Exodus Round-Up

Exodus Round-Up.

I’ve now finished my blog-series on the book of Exodus. This is the third series I’ve done based on books of the Bible, following on from Genesis and Job, going in chronological order.

 

In this Exodus series we’ve seen how God hears the cries of His people and comes down to rescue them. We can’t rescue ourselves, but God will deliver us. The rescue in Exodus is just a dress-rehearsal for the far greater rescue brought by Jesus, and it tells us how God’s heart never changed in all the long years in-between. It still, and always will, beat with passion for His people. His heart is for the lost, and even if you’ve turned away many times still He will welcome you back. Exodus also speaks about God’s vision for human society, based on justice and respect, about God’s provision and protection, and how He walks with His people. It speaks about His faithfulness to His covenant promises, and how He will always come through for us. This isn’t history or myth as dry and dusty as the desert setting, but a powerful tale of love and redemption, of a living God who desires a relationship with you and who will do anything to get you back. Are you listening? Can you hear His voice calling your name?

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it and that it has encouraged you in your walk with God. This post is a round-up, a kind of index, so that you can catch up on anything you’ve missed. If you’re starting here, why not use the links below to read the whole thing, or just a post or two? Enjoy, and watch out for my Leviticus series planned for later in the year.

 

  1. Dress-Rehearsal for Deliverance (Exodus 2)

 

The mini rescue of Moses at the book’s beginning is a dress-rehearsal for the much greater saving of an entire people later on, just as the Exodus itself is only a foretaste of how God will one day completely redeem His people.

 

  1. God in my Waiting (Exodus 2)

 

Waiting isn’t easy, but it’s a key part of the Christian walk. Exodus shows us that God won’t be rushed, and that His timing will prevail, but it also offers lessons in how to thrive during the waiting.

 

  1. Wait and Hope (Exodus 2)

 

God sometimes makes us wait – the answer to prayer very often is ‘not yet’ – you’re not ready yet or this timing isn’t as good as it can be. Don’t let these delays dishearten you, or fool you into thinking that God is indifferent. Fix your hope on Him as you wait for His perfect plans to come to pass.

 

  1. Only so Close (Exodus 3)

 

At the heart of the human problem is the fact that our selfishness puts distance between us and God. Exodus is a key part of the journey towards God closing that distance, drawing close, but only so close, until the final barrier is removed by Jesus.

 

  1. Who is God? (Exodus 3)

 

In a time before Bibles and the internet, it wasn’t so easy to know God. In the early part of Exodus God is revealing Himself, introducing Himself by name, and teaching us much about His heart and His character.

 

  1. God is Enough (Exodus 4)

 

If you’re facing obstacles or opposition, or if something is really scaring you, the answer is not to look to ourselves, like Moses did, but to look to God. He has the remedy for our every doubt and concern, and He is sufficient for all our needs.

 

  1. Partial Revelations (Exodus 6)

 

God doesn’t change, but He has revealed Himself to us in stages, first a little bit in Genesis, then a little bit more in Exodus, and gradually more throughout the rest of the Bible. We still don’t see the full picture, but we’ve been given enough to trust Him with the unknown.

 

  1. Responding to Setbacks (Exodus 5-6)

 

We will suffer setbacks in this life, we can’t hide or escape from that, but the key is how we respond to them. Will we give up, run away, bury our heads in the sand, or will we look to God? No matter how many times we get knocked, God will always pick us up and strengthen us. In Him we have the victory.

 

  1. Why Did Pharaoh Hold Out So Long? (Exodus 7-11)

 

If you’ve ever wondered why Pharaoh didn’t just give up and comply with God right away, then this post is for you. It has much to teach us about trying to take on God and the perils of a hardening heart.

 

  1. Why Ten Plagues? (Exodus 7-12)

 

Why ten plagues, why not just one or two? God had a plan, but what was really going on here? Nothing less than God’s mission statement and manifesto – He’s on the scene and putting every false god firmly in their place.

 

  1. God is Not a Safe God (Exodus 12)

 

God is loving, God is good and God has great plans for us, but He’s not a safe God.

 

  1. God’s Promises Fulfilled (Exodus 12)

 

God always makes good on His promises, even if there is a long time between the promise and the fulfilment. The events of Exodus fulfil what God promised Abraham in Genesis, and should give us confidence to keep waiting for our own promises to be fulfilled.

 

  1. Pass It On (Exodus 13)

 

When we’re blessed, we’re not meant to keep it all for ourselves, and nor should we forget. What God has done for us He also asks us to remember, commemorate and pass on for the benefit of others.

 

  1. Understandable Grumbling (Exodus 14)

 

The grumbling of the Israelites in the desert was completely understandable, but we should learn from it, not imitate. Don’t let hard circumstances cause you to take your eyes off God or stop trusting Him.

 

  1. To Fight or Not to Fight? (Exodus 14)

 

Sometimes we’re just spectators to what God is doing, and sometimes we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in. Scripture records both, which means they’re both valid, but that we must seek God’s will in each situation. It’s ok if you need help knowing which is right for the present – take those questions to God.

 

  1. Darkness into Light (Exodus 14)

 

Exodus 14 is steeped in powerful symbolism. The escape from Egypt for the Israelites was like stepping out of the darkness and into the light, which also teaches us a lot about the journey that Jesus takes each of us on.

 

  1. The Start of a Special Relationship (Exodus 14)

 

The crossing of the Red Sea is one of the most dramatic and defining events in the Bible. It’s a water-shed between a time when only a few people knew God and when a whole nation entered into a formal relationship with Him. There have been a lot of ups and downs since, but it was the start of something special.

 

  1. Our First Resort (Exodus 15)

 

The escape from Egypt didn’t mean that it was all plain sailing for the Israelites afterwards. Like us, they continued to face problems and difficulties; but unlike them, let’s make prayer, not despair, our first resort.

 

  1. Enough for Each Day (Exodus 16)

 

God’s provision is certain, God’s provision is generous, but God’s provision comes on His terms. He wants us to trust Him with our tomorrows. He won’t let us down or short-change us, so we don’t need to rely on our own solutions, which can often prove counter-productive.

 

  1. The Dangers of Micro-Management (Exodus 18)

 

Exodus 18 has lessons for every manager and leader out there, the need to delegate and not burn ourselves out trying to do everything. Even if you’re not an official leader this story has significance for all of us: we all have a role to play, but we need to work together.

 

  1. Consecration Today; Blessing Tomorrow (Exodus 19)

 

Often the pattern in the Bible is for consecration first, then blessings to follow. The encouragement is, if you want to see breakthrough and blessing, then get ready first. Make sure you’re living how God wants you to, and do what you can to get rid of the hindrances. Salvation is unconditional, but blessing is not.

 

  1. The Mountain of the Lord (Exodus 19)

 

God takes up residence on a mountain in Exodus and in impressive style. Here we see the holiness and otherness and power of God. Read in light of the New Testament, however, we can be grateful for the fact that Jesus came down, to do what Moses could not by climbing up.

 

  1. A Question of Relevance (Exodus 20)

 

The Old Testament today has varying applicability: some bits still apply unchanged, some bits are relevant but with different application, and some bits don’t apply at all. It’s important to understand which are which, and for this we need the wisdom and insight of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. Margins (Exodus 23)

 

God’s instruction for His people to leave an unharvested margin around the edge of their fields has much to teach us in this hectic modern world. We might not own fields, but we all live recklessly close to the edge of our resources, whether in time, energy or finances. Building in margin makes us more self-aware, more generous and better able to thrive in the long-run.

 

  1. TTTT (Exodus 35-36)

 

We speak a lot about the three Ts in my church – Time, Treasure and Talents – the three key ingredients of Biblical stewardship and generous living. We see a wonderful example of all three being lived out radically at the end of Exodus, where the Israelites all contributed to building the Tabernacle (which is the fourth T in the title). There’s so much we can learn from this about generosity, working together and how to honour God but individually and collectively.

 

  1. Bookends (Exodus 40)

 

Exodus 40 is the perfect ending for this book, just as chapter 1 set the scene in fitting fashion. The two are bookends for the rescue and relationship story in-between, but they are a study of contrasts. The slavery and separation at the beginning has been transformed by God into freedom and favour. When God gets involved, everything changes.

 

 

So that’s a brief round-up of all the posts in this series, with a little introduction/teaser for each. I’d love for you to read them all, or even just some. Let me know what you think, because I hope you find them helpful in your walk with God. If anyone comes away from my writing encouraged to read the Bible more or to know God better, then I’ve achieved what I set out to do.

 

I’ve got more Biblical blog-post series planned, including a modern look at Leviticus, so stay tuned for more. If you’ve ever found the Old Testament daunting, confusing or irrelevant, I’d like to invite you to follow this blog and see if I can help change that. Stay blessed.

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