Think of something your really treasure. Share these things together. They can be quite deep or quite humorous.
Open Exodus 19:1-8. Read it aloud and then again, slowly, in silence. Jot down whatever really resonates. Share those things as a group. (Leaders- one option is to let the discussion flow from here and allow that to direct which of the next few questions you focus on)
How do you imagine God? How does this passage speak to that image?
‘Religious depictions often assume a miserable Victorian deity, austere and repressive. Cultural stereotypes swing the other way and assume God would be a liberal-minded sugar daddy. Exodus 19 shatters both illusions’
‘[In Exodus 19] God declares himself so loving Israel can trust him and so holy Israel should fear him’
What do you think of this? (cf vv16-19 re God’s holiness)
What does knowing these two things and holding them in healthy tension look like?
In referencing Eagles’ wings, God is depicting himself as defending, protecting, carrying. The word translated ‘treasured possession’ is ‘Segulla’, which is actually a popular child’s name in Israel. It gives the sense of emotional/sentimental value, something not just owned but deeply treasured
How does this make you feel?
How does this tally with your image of God and the way you usually relate to Him?
How is this significant to Israel’s situation at this point in the story? (They had recently been slaves on the end of major injustice! It would have been hard to trust)
How can healing our image of God make an actual difference to our lives?
‘God does not use threats or... even a payback model... [He] commits to loving them out of their servile and fearful disposition and into a relationship of dignity and honour’
To what extent is this your experience of God?
How do you imagine God? How might this need to change in light of this session?
Think for a few mins of someone/something you love and treasure...
Now think for for a few mins on the fact that God feels that way about you