Week 3: Exodus
THE MAIN POINT
Abraham’s children become a nation enslaved in Egypt, but God rescues them and calls them his own people.
Exodus 6:1–10 & Ch 19, 20, 32
Egypt was once a haven for God’s people. Joseph was second-in-command, and his lineage found refuge and a home in Egypt (Genesis 50:22). But Joseph died, and generations passed away. A king came to power who didn’t know of Joseph (Exodus 1:8), only that these Hebrew people were multiplying in his kingdom. This Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrew people and made them build his cities (Exodus 1:12–14). Using a man named Moses, God rescues His people (Israel) out of slavery and leads them into the desert. It is here where God renews his covenant with Israel, and introduces The Law, which includes the 10 commandments. Israel was to follow the Law so that they could:
- Represent God to the nations and fulfill the covenant promise to Abraham that his family would be a blessing to the world.
- Be atoned for their sin through animal sacrifices.
- Create a place where God would dwell with his people, The Tabernacle.
But Israel rebels immediately.
THE BIBLE PROJECT SUMMARY: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/torah-exodus-1/
As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:
- Have you ever been in a situation you couldn’t get out of? Maybe you’re claustrophobic, and you were locked in a closet and couldn’t get out. Or you had to give a presentation that made you feel stuck onstage. Or maybe you have had an addiction problem. Exodus shows a God that can free a bound people. God tells Moses to tell Israel, “I am the Lord. I’ll bring you out from Egyptian forced labor. I’ll rescue you from your slavery to them. I’ll set you free with great power and with momentous events of justice.” (Exodus 6:6)
- Exodus offers the greatest paradigmatic redemption event in the Bible prior to Christ’s incarnation. As such, it is profoundly good news to captives; to those who labor in bondage to sin and misery. In addition, it shapes Christians’ continued understanding of, and hope for redemption.
- The shedding of blood in animal sacrifices seems foreign to us but it correlates directly to the Passover (the night before Israel was rescued from Egypt) when a spotless lamb was sacrificed so that the wrath of God would not happen to his people in Egypt. The rest of the Old Testament was built on animal sacrifice as worship and atonement for sins. God commanded five basic types of sacrifices by which people could express their holiness or reclaim it when they disobeyed. Forgiveness came when an animal died as a substitute for the sinner. The ideas of blood and sacrifice might seem strange to a Bible with a loving and good Creator, but sin is serious and so is the need to remedy it. Throughout the Old Testament, blood is what takes care of sin; however, no sacrifice was enough to fully cancel the debt of sin and the judgment of God.
- The talk of sin, judgment, atonement, and justification can be difficult to fully comprehend. The crucifixion of Jesus is difficult because it is so violent and brutal. Why couldn’t God simply forgive a sinful human? The answer is that God is just. God is good, morally upright, holy, and right in his character. For God to uphold what is good, pure, and right, he must condemn sin. But God paid for the condemnation of sin himself (through the Son). Why would God do that? Because he loves his creation (Romans 5:8).
As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- We must look to God as our Rescuer and Redeemer.
- Because Jesus offered himself as our sacrifice, we must not try to pay for our sins through works.
- God calls you to represent him like the Israelites were supposed to. That you would be a blessing to others so that they may encounter God. The difference between you and the Israelites is that your sin has been fully paid for by Jesus, AND you have been given the Holy Spirit to empower you and give you boldness.