Exodus: Week Three Study Guide

Have you ever had a conversation or encounter that changed your life? In part three of our study through Exodus, we’ll unpack Exodus 2:21–3:15 and explore the encounter that changed Moses’ life and the whole world: meeting God in the burning bush!


Below, you’ll find some key discussion points to consider, questions to personally reflect on and/or discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, and some action points for the week. 

Memory Verse of the Week: Exodus 3:13–15 (NIV)

“Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.” ‘This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.’”

A Sight That Must Be Seen Up Close

READ: Exodus 3:1–6 (NIV)

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, ‘I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.’ When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ ‘Do not come any closer,’ God said. ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’ Then he said, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.’ At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”

In Exodus 3, Moses happens upon an incredible sight that required a closer look: a bright, brilliant, blazing fire in a bush that didn’t burn. How unbelievable is that?!

Let’s look at a few key things about this moment . . .

  • Moses: Moses was a shepherd tending to his father-in-law’s flock. This is so beautiful on two fronts: 1) It was preparation for his role in shepherding the people of God out of bondage and into freedom and the land of promise, and 2) it pointed us to the greater Shepherd who would deliver us from our sins into the eternal kingdom of God and who would be our perfect mediator to God.
  • The Angel of the Lord and Burning Bush: Who is the Angel of the Lord? It’s the pre-incarnate Christ, God in the flesh. The fire that burned but didn’t consume the bush was Jesus, who 1,500 years later would make His dwelling among us (John 1) in order to make His dwelling within us, to set us ablaze with the all-consuming fire and glory of God (Hebrews 12:29) for all eternity!
  • Holy Ground: Pay attention to holy moments! The Lord told Moses to keep his distance and remove his sandals. Both commands relate to the holiness of the location where Moses stood. But it wasn’t the mountain itself that was special, it was His presence! In light of this, we who believe in Jesus as Lord become holy; we become His temple, His dwelling place, and are called to live as the priesthood of believers in holiness to God (1 Peter 2:5–9).
  • The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Why did the Lord name drop the patriarchs? In order to remind us of His faithfulness and His promise! He’s the same God who was with Abraham and promised to make him a great nation whose Seed would bless all people.
  • “Here I am”: Moses’ response to the Lord is nothing less than precisely what we should always respond to any and all calls, commands, and prompts from God. When God puts something on our hearts, we should respond, “Here I am,” as we fall to our knees in reverence. Thank the Lord we can walk with His indwelling presence in our hearts and “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).

Discussion Question 1: What do the parallels to Christ and the details of what God was doing here show you about Him?

Discussion Question 2: Moses’ response when God called out to him was “Here I am.” In what ways can you follow Moses’ example and approach your time with the Lord in this way?

READ: Exodus 3:7–10 (NIV)

“Then the Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’”

God pays attention to you and your life! Here in Exodus, we see that God isn’t passive or unaware of His people’s condition; rather, He’s fully aware and ready to take action. In this conversation, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob assures Moses of His existence and His heart for His people.

Despite the 400 years of slavery and oppression, God had never forgotten His people. God was not late, nor delayed, but was right on time to accomplish His sovereign plan of redemption and, through it, reveal His glory and power to the world!

We see God present and active in the Israelites’ story as:

  • God sees the Israelites’ hardship.
  • God hears their cry of distress.
  • God knows their sufferings.
  • God comes down to deliver them.
  • God brings them to freedom.
  • God sends Moses.

We also know this to be true for us today as:

  • God saw our spiritual bondage to sin and Satan.
  • God heard our cries of distress.
  • God knew our sins and sufferings.
  • Jesus came down to deliver us from our sins.
  • He will bring us to the Promised Land of heaven.

If you’re going through deep suffering, remember this truth: God sees you, hears you, knows you, and promises to bring deliverance. Your pain has not made this untrue, nor will it ever make it so. Be encouraged today that you can come to God with your deepest pain, and He will turn to you with mercy. God doesn’t only see your pain, but He’s already intervened on the cross.

Discussion Question 3: How do you respond to times of suffering? Do your circumstances shape your view of God or does God’s Word shape how you view your circumstances?

What Is His Name?

READ: Exodus 3:11–15 (NIV)

“But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.’ Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God also said to Moses, ‘Say to the Israelites, “The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.” ‘This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.’”

In The Power of God’s Names, Dr. Tony Evan’s tells us, “In Scripture, a name often connotes purpose, authority, makeup, and character. In fact, a person’s name is frequently seen as an equivalent of that person.”

It’s clear God places great value on names. So, when Moses asks God what name he should give the Hebrews if they ask who sent him, God’s response is one of the most important moments in all of history. Why? Because it’s the first recorded instance of God telling anyone His name: “I AM WHO I AM.”

Did you notice that Moses didn’t question God’s name or ask for any clarification? The implication here is that I AM wasn’t a new or unknown name. Moses and Israel must have known this name in relation to the Lord.

So, what does this reveal about God?

  • He has no equal. I am who I am expresses that God is wholly independent and relies on nothing for life or existence, He simply  God is life.
  • He’s eternal and unchanging. F.B. Meyer wrote, “Strictly speaking, there is no past or future tense in the Divine Vocabulary.” Theologian Albert Barnes wrote, “The expression I am, though in the present tense, is clearly designed to refer to a past time. Thus, Psalm 90:2, ‘From everlasting to everlasting thou art God,’ applies to God. It denotes continued existence without respect to time, so far as he is concerned. We divide time into the past, the present, and the future. The expression, applied to God, denotes that he does not measure his existence in this manner, but that the word by which we express the present denotes his continued and unchanging existence. Hence, he assumes it as his name, ‘I AM,’ and ‘I AM that I AM.’”
  • He’s “the becoming one.” God is whatever is lacking in our time of need. The name I AM invites us to fill in the blank to meet our need. Are you walking in darkness? I AM the light of the world! Are you hungry? I AM the bread of life? Are you scared, defenseless, or helpless? I AM the Good Shepherd. Are you afraid of death? I AM the resurrection and the life. Are you struggling to find your way? I AM the way, the truth, and the life.
  • This is who our God was for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, John, James, Peter, Paul, and Mary. This is who He is for us, and this is who He’ll be for all eternity to anyone who believes in the NAME OF JESUS—unrivaled, ever present, ever faithful, unchanging, everything we need ALWAYS! To the great I AM be the glory forever and ever. Amen!

Discussion Question 4: Are you taking time to hear from God? What is something you feel Him calling you to this season?

Discussion Question 5: Who is the great I AM to you? What do you need Him to be in your life today?

This Week

Do a study on Christ in the Old Testament this week!


In our next study, we’ll unpack Exodus 3:16–4:17 as we see the Lord reveal His power to Moses and invite him to consider what is in his hand!  

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About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.