Our desire as Christians is to know the God of the Bible. But who is he and what is he like? To answer those fundamental questions, our pastors will preach through the first 20 chapters of the book of Exodus. This fascinating book narrates three main events: Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (1-12a), the journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai (12b-18), and the receiving of the Law and other events at Sinai (19-40).
The message of Exodus is about the story of deliverance, and portrays God who is faithful to his promises. Exodus cannot be understood apart from Genesis. The God who made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants remains faithful to his people. Thus, Exodus fulfils the patriarchal promises of offspring, land, and blessing (Ex. 1:1-20; cf. Gen. 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18). Pharaoh, threatened by the growth of the Jewish population, embarks on a program of infanticide (Ex. 1:15-16). Yet Yahweh hears the cry of his people and remembers his covenant promise (Ex. 2:23-25; cf. Gen. 50:24). He raises up Moses (Ex. 2:1), who was spared of his life (2:10).
The theme of promise or covenant is prominent throughout the Bible. In Exodus, the covenant God comes into focus in two great events: the name of the Lord and the blood of the lamb. While there are many titles for God, there is only one name in the sense of his personal name, and this name, represented in Hebrew by four consonants YHWH, is translated as “Lord” in Ex. 3:15. In appearing to the exiled Moses (Ex. 3:1-4:17), Yahweh reveals his name, I AM WHO I AM, which indicates his dynamic and personal presence. After his initial reluctance, Moses returns to Egypt to demand the release of Israel from bondage (Ex. 4:22-23).
The name Yahweh resounds throughout the account of the Passover. It is the Lord who ordains the sacrifice. The Lord is the redeemer, deliverer, law-giver and judge. And the people are the Lord’s people. The New Testament continues the story of the blood of the lamb, but explicitly points to Jesus Christ as the fulfilling Messiah of the nation of Israel.