May You Go With God
1. One of the Study Bibles describes the second book of the Bible like this:
“Exodus is an adventure story par excellence. It features a cruel villain (Pharaoh), an unlikely hero (Moses), overwhelming disasters (the plagues), a spectacular deliverance (crossing the Red Sea), a long journey (through the wilderness), a mountaintop experience (where Moses received the Ten Commandments), and a grand finale (the presence of God coming down to the ark of the covenant, filling the tabernacle with glory).” (ESV Study Bible 142)
2. That’s all true, but the exodus has a meaning far more profound than the excitement of the story.
a. It is the archetypal deliverance of the Bible – the salvation event that established the identity of Israel as the people of God and demonstrated the character of their Deliverer as the God who saves.
b. It is the work of One who blesses because he has promised, brings a people out from under their burdens, binds himself to them in a covenant relationship, and stays with them until he brings them to what he said he would give them.
c. It is the background we must have to understand being redeemed from bondage, and being a people for God’s own possession, and going with him until we are at home in his presence.
1. Elements of the exodus
a. The exodus came about through a promise which had taken much time to prepare and must have seemed long delayed. Genesis 15:5, 13-14, 18
b. The exodus occurred when the people were in bitter bondage from which only God could deliver them. Exodus 2:23-25
c. The exodus began when God sent a man to bring his people out of their slavery and to a land flowing with milk and honey. Exodus 3:8, 10, 12
d. The exodus was accomplished through redemption by mercy in judgment. Exodus 6:7; 7:4-5; 12:5, 7-8, 11-13
e. The exodus was completed when God saved the people by bringing them through the sea, which he in turn brought upon their enemies. Exodus 14:13, 22, 27, 30-31; 15:2, 13, 16-17.
f. The exodus was only the beginning of the relationship the people were to have with God as his own treasured possession, with special privileges and responsibilities. Exodus 19:5-6; 24:4, 7-8
g. The exodus had as its characterization and as its intention the presence of God dwelling in the midst of his people for their blessing and his joy. Exodus 13:21-22; 40:34-38
2. Fulfillment of the exodus
a. Christ reenacted the exodus in his own life and death.
i. He dwelt (lit. “tabernacled”) among us, and we have seen his glory (Jn. 1:14).
ii. He sojourned in Egypt and then came out, as Israel did (Matt. 2:15; Hos. 11:1)
iii. He was sent as the Lamb of God to deliver a people from their enemies that they might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness (Jn. 1:29; Lk. 1:74-75).
iv. At his transfiguration, he described his death which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem as “the exodus” (Gk. Lk. 9:31).
v. At the last supper, a Passover meal, he referred to “the new covenant in my blood” (Lk. 22:20; Ex. 24:8).
b. The exodus is the pattern for the existence and the life of the church.
i. The term “church” means that we are a people because we who were no people have been brought out of darkness into light to be God’s own possession (1 Pet. 1:9).
ii. We were ransomed from slavery to sin and death with the precious blood of a lamb without blemish or spot, the Christ who is our Passover lamb (1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 5:7).
iii. Being baptized into him is like being like the passing through the sea which saved Israel, and partaking of what Christ provides is like their experience in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:1-3).
iv. Our life in the world is to be lived as if we were sojourners, pilgrims passing through on our way home (1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11-12).
v. But while we are here, we are a kingdom of priests who are to minister the excellencies of God to the world (1 Pet. 2:9; Rev. 1:6; Ex. 19:6).
c. The best way we have for understanding our eternal home is the exodus.
i. The song of Moses (Ex. 15) is finally combined with the song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3).
ii. God “tabernacles” with his people, and his people are with their God, and their old enemies are no more (Rev. 21:3-4).
iii. In the land of promise, they see his face, and his glory gives them light, and they worship him (Rev. 21:23; 22:3-4).
1. This line of thought surely must impress us with how long God has planned and worked to make the real exodus possible for us, and with how far he has been willing to go, and with how much he wants us to accept what he has made available.
2. It also gives his invitation profound meaning. Revelation 22:17