Many are familiar with the events in the book of Exodus, from baby Moses being placed in an ark and then pulled from the river, to the Ten Plagues, the burning bush, the Ten Commandments, and many others. Yet, sometimes it is difficult to relate to and understand the book of Exodus.
Many times people just think of Exodus, like Genesis, as nothing more than great stories of circumstances and heroes that relate spiritual significance. But it is more than mere stories; it is a record of history. These things actually happened. For instance, take a modern-day example – the German Holocaust. There are some today who believe that the Holocaust is nothing but a mere story, a tale. While there are non-believers, the Holocaust really happened, and is evidenced by historical records. Just as the people during the Holocaust really suffered, died, and were liberated; so people lived, suffered and died during the events of Exodus. Similarly, the book of Exodus serves as our evidence, our historical record.
The book of Exodus is a wealth of material, written by Moses, a man chosen and inspired by God to record for Israel their national deliverance, emergence, and allegiance. In this book, the Egyptian enslaved Hebrew people are transformed into an emancipated people, but their liberation is not the only aspect to their national identity. Jehovah personally delivers His nation from a culture immersed in idolatry and worship of false gods, then reveals His powerful presence and provides a spiritual and social covenant to His people.
This book is significant for Israel and Christians, because it reveals that anything is possible with God, like the burning bush (Exodus 3.2). But it is important because it reveals that God expects His people to maintain a relationship with Him (Exodus 20.2-11) and to maintain a proper social relationship with each other (Exodus 20.12-17; 21.1-23.13). But perhaps it is most powerful because it records the nation of Israel accepting God’s covenant (Exodus 24.7) stating, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Because Jehovah is a God of His Word, when He makes a promise and covenant He keeps it. Therefore, because He keeps His promises, He expects those who enter into a covenant with Him to keep their word as well. Unfortunately, at times, Israel did not maintain their side of the covenant and suffered the consequences.
While we are about 2000 years removed from the crucifixion of the Messiah, and about 3500 years and cultures away from Moses and the fledgling nation of Israel, we, in this western developed nation, need to understand the fundamental principles established in Exodus. Israel’s understanding of God and His covenant was vital for their national and spiritual blessings; likewise should be our understanding. May we be blessed in our learning about Israel.