The Truth is in Exodus…

Credit where credit is due, and in terms of my Bible understanding there’s a huge amount that I owe to a lot of people. Specifically to Exodus, I’m going to be writing these studies along with a series of studies of Exodus that I’m doing at the student group of my church The Bible Talks. I’m sure that a lot of what I come up with will be based on things that are discussed there. Over the summer, I also received a number of sermons on the early chapters of Exodus at Carey Baptist Church, and those ideas may pop up from here to there. Finally, I have the ‘Bible Speaks Today’ commentary on Exodus by JA Moyter – which I will refer to as BST from here on. Now that that’s dealt with, what’s going on in Exodus?

There are many ways of splitting the book into large sections for analysis, but one clear division comes right in the middle. The first 19 chapters are narrative, detailing God’s rescue of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and bringing them to Mount Sinai. In chapter 20, the well known Ten Commandments are given to the people. The remaining 20 chapters are devoted to further laws, and the details of how to build the Tabernacle – God’s temporary dwelling place which the Israelites were on their travels.

But what are we to make of it? Ancient history may be interesting, but at first glance it seems irrelevant to my life. The laws are dismissed by many as having neither interest nor relevance. Yet, if we are to believe Luke 24:27 that Jesus began with Moses when teaching the disciples about himself (and, indeed, the New Testament teaching that the Old Testament history and law all find their fulfilment in Jesus) then we must do more than scratch the surface. In honesty, though, it doesn’t take too much effort to see how God’s sovereign ordering of the history of Israel teaches Christians about the gospel. To illustrate, let me tell a story:

God saw that his people were in slavery, so raised up a prophet, a ruler and deliverer to save them. In a display of his power God defeated the authorities who wanted to keep his people in slavery and rescued them by the death of a lamb. He thwarted all of the attempts of those same authorities to recapture his people. He gave them instructions on how to live – which were always proceded by his saving grace, and failures to comply were always followed by his forgivness. He began to lead them through trials which were designed to test and refine them, and he went with them through it all – dwelling amongst them to strengthen and guide them.

Was that the story of Exodus, or the story of Christians today? It was both – at that general level the stories are exactly the same! God so inteligently authored the history of the Israelites so that it would picture the far greater salvation that was to come through Jesus – who is the far greater Moses. And that’s just the broad-brush picture of the book, so who wants to come inside and find what greater wealths are in the details?

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4 Responses to “The Truth is in Exodus…”

  1. Ivy Says:

    Yes, I totally agree with what you have posted. Our God showed His divine power in Exodus and delivered the people from the phiysical bondage of Egypt. All these were foreshadowing that Jesus has died for us and delivered us from the spiritual bondage. The five books of Pentateuch are pointing to our today’s christian walk or pilgrimage.

  2. Richard Criddle Says:

    Thank you, Ivy. Just looking at an overview of the book has gotten me excited to find out more about what’s in it. Now I just need to find the time to put up the first couple of posts…

  3. Ivy Says:

    Keep it up, Richard! Currently, I am doing the Survey of The Pentateuch under Golden States School of Theology. I believe that your posts will be very useful to me.

  4. Richard Criddle Says:

    Ivy, if my thoughts are helpful to anyone then I thank God for it. If you come across anything interesting as you study please let me know – I know that I have much more to learn about these five books.

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