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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, March 20, 2022

March 20, 2022
  • Exodus 3:1-15
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Luke 13:1-9


            This week’s reading from 1 Corinthians gives an idea of what sorts of things the Israelites got up to after the awe-inspiring reading from Exodus. After Moses received this momentous call from God and was sent forth to bring the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt, things did not go smoothly. One of the more well-known incidents is the building and worship of the statue of a golden calf; Saint Paul also mentions sexual immorality, putting God to the test, and plain old complaining. Despite God’s wonderful promises to the people of Israel, not everyone measured up to the standards of behavior God required, and in consequence many suffered His wrath.

            There are tensions between the readings for this week that are hard to ignore. First, in Exodus, we read of God’s beautiful promise to a people whom He loves and does not want to suffer under the Egyptians anymore. Then in 1 Corinthians, we immediately hear about all the ways God’s people messed up and were punished. In the Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that those who do not change their ways may meet a terrible end. What to make of these alarming messages?

            The reality is that if we are called to follow God (as we are), God has high expectations for us. Paul reminds us of this not to scare us, but to remind us that even God’s chosen ones can make mistakes. He urges us to stay humble even when we’re feeling most confident in ourselves.

            Fortunately, Paul and Jesus both have words of comfort as well. God is faithful and won’t leave us to drown in our troubles. I have heard people complain that others tell them “God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle” to suggest that they should be able to deal with whatever is overwhelming them. That’s not the message I get from Paul here. Rather, Paul says, God will help you - He doesn’t expect you to endure all your suffering under your own power. Jesus’s parable of the fig tree also gives reassurance when we feel like we’ve gone too far down the wrong road. The gardener urges the owner to give the tree one more chance, even after a track record of no productivity. Jesus does the same thing for us. There may be times when you feel like you’ve made mistakes too big for anyone to give you another chance. Jesus loves us in those times as well, and He is always ready to give you a new start.

Lindy Noecker


  • When you have gone through a tough time in the past (or if you’re going through it now), who did you reach out to for support? Did you find it in your church community or elsewhere?
  • Has there ever been a time in your life when someone gave you another chance even though you felt you didn’t deserve one? How did that make you feel?


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