“In many ways the book of Exodus is the foundation stone upon which the rest of the Bible stands…It’s regulations regarding the proper treatment of others serve as the core around which the teachings of Proverbs, the lyrics of many Psalms, and the proclamations of the prophets were built. From a New Testament perspective, this book is used in three main ways. First, it prefigures the life and ministry of Christ, especially in His role as our sacrificial lamb. Second, it provides examples that illustrate the Christian life. Finally, it presents the moral and ethical framework to guide Christians in their decision-making.” (HSCB)

3:7, 16-17, 21; 4:12, 27 —Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of My people, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors, and I know about their sufferings. I have come down to rescue them…I have paid close attention to you and to what has been done to you. And I have promised you that I will bring you up from the misery…And I will give this people such favor that when you go, you will not go empty-handed…Now go! I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say… The people believed, and when they heard that the LORD had paid attention to them and that He had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.” When the people believed, they bowed down and worshiped. What are we doing now? Most of us, are living day-by-day just going through the motions of life. Sure there are some of us that go to Church over the weekend, and maybe even a select few that go to a Bible study as well sometime during the week. What about the rest of the time? The Bible teaches that we are to pray continually, and that we should enter in prayer with first giving praise and thanksgivings to God. Here is a challenge for everyone: Worship God 24/7/365. Here is the reason for this, God has not only heard and seen our sufferings, He has experienced everything in the flesh of Jesus Christ that we have experienced and will experience. He pays close attention to us because He cares about us and every little detail about our lives, He wants to be a part of us, and not just any part. He wants the most important part, which is our heart. If we allow Him to enter our hearts, then there would be no more empty void that some of us feel. If for whatever reason, we still feel some kind of void in our lives and we have already let Jesus into our hearts, then we can take that to Him in prayer and leave it at the Cross.

9:14-16—“Then you will know there is no one like Me in all the earth. By now I could have stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with a plague, and you would have been obliterated from the earth. However, I have let you live for this purpose: to show you My power and to make My name known in all the earth.” 10:3—“This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?” The Bible teaches that Jesus will not come again until everyone on the entire earth has heard the Message of the Good News and has had an opportunity to make a choice of whether or not to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives.

In regards to 12:13 God knows all things and did not need to make an inspection tour through the land, noting the blood on each doorpost to discern who was obedient to Him. The blood was the “distinguishing mark,” a sign for the benefit of the Israelites that confirmed their obedience to God and His promise of salvation. The phrase “when I see the blood” is used figuratively to indicate the Lord’s knowledge of those who trust Him. The expression looks ahead to God’s response to those who, having entered into the death of Christ, are protected by His blood from the wrath of God’s judgment.

14:13-14—“Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and see the LORD’s salvation He will provide for you…The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet.” In other words, you must be still and know that the LORD is with you. Be silent and listen for Him to speak to you. 33:14—“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

16:18—“…Each gathered as much as he needed to eat.” It seems that God was teaching His people not to profit from the hardship of their brothers and sister. We have certainly lost our way in America. God provided His people with just the right amount needed to live by, no more, no less. Here we are today, working for that extra dollar that in the end we will regret and realize that we did not actually need to make more. Later on in Exodus 18:18, 21, we read, “You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you. You can’t do it alone…But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as officials…” These verses are being said to Moses by his father-in-law in regards to Moses judging every case of the law. They can also be useful to us today in a whole other perspective. We were not created to live and work alone. We all need to be a part of a community in which everybody helps one another. I am pretty sure, this is what our founding fathers had in mind while writing the Constitution. Neighbors helping one another in order for everybody to have an equal supply. A small government of officials providing accountability to the people in order for right living.

In regards to the Ten Commandments found in 20:1-17, God and Moses perceived obedience to the laws, not as a way of or precondition to salvation, but as the grateful response of those who had already been saved. God did not reveal the law to the Israelites in Egypt and then tell them that as soon as they had measured up to this standard He would rescue them. On the contrary, by grace alone, through faith they crossed the Red Sea to freedom. All that was required was belief in God’s promise that He would hold up the walls of water on either side and see them safely through to the other shore. The Decalogue begins, not with the first commandment, but with a preamble: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery” (Dt. 5:6). Obedience to the Decalogue or any other law has never been intended as the way of salvation but as the appropriate response to salvation already received. Today, Christians need to have the kind of faith in which Jesus has already paid the price of our sins and that He is holding our hands and carrying us through the difficulties of life. It will be because of this faith, that we follow the Commandments. There are some verses that God suggest that one reason we should obey Him is for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. An example is, 34:6-7—“Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin. But He will not leave the guilty unpunished, bringing the consequences of the fathers’ wrongdoing on the children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.” The Bible teaches that human beings are free to make choices. God is good and always acts consistently with His nature. Yet people can choose to rebel against God’s goodness, and consistent rebellion can lead to their hearts being hardened. As the saying goes, “The same sun that melts butter also hardens clay.” We are free in that we do what we want to do, but behind our plans and desired are those of God. Like ripples spreading across a pool of calm water, our actions have consequences for generations to come. We can create waves of difficulty or blessing, according to the choices we make. God does not condemn children because of their parents’ misbehavior. However, children suffer the consequences of their parent’s sinful choices in which establishes a pattern that children model as they mature. The result can be a repetition of their parent’s emotional brokenness leading to conflict, divorce, poverty, or other conditions that make their children’s, and even their grandchildren’s, lives difficult. In 20:20, Moses provides reassurance, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you will fear Him and will not sin.” God will never behave immorally, but He will bring affliction upon those who live in defiance of His will. As people change their actions and wills, God changes His response to them. Although He is prepared to bring affliction upon people because of their sins, He is prepared to relent as they repent. 32:33-34—…”Whoever has sinned against Me I will erase from My book… But on the day I settle accounts, I will hold them accountable for their sin.” The point is that every person will be held accountable for his actions and words.

The “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” passage is well known, and unfortunately, often twisted, it did not require people to pay someone back for a wrong done to them. Its purpose was to establish limits for retaliation. The most one could do in response to knocking out a tooth was to knock out the other person’s tooth; a person could not be killed for injuring someone’s eye. As Jesus pointed out, a person who was wronged by another could choose not to retaliate for what had been done to him. Often such a response would be the best way to deal with the problem. In every case, it should be the first option considered.

While the Lord ordained the use of ritual in worship, He abhorred ritual that aimed at divine manipulation. The only actions that pleased God were those that arose from the heart, and true worship was to be accompanied by joy in the Lord. In 25:2 God states, “You are to take My offering from everyone whose heart stirs him to give.” Thus biblical religion gives at the same time a higher view of humanity and a higher view of God—omnipotent, undivided, purposeful, merciful, uniformly righteous, and deserving of our undivided love. Israel was to be a kingdom of priests, singing to the Lord and declaring His glory among the nations day after day.

“In the Hebrew language, what is translated as “jealous” can also be translated as “zealous.” The term describes God’s expectation that human beings will make Him their highest priority in life, loving Him with all their heart, soul, and strength. As Creator of the universe and all life, God has the right to expect people to value Him most highly. This type of “jealousy” is not a bad thing. It is proper in a marriage; a wife or husband expects the spouse to be faithful in thought, word, and deed, and would be rightfully upset should the spouse prove unfaithful. The Israelite prophets sometimes compare God’s relationship to His people, in His covenant, to a marriage.”(HSCB)

Advertisements