Good morning and welcome to Thursday, July 6th. Our God saves with a strong arm and an outstretched hand, yet shows compassion for the sluggishness of his people's hearts. I'm glad he does. 
-Ian

CONNECT
(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ If you knew how your trials would have shaped you when you were a much younger Christian, would you have continued in the journey? 
_ How is the Lord impacting someone you are walking with (to help grow in or discover Jesus)?

PRAY
He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful foll’wer I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.


DISCOVER  [Exodus 13:17-22]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” 18 But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.”20 And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.
_Why did Pharaoh finally drive out the people of Israel?
_In the Bible, who are the Philistines? What role do they have in Israel's life as a nation?
_What hints do these words give us about the nature of their future?
_What does God's words in v17 reveal about the Hebrews, or about humanity in general?
_Did Israel want to be saved from slavery? Why Did God redeem them?
_In v19, who is this Joseph whose bones are being carried out?
_God has appeared to Moses and Israel now twice visibly. Reflect on what it might mean for God to appear as a great fire in a bush or in the sky.

+ HOW am I compelled to respond to what I learned today with a simple step of action?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_Does God want to lead you away from a place of slavery? Do you trust that the path he leads will be the right one?
_Is there a battle that you are not yet ready to face, in your personal life or in your world? Can you trust in God's patient ordering?

+ WHO are you walking with that you might pass along or encourage what you learned, with today? (e.g., your family around the dinner table, a friend, co-worker or neighbor you are walking with to discover the message Jesus)