A Survey of the Scripture: Lesson 3 Exodus

A Survey of the Scripture: Lesson 3: Exodus

EXODUS–THE DELIVERANCE AND INSTRUCTION OF THE NATION

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Exodus is the story of the exodus of the nation of Israel from Egypt, and their subsequent reception of the Law in the wilderness. The word “exodus” is from a Greek word meaning “exit.” Exodus picks up the story of God’s providential care of His people after a silent period of 275 years.

At the conclusion of Genesis, Israel’s population was about 75 . During the 275 silent years, Israel grew to about 2.5 million people and became enslaved to the Egyptians. Israel lived in Egypt for about 430 years.


The Law was Israel’s constitution. Prior to this point, Israel was a people, but not an organized nation. With the giving of the Law, the people became a nation, organized with a legal system, rulers, procedures, policies, and a systematized religion.

Exodus is an important book for a number of reasons. It records much of the early days of Israel’s history and the origins of Jewish religious practices. Further, nearly every OT book makes reference to the material contained in Exodus, as do many NT books.

[Again we see the interrelatedness of Scripture–if one part falls, so does all the rest.]

An Outline of Exodus:

I. The Exodus from Egypt and Traveling to Mt. Sinai (ch. 1-18)

A. Israel is enslaved. (1:8-14)

B. Moses is born and called. (ch. 2-4)

C. The nation is delivered from Egypt. (ch. 5-18)

1. God plagues Egypt.

2. God passes over Israel.

3. God leads the nation out of Egypt.

II. The Giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai (ch. 19-24)

A. The 10 Commandments (moral law)

B. Social and civil laws

C. Religious laws

III. The Tabernacle (ch. 25-40)

A. Its design

B. Its delay

C. Its completion

Important Facts about Exodus:

¨ Hebrew title: “These are the names,” which is the first phrase of the book. In the Greek (LXX) the book is named Exodus, emphasizing the departure (or exit) of Israel from Egypt.

¨ Author: Moses. Duet 31:9 “Moses wrote down this Law.” C.f. also 1 Kings 2:3, Neh 8:1. Jesus called Exodus “the book of Moses” (Mark 7:10, 12:26).

¨ Date of the exodus: about 1445 BC. Both biblical and secular evidence support this date.

¨ Date of the writing of Exodus: probably while in the wilderness, around 1425 BC (Moses died in 1406).

¨ Key word: Redeem. God promised to redeem His people from bondage under Egypt (6:6). God also stipulated that every first-born child be redeemed with the sacrifice of an animal (13:13, 15).

¨ Key chapters: 12 – the exodus out of Egypt; 20 – the 10 Commandments

¨ Key characters: Pharaoh, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Caleb

¨ Interpretive Difficulties: The date and route of the Exodus have been the subject of considerable debate. Sorting out the chronology, the places named, and the characters involved (especially the Egyptian pharaohs) has been very difficult.

Exciting Ideas from Exodus:

1. God is sovereign. God is clearly controlling the events played out in the pages of Exodus. Israel stayed in Egypt for as long as God wanted them there. The plagues of Egypt especially display God’s power over nature and over mankind. Everything is following God’s eternal plan. Read, e.g., Ex 6:6.

Modern Applications: God is still sovereign. He’s in control of all things, and everything is following His divine plan. We may not understand why things happen, but we can trust that God is in control and working all things according to His will (Eph 1:11).

2. God is faithful to His promises. He will redeem His people. God had promised to give Canaan to Abraham. After over 400 years, and when Abraham’s family had become a great nation, Israel was ready to enter the Promised Land. God is fulfilling His promise to Abraham to make his family into a great nation.

Modern Applications: We can trust God to come thru on His promises. E.g., 2nd coming of Christ; rewards for the righteous/judgment for the wicked; trusting God to take care of you; trusting that God knows best and His word is true.

Interesting note: 4x in Exodus 7-8 we see the phrase “as the LORD had said.”

Also, God’s redemption of Israel from Egypt is an illustration of the believer’s redemption from sin. God will redeem those who trust in Him.

3. God has given us a standard to live by. The standard that controlled nearly every aspect of Jewish life was the Law of Moses. The 10 Commandments (Ex 20) summarize God’s requirements for man.

Modern Applications: While we are not under the Mosaic Law, we still have a standard to follow–the Bible. There are many principles from the OT that still apply to us.

4. God has a particular place and plan for His people to worship Him. God designed the temple and gave detailed directions for the correct way to approach and worship Him. Read Ex 25:8-9.

Modern Applications: We must be very careful how we worship God. We must make sure our worship practices are biblical and appropriate. Some of the ways that people try to worship God today are inappropriate. Many think that as long as you are sincere, you can approach God any way you want. Not true.

The Westminster Confession (Chapter XXI) says: The acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.

5. God hates complaining. The Israelites were repeatedly guilty of murmuring against the Lord (15:24; 16:2, 7, 8). They complained about the quality of food, the lack of water, and about Moses’ leadership.

Modern Application: Don’t complain or whine. These people were impatient and dissatisfied with God’s treatment of them (read 16:8). Don’t be guilty of the same offense.

Conclusion:

At the beginning of Exodus, we find the Jews oppressed under their Egyptian taskmasters. By the end of the book, Israel has left Egypt, is heading toward the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses, and is organized as a nation with a governing constitution. Throughout the book we clearly see God’s sovereign hand of guidance and protection for His chosen people. Thus God fulfills his promises to Abraham.

Discussion:

1. Summarize the contents of Exodus. Moses and the exodus from Egypt, the giving of the Law at Sinai, the pattern for the Tabernacle and for worship.

2. In what chapter of Exodus do we find the 10 Commandment? Chapter 20.

3. What does the detailed description of the Tabernacle tell us about how we are to worship God? It shows that God desires for us to worship Him in a certain way. We must insure that we follow the Bible in or worship practices.

4. How do we know that we no longer have to follow the directions for worship as given in Exodus? NT tells us so. Christ came to redeem us from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13). Paul states plainly that we are no longer under the Law (Rom 6:14; Gal 5:18).

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