Series: Best Book In the BibleEvery Christian knows the importance of reading their Bible, but many are overwhelmed with the task of devouring such a monstrous book! Often times, when Christians lose steam in their yearly reading plans, they can become frustrated and feel defeated. It is for this reason that individual book studies can be a lifesaver. In the Best Book in the Bible series, we will provide entry points into faithful study through “selling” you on why you should fall in love with the various books of the Bible.
Sadly, many believers suffer from biblical illiteracy. While they manifest a genuine love for God, there are aspects of that love that are either misinformed or underdeveloped. There are those who are altogether ignorant of the law of God, while others have simply never been exposed to the rich back story of the New Testament. And no book is richer, and dripping with salvific imagery, than Exodus.
Main themes: deliverance, the Law of God
“And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”‘” (Exodus 3:14)
“‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'” (Exodus 19:5-6)
“Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth; who keeps loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin, yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generation.'” (Exodus 34:6-7)
The book of Exodus is fast-paced and exciting. So much happens in the chapters, it’s hard to make mention of everything!
(1:1–18:27) More than four-hundred years have passed since the end of Genesis, and the people of Israel, while once welcome guests in Egypt, have now become slaves. Pharaoh has been attempting to exterminate the Jewish population, but cannot, so he consigns them to back-breaking labor. God calls Moses to the task of delivering Egypt from bondage. After several warnings to Pharaoh, followed by ten plagues (chapters 7 through 11), he reluctantly lets them go. In Exodus 12, we encounter the first Passover, which will function as dynamic symbolism for the coming work of Christ in redemption. In chapter 14, we encounter the Red Sea crossing, followed by the wilderness wandering.
(19:1–24:18) In this next section, God gives Israel His Law; first, He gives the Ten Commandments (ch. 20), followed by a fuller expansion of those commandments. It’s important to note that the actual law-giving at Mount Sinai is covered from Exodus chapter 20 through Numbers chapter 10. Much can be said about the theme of The Law of God, but we must see that God’s Law is “the written expression of his will for [Israel’s] corporate and individual life” (Longmann & Dillard, An Introduction to the Old Testament, 75). Further, God’s Law is a reflection of His perfect character and righteousness.
(25:1–40:38) In this final section, God commands Israel to build the Tabernacle; the temporary dwelling place of God’s presence while Israel is in the wilderness. In this section of Exodus, we see the establishment of the Aaronic Priesthood, as well as the implementation of all the materials, the ark of the covenant, etc. One other major event in this section is Israel’s gross rebellion in worshiping the golden calf (Exod. 32) and their subsequent repentance. While all the events recorded in Exodus are history, they also serve as spiritual lessons to future Israelites.
What Makes This Book So Great:
So much essential material is introduced to us in Exodus: the person of Moses, God’s dealing with Pharaoh, the instituting of the Passover, the Red Sea crossing, the giving of the law, the details of the Tabernacle, the priesthood, etc. In fact, without Exodus, the rest of the Bible feels empty and confusing. But more than anything, we see foreshadowings of Christ through the person of Moses (cf. Heb. 3:3), the Passover (cf. 1 Cor. 5:7), as the end of the law (Rom. 10:4), as the true “tabernacle” of God (cf. John 1:14), and as the great High Priest (cf. Heb. 4:14-16). To know Exodus is to be richly blessed for further study.
As with other big books, try breaking up your reading into sections in order to nail down the content. Challenge yourself to learn the sequence of events in Exodus. Memorize the Ten Commandments. Study out the action of God; through Moses, against Pharaoh, in nature, etc. Examine the broader themes such as The Law of God, the Tabernacle, the Passover.
- John J. Davis, Moses and the Gods of Egypts: Studies in Exodus. BMH Books, 1998.
The work of a trusted scholar, filled with keen insights from a lifetime of study and experience.
- Victor P. Hamilton, Exodus: An Exegetical Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011.
A helpful scholarly treatment by a trusted teacher.
- John L. Mackay, Exodus: A Mentor Commentary. Mentor, 2001.
An esteemed volume from a highly respected Old Testament scholar.
Note: Find the rest of the Best Book in the Bible series here: EntreatingFavor.com/BestBookSeries