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    Our local church will be working through the book of Exodus. I have been tasked with writing several articles for the church on the book as we work through it. I would like to share these with readers at Dwell With Christ. I hope you enjoy what God is teaching us in Exodus.

    Most people love a good story. Opening lines draw us in and hook us quickly. Captivated by the story, we eagerly follow along as more details emerge. The heroic leader and distressed damsel arrive as the villain vainly plots to seize the day. The suspense builds, and our hero must show up and save the day—yet we know it won’t come easy! First, the hardship, then the satisfying victory. We breathe a sigh of relief or shed some bitter tears as the story eases to a close. Oh, how we love a good story!

    The Bible is God’s magnificent narrative, and Exodus is a story within the story. Broadly, Exodus is chapter 2 of the Bible's majestic history. We see the connection to chapter 1 with the first sentence: “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob…” (NASB). "Now" is an important word—though it’s not apparent in most of our English translations. It signals to us that the story is continuing. What God started in Genesis continues in Exodus.

    Zooming in, Exodus is the history of a young nation upheld by the promises of God. From the opening sentence, God displays His great faithfulness. The Israelites came to Egypt with Jacob. Who is Jacob? He is the Son of Abraham and the father of Joseph, the Hebrew who saved Egypt and Israel from a great famine (See Gen. 41). Now the story of Abraham’s promised seed is unfolding in Egypt. God previously told Abraham:

    “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.” (Gen 15:13)

    The four hundred years were almost finished, and God’s covenant people were on the way out the door. This is where we meet Israel, God’s people. Here we also meet Moses, God’s leader. Most importantly, in Exodus, we meet YHWH (known as Yahweh or Jehovah)—well, we at least learn His name and more of His identity as the covenant God of Abraham. What an amazing opening to an incredible story!

    Exodus is the History of God’s Covenant People

    Pharaoh and the Egyptians enslaved Israel due to fear and ethnic pride. Pharaoh wanted to control Israel so they wouldn’t get too large, wage war against Egypt, and leave the land (Exo. 1:8-10). The Israelites cried out to the God of heaven, and He listened (Exo. 2:24)! The living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob remembered His covenant, heard His people, and “knew” them deeply (Exo. 2:25).

    Exodus is the story of God’s rescue. Not only did God hear, but He also acted on their behalf (Exo. 3:8). As God rescued Noah and his family in the ark, so He first rescued Moses in an ark to prepare for the rescue of His people. Not only did God bring Noah and his family through water for salvation, but He also brought Israel through water—on dry land—in order to rescue them! God showed up!

    Through this heroic rescue, God’s people were redeemed by God. When God poured out His just judgments on Egypt and their prideful leader, He spared His people from the same judgment (Exo. 12). How did He do this? By providing blood as a covering for His people as they dwelt among the Egyptians in the land (Exo. 12:13). We see a red thread that points straight to Christ, our Passover Lamb (1 Cor 5:7).

    Exodus is the Church’s History

    Though the book of Exodus is about Israel’s history, it’s also a story about the Church—God’s chosen people throughout all of history. We see echoes of the Exodus story throughout the whole Old Testament. For example, as God parted the waters in Exodus, so He did for Joshua, Elijah, and Elisha (Jos. 3:5-17;4:1-18; 2 Kgs. 2:5-9; 2 Kgs. 2:12-15). As God brought plagues to Pharaoh, so He plagued the Philistines in the days of Samuel (1 Sam. 4-5). As God raised up a leader to rescue His people from Egypt, so He later rescued His people by the judges and kings. Let this sampling of the countless echoes of the Exodus in the Old Testament inspire you to explore more of this narrative in God’s Word!

    We also see echoes of Exodus in the New Testament. As Moses was born under government persecution and escaped, so was Jesus spared from being killed by Herod. As Moses fled from the hand of Pharaoh, so Jesus fled from the hand of Herod (Mat. 2:13-18). As Israel was baptized and brought out of the Red Sea (1 Cor. 10:2), so Jesus was baptized and brought out of the waters to begin His ministry (Mat. 3:13-17). As YHWH gave Israel the Law on a mountain, so Jesus gave the authoritative and full teaching on the Law in the Sermon on the Mount (Mat. 5-7). As Israel was a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and a holy nation, so is the Church (1 Pet. 2:9).

    In the last days, we see echoes of Exodus too. Just as Egypt was judged with plagues, so will the unrighteous God-haters be judged in the last days. As the people of God were persecuted by idolatrous Egypt and finally rescued, so also the saints of God are persecuted and finally rescued when Christ returns for His bride. What glorious echoes we see throughout the whole of Scripture!

    Exodus is Our History

    Exodus is not just a story about Israel; it’s a story for us. Like ungodly Egypt, we deserve to be punished for our sins, and we need to be in a relationship with God. Like Pharaoh, our pride and hard hearts were once set against YHWH, the all-powerful Creator of the heavens and the earth. Like Moses, we are weak, fearful, and make excuses. Like Israel, we doubt God and grumble against the people who were sent to lead and deliver us. All in all, we too are sinful people in need of a Rescuer. We need a Hero.

    Through Christ, God rescued us from ourselves. As Israel was God’s firstborn son (Exo. 4:22-23), we were adopted as children of God (Rom. 8:15). Instead of leaving us as slaves to our sins, God sent a Savior and heard our cries of confession and grief as we realized our sinfulness. When our hearts were pierced by the message of the gospel, we believed in Christ Jesus, the Lord, and we were no longer under the cruel and wicked master we call sin. As God’s children, Pharaoh will never reign over Israel again, and neither will sin, death, or Satan rule over us ever again!

    How did He do it? Through the blood of Christ, our Passover Lamb. God redeemed us—He bought us with a price—and cast away our cruel master (1 Cor. 6:20). The blood of Christ is on the doorposts of our souls, and Christ looks upon us and says, “Mine, mine! You can never have them again because I paid for them!” We used to make bricks upon bricks to build the kingdoms of idols and idolaters, but now we glorify God in our bodies and build His imperishable kingdom.

    Saved for God’s Glory
    An inescapable reality about great stories is that the protagonist—the leading character—receives the spotlight and praise. If we aren’t careful, we can mistake the protagonist in Exodus. Is it Israel? Is it Moses? Is it us? Far from it! From start to finish, the Hero of the story is God. From the opening line to the final words, we see the power, patience, and providence of God on full, glorious display. In the words of Leland Ryken, “...the theme of Exodus is very simple—so simple it can be expressed in four short words: saved for God’s glory.” That’s it. That’s the theme. That’s the focus. Rescued and redeemed for the glory of God.

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