.LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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