Exodus: Book of Deliverance

September 27, 2016 at 12:30 PM

EXODUS
Exodus is the book that shows how God delivers a people who He specifically chose to become a peculiar people or nation. Ultimately, God’s plan of redemption will begin with this nation that God eventually calls “Israel.”

At the end of Genesis, Joseph, one of the patriarchs of Israel, dies. Though he had been second in command, just under Pharaoh, after his death, another Pharaoh begins to rule who was unaware of Joseph and the position he held in Egypt. This may mean that this new Pharaoh was not “of Egypt,” but came from another area, possibly the northern area above Egypt. Time and space does not permit us to delve into Egyptian history but there were times when individuals not of Egypt, but from conquering tribes gained access to Egypt’s throne and ruled even if briefly.

Meaning & Author – The name “Exodus” is from the Hebrew words we’elleh shemot, which means “Now these are the names of.” According to Dr. Thomas L. Constable, the ancient practice of simply creating a title out of the first several words of the entire scroll, in this case, the first two words of the Hebrew text of Exodus. In the Greek Septuagint version, we get Exit or Departure, thus the name of the book itself.

Authorship of Exodus is once again, attributed to Moses (1525 to 1405 B.C.).

Time Period – According to conservative scholars, the book of Exodus covers a period of approximately 145 years.

James Hall Brooks sums up Exodus by stating the book “…treats of Redemption and the Relationship into which the redeemed are brought to God.” [1]

Constable sums Exodus up by quoting Eugene H. Merrill, who states, “The purpose of the Book of Exodus is to celebrate God’s gracious deliverance of His chosen people Israel from Egyptian slavery to the freedom of covenant relationship and fellowship with Him.” [3]

Another author sums things up by stating that Exodus was written “to show God’s faithfulness to the covenant and provide Israel with guidelines for healthy living.” [2] The covenant referred to is the covenant first promised to Abraham by God (Genesis 12), and reiterated several times afterward (Genesis 15 & 17), in which God promised to bless Abraham with countless ancestors who would one day live in and occupy all the Land that God showed Abraham. To date, this has never been completely fulfilled, but it awaits a future time during the Millennial Reign of Christ, following the coming Tribulation period. God also promised that all the nations of the world (not just Jews) would be blessed through Abraham. Ultimately, God was speaking (a bit cryptically), of the coming Messiah/Savior’s birth, life, death, and resurrection and through which salvation could be offered to the world allowing all who would partake of it to receive eternal life.

This is why Israel is so important. Without God having created that nation, there would be no Messiah, no Savior in Jesus. The plan of redemption could not have moved forward.

Outline – As with all books of the Bible, there are a variety of ways Exodus can be outlined. Here is a fairly succinct way of remembering the main points of the entire book.

  • Moses (Exodus 1 – 7)
  • The Plagues (Exodus 7 – 13)
  • The Exodus (Exodus 14 – 18)
  • The Law (Exodus 19 -24)
  • Tabernacle and Worship (Exodus 25 – 40)

J. Daniel Hays notes, “The deliverance of Israel out of Egypt by Yahweh in the Old Testament is parallel in importance to the resurrection of Christ in the New Testament. The historicity of these events is a critical foundation for a proper understanding of the rest of the Bible.” [4]

In fact, there are many events that parallel events in Christ’s life and also give meaning and purpose to the lives of Christians. Exodus teaches and extols the virtues of God’s sovereignty over every aspect of His Creation, including the lives of human beings. This in no way detracts from man’s ability to use free will (such as it is), but in fact proves clearly that even though human beings choose their own path often, God’s sovereign purposes are not thwarted at all.

This is very clear in the contest between Moses (representing God) and Pharaoh (representing Satan). In that case, there are instances where God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 9:12), and times where Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:32). In either case, God’s sovereign purposes came to fruition (Romans 9:17).

This should certainly remind us that while Christians are wringing their hands over a politician running for president of America, the plain fact of the matter is that God’s purposes always come to fruition. He is never thwarted and it doesn’t matter who becomes president (or king of a nation). God’s will is accomplished, period.

One might well ask how God can hold anyone responsible for using free will then if His purposes are never thwarted anyway, and in fact, work to bring His purposes to fruition? The same way Judas had a free will, exercised it by betraying our Lord, and yet according to Jesus, would be held fully accountable for his actions (cf. Matthew 26:24). The same applies to Gog of Magog (Ezekiel 38-39. Even though God says He turns Gog around and ensures that he attacks Israel, he (Gog) is fully responsible for his actions in that regard.

Of course, the larger reason is that we are all fallen. We all have sin natures that turn us from God and cause us to want to do our own thing, to glorify ourselves. But God is God and nothing can actually stand against Him. Nothing can thwart His purposes. Nothing can stand in His way. How could He be Almighty God if “free will” could really cause Him any amount of trouble? It’s impossible. We human beings have an incredibly difficult time appreciating this though. I seriously doubt that in our fallen state, the most intelligent among us have the capacity to fully comprehend it.

Exodus teaches us that against all odds, God’s purposes are accomplished, whether anyone likes it or not. It may take time to unroll but it will be seen and God will be victorious. Exodus also teaches us that we can participate in God’s victories through faith; our ability to take God at His Word and simply follow Him. Yet, no one can do this perfectly. The best we can do is submit ourselves to Him on a daily basis and when we do fall, get up quickly, admit/confess our sin and once again, move on with Him.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), and Exodus shows the results of having faith and failing to have it. Yet, God’s purposes continue.

 

[1] James Hall Brooks, An Outline of the Books of the Bible, p. 9

[2] Bible Overview, Rose Publishing

[3] http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/exodus.pdf

[4] Ibid

Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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