In our church’s women’s ministry this fall, we will study the book of Exodus. I’m excited about the study because Exodus is a book about redemption. It tells the story of God’s power to rescue and deliver, HIs great desire to live among His people. The story is an adventure tale, a hero’s journey, so to speak, with a strong villain and an unlikely leader. I plan to journal through the study. If you are a follower, you can expect a weekly post from our study.
There are threads or echoes of Exodus throughout scripture. The most obvious is our redemption.
God is the One who delivers us
“When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”Exodus 7:5 NLT
In Exodus 7, God explains to Moses that Pharaoh will resist letting the people go. In fact, God will harden Pharaoh’s heart against letting the Israelites leave Egypt. His purpose is to show the Egyptians He is the one true God and that deliverance will be His work.
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”Acts 4:12 NLT
In Peter’s sermon before the council of all the rulers, elders and teachers, he echoes that same truth. There is salvation or deliverance in no one but the one true God.
He delivers us from slavery
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses.Exodus 1:11 ESV
As early as Genesis 15, when God made a covenant with Abraham, long before a people group had been formed, even long before the promised son, God told Abraham that his descendants would be strangers in a country not their own and would be enslaved and mistreated there. Sometime after Joseph’s death, and a generation had died off, Egypt had a new king. The health and vitality of Joseph’s people threatened Pharaoh. His solution was to enslave the people, thus fulfilling the words God spoke to Abraham.
Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, everyone who practices sin is a slave of sin.John 8:34 NET
We were once enslaved to sin. It was our nature. The Apostle Paul writes, “Thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:17-18).” But Jesus rescues us from the dominion of darkness and places us in His kingdom, the kingdom of light and life.
God uses a man, a kinsman-redeemer, to rescue us
“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. The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey…So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”Adapted from Exodus 3:1 – 10 NIV
God protected, raised, chose, called, and equipped Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery. He was, in many ways, an ordinary man called to do an extraordinary task. And Moses tried his best to get out of it, offering up excuses five times to God about why he was not “his” man. God didn’t let him off the hook but used Moses in powerful ways. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Exodus 33:11 NIV).
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”Galatians 4:4-6 NLT
I love what the gospel writer, John, says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Jesus pitched His tent among us and became one of us so that He might be our sinless and perfect kinsman, one who could die for the sins of many so that we might live as children of God.
When God delivers us, He establishes us as His forever family
I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.Exodus 6:7 ESV
When God rescued and delivered the Israelites, He referred to them as His first-born son. They were His people, called by His name, chosen by God to be His representatives among the nations. The story of the Old Testament is about God pursuing His people over and over again because He desired to be their God. The Apostle Paul asks in Romans 11 did the Israelites stumble beyond recovery? No – God has a plan for them!
Israel is now in the position of being the elder brother from the Prodigal Son story. They have sought their own righteousness in keeping the law, but they have missed the person and message of Jesus. Through Israel’s failings, the door to salvation is opened to the nations, which was God’s plan all along since the covenant with Abraham! Paul writes that they will be jealous when the Jews realize outsiders have been welcomed into God’s covenant.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.Ephsians 1:5 NLT
We are saved by faith through the work of Jesus and in that moment we become the children of God, co-heirs with Christ, members of one another, the family of God. God establishes us as His forever family.
Once we were rebels against God, just as the Israelites were also rebels against Him. And just as God made a way for the Israelites, God has made a way for our “exodus” through the blood of Jesus. We are His people, and He is our God. He will never leave nor forsake us.
The Exodus is our story! As we read the book over and over in the next weeks, may the story run deep in our hearts and cause us to praise our God –
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!
For who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to give him advice?
And who has given him so much
that he needs to pay it back?
For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.Romans 11:33-36 NLT