Saturday, January 18, 2014

Exodus 1-3 God lays out his plans

From Exodus 1-3

Q. What does your name mean? Do you know?

Exodus tells of God fulfilling his promise to Abraham by multiplying Abraham’s descendants into a great nation, delivering them from slavery in Egypt, leading them to the Promised Land, and then binding them to himself with a covenant at Mount Sinai. Moses, under the direct command of God and as leader of Israel, received the Ten Commandments from God, along with other laws governing Israel’s life and worship. He also led the nation in the building of the tabernacle, a place where God’s presence dwelled among his people and where they made sacrifices for sin. Traditionally, Jews and Christians recognize Moses as the author, writing sometime after the Exodus from Egypt.

(The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ex). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.)

Ex 1.1-7; Story; Recap of the end of Genesis, the story continues
Ex 1.8-22; Story; The Egyptians were on dread of the multiplying Hebrews. Hebrews put in slavery.
Ex 2.1-10; Story; Moses is born and drawn out of the water
Ex 2.11-15; Story; Moses flees to Midian
Ex 2.16-22; Story; Moses saves the flock and gets a wife
Ex 2.23-25; Story; God heard Israel’s cries in slavery and remembers his covenant
Ex 3.1-8; Story; God renews his promises
Ex 3.9-22; Story; God instructs Moses to go back to Egypt and rescue his people

Passage and Comments
After a quick reminder of the last situation in Genesis, Exodus picks up describing the plight of Israel and the story of Moses birth. Readers of Genesis will know that God is credited with working in and through various historical events and situations. This becomes quite apparent at the end of the second chapter.
[23] During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. [24] And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. [25] God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Exodus 2:23-25)
So something big and dramatic is going to happen. The God of the Hebrews is about to take on the false gods of the Egyptians. A little spoiler, the God of the Hebrews will win. What do you remember of Gods covenant? What promises did he make? Hint, there are seven.

What does your name mean? Do you know? God has a name too. Moses asked God what it is.
[13] Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” [14] God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” [15] God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. (Exodus 3:13-15)
The ESV reads 'LORD', 'LORD has sent me to you'. The ESV has rendered it this way and the textual note says it could also be rendered 'I am what I am'. It’s a powerful name. God continues to instruct Moses how he should identify him, telling the Hebrews that he is the God of their fathers. Its quite different to the way we have come to know God. Imagine someone saying to you 'I have been sent from the God of your fathers'. How would you respond?

Story of Israel
God doesn’t often name himself through Israel’s history. But his name is remembered throughout most of Israel’s history. I say most because sometimes that forget the LORD.

Story of Jesus
Reading through parts of the New Testament one will find a number of references to the narrative about to take place in Exodus. The story of Jesus saving his people has obvious similarities with the Exodus story. Christians have been freed from slavery to sin. I would like to ask those who do not yet know Jesus as LORD, which side of this story do you think you would stand. Do you think of yourself in some sort of slavery? Or perhaps somewhere else? Pharaoh, Moses? On the rescued side? The way you respond to Jesus says a lot about which side of the fence you are on.