Exodus relates the history of the Israelite’s after the death of Joseph to the erection of the Tabernacle by Moses. The book includes an account of the wanderings in the wilderness in Sinai and the giving of the Law to the nation.
Two key verses to pay attention to:
Exodus 6:6 – “Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgements”.
Exodus 19:5-6 – “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Exodus chapters 12 – 14 are extremely important because they contain the climax of the entire Old Testament; the salvation of Israel through blood (Passover) and through the Red Sea. Blood and water are necessary for their deliverance, the blood of Christ and water baptism today. The Exodus is the central event of the Old Testament as the cross is of the New Testament.
Observations of the Book of Exodus
1. Exodus is the record of Israel’s birth as a nation.
2. In Exodus 1:5, 70 people entered Egypt. Joseph was already there. A tremendous growth in population occurred.
3. Exodus 1:8 – “Now there arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph.”
4. Bondage ensued for a number of years. “Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. So God heard their groaning , and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.” Exodus 2:23-25
5. God raised up Moses to deliver His people out of bondage. Somewhere between two and three million people came out of Egypt.
Exodus is the continuation of the story that begins in Genesis with the seventy descendants of Jacob who move from Canaan to Egypt. Even under adverse conditions, the seventy have multiplied into over two million people. When the Israelites finally turn to God for deliverance from their bondage, God responds quickly and redeems them “With an outstretched arm and with great judgments” (6:6).
Exodus also records how God fulfills his promise to Abraham centuries earlier in Genesis 15:13-14: “Then He said to Abram: Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.”
There are two major divisions in the book of Exodus:
Redemption from Egypt in chapters 1-18
After many years of slavery, the people of Israel cry to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for deliverance. God prepares Moses for this purpose and commissions him at the burning bush to stand before the Pharaoh as Israel’s advocate. Pharaoh hardens his heart with an attitude expressed in words in Exodus 5:2 “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?”
God reveals Himself to Pharaoh through a series of lessons we call the ten plagues. Each plague from God was a judgement upon the gods of Egypt. The plagues grow in severity until the tenth plague brings death to the first born of every Egyptian household. Israel is redeemed through the plague by means of the Passover lamb. At this point, the Israelites’ faith in God becomes the basis for their national redemption. As they leave Egypt, God guides them at with a pillar of fire by night and smoke by day. He saves them from Egypt’s pursuing army through the miraculous crossing of the sea and He protects and sustains them throughout their journeys in the wilderness.
Revelation from God in chapters 19-40
Now that the people have experienced God’s deliverance, guidance, and protection, they are ready to be taught what He expects from them. They must now be set apart to walk with God. He will legislate how they are to live and how He is to be served.
On Mount Sinai God delivers to Moses:
Pattern for the tabernacle
Exodus 25:8-9 – “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.”
Exodus 25:40 – “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”
After God judges the people for the worship of the golden calf, the tabernacle is constructed on consecrated.
Exodus 39:42-43 – “According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, just so they had done it. And Moses blessed them.”
Exodus 40:34-35 – “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”
It is a building of beauty in a barren land.
It reveals much about the Person of God and the way of redemption.