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 curriculum and additional resources for all age groups.

This week's Bible study is adapted from the Bible Studies for Life curriculum.

Bible Passages: Exodus 15:19-21; Numbers 12:1-16

Discussion Questions: We are quick to acknowledge God's leadership when He does something dramatic. But what about when things just seem to be normal, or even when they are not going the way you think they should? Is it harder to acknowledge His leadership in those times?

Food for Thought:

The 2012 NFL football season may be remembered as "The Year of the Replacement Refs." Because of contract disputes between the league owners and the referees' union, all of the preseason and the first three weeks of the regular season were officiated by replacement referees. Ironically, there probably were not any fewer arguments over the calls the referees made in the first three weeks of the 2011 season.

The difference this year is that fans questioned whether the replacements were qualified to make the calls they did. And after a highly controversial touchdown call on a Monday Night Football game between Seattle and Green Bay on Sept. 24 -- one which gave Seattle a win Green Bay thought was theirs -- owners and referees quickly worked to resolve the contract disputes and "real" referees were on hand for Week Four.

In this week's lesson, Miriam, Moses' sister, was a lot like an NFL fan. When things were going well (after God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites walked through on dry ground), she was quick to acknowledge and praise God for His leadership. But later, she seems to have begun to see Moses as a replacement ref. And when he made calls she didn't agree with, she questioned whether he really had the authority to lead.

What NFL fans forgot in the first three weeks of the season this year is that regardless of whether they agreed with the calls, the replacement refs were in charge. They had been placed in positions of authority by the commissioner of the league. They had the final say, no matter what the typical Green Bay fan thought.

This week, pray for your leaders. They are human and will make mistakes. But they are where they are because God has allowed them to be. Whether they are pastors, politicians or parents, they are where they are because God has placed them in positions of authority. Pray for them.


Bible Studies for Life is a life-stage family of resources that addresses key issues in the lives of adults and students. Consisting of seven curriculum lines developed for various life and generational stages plus two others designed for deeper study, all of these resources focus on the same Bible passage each week. Information about the seven curriculum lines and more information can be found on the Internet at BibleStudiesforLife.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at

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