Biblical Book Profiles- Exodus

As part of my work has been enrolled in the Leaders: Program. This is some of the work that I have done. These are biblical book profiles that I will be working on, I will be putting these up once a month. Use them and enjoy them!

Book: Exodus

Author: Mosaic Authorship (disputed in some circles) Date: Approx. 1450-1410 BC

Subject: First of five books known as the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Exodus deals primarily with the establishment of Israel from a large family, into a powerful nation. God uses Moses as the central character to lead Israel out of Egypt to the land that was promised to their forefathers.

Purpose: The book of Exodus is the beginning of all things for the nation of Israel. This book in particular is probably the most important in the history of Israel, as it shows the formation of Israel as a nation.

Outline:

1-2: State of Israel in Egypt. Moses is born
3-4: The calling of Moses (burning bush), and Aaron
5-12-32: Moses and Aaron go before Pharaoh to bring Israel out to sacrifice. Pharaoh denies, and God hardens his heart. God send plagues against Egypt.
12:33-14: Israel leaves Egypt, Egypt pursues, and God destroys the Egyptian army. 15-18: Israel begins to journey in the wilderness, God provides for them miraculously 20-23: Ten Commandments and other laws are given to Moses to give to the people of Israel.
25-31: God gives Moses a prescription for how they would worship and serve Him, and given plans for the sanctuary.
32: Israel participates in blatant idolatry and God sends punishment
33-40: Israel builds the sanctuary, receives more laws for obedience to God.

Biblical Theological Contribution: This is an extremely important book in terms of its theological contribution. The entire narrative of Israel’s rescue from slavery to Egypt, serves to foreshadow Jesus’ rescue of humanity from slavery of sin and death. God then sends Moses to Egypt to rescue the people who are known as the Hebrew’s and later who find a new national identity as Israelites, as a free nation. Foreshadowing our own rescue as slaves to sin and death, and given a new identity into God’s kingdom as chosen sons and daughters. This specifically gives us an understanding of the theology of salvation.

There are other strong theological themes throughout Exodus; the fear of God, the holiness of God, the sovereignty of God are all part of the theological structure of Exodus.

Gospel Significance: Exodus has huge gospel implications. The pursuit of Israel through the rescuing work of God through Moses and Aaron, certainly foreshadows Christ’s own pursuit of humanity. The theme of rescue, and redemption, which are major themes of the gospel, is part of the entire book of Exodus.

We see themes of God’s rescue not on the merit of Israel being a great nation (which God actually states), but rather on the merit that God simply chose Israel. He actually chose them because they were disobedient (32:9; 33:3-5; Is 48:4). This holds major gospel ramifications for us as we see through the example of Israel that despite their quick disobedience, God still chose them. This is important that as God rescues and redeems us through the sacrifice of Jesus, and we still have a rebellious heart that He still chooses us.

We begin to learn more about the significance of sacrifices (dealt with in more detail in Leviticus) that allows Israel to still be his people, and become sanctified. In the same way, because of the sacrifice of Jesus we are able to take on a new identity, and our hearts are then sanctified. One important theme that deserves special treatment, is the passover during the last plague that God sends to Egypt.

The last and final plague was to take the life of the firstborn (animal or human) of all who lived in Egypt. The only way a firstborn avoided death was if a lamb was sacrificed and its blood was painted on the doorway of the household. By the sign of the blood, the firstborn in the household were thus saved. This was to be a sign (12:23-27) to the future children of the Israelites about God’s rescue from Egypt. This is significant later when Jesus appears in the New Testament to “become” the passover lamb and rescue humanity from death.

We also see that as a nation, God provided everything for them, they simply had to enjoy God after crossing the Red Sea, and trust that He would take care of them. In the same way, God still promises to look after those He rescues. Those He rescues He gives a new identity, Israel finally became an independent nation upon crossing the Red Sea.

Exodus we have a “wedding” of sorts when Israel stands before God, and they vow to follow God and do all that He has commanded them. They sacrifice and eat in the presence of God. In many ways this mirrors the final consummation of the marriage supper of the lamb as described in Revelation.

Personal Reflections:

I really enjoyed reading through Exodus again. I find myself reflected often through the pages of Exodus. Sometimes in the frustration of leadership, as Moses has to deal with the difficulty in dealing with Israel, but more often in the quick straying of Israel. It is incredible to see how God so faithfully takes care of Israel through the provision of water from a rock (of all things), and manna from out of nowhere, in spite of how complaining they are.

One of my favourite passages is Exodus 24 when God visits Israel. For me it reminds me exactly of a wedding. It is incredible to hear the account of God coming down and eating with the the elders of Israel. I often imagine what the dinner conversation would have been centred around.