Why We’re In Exodus

Why We’re In Exodus March 18, 2013

Exodus is an epic drama of fire and wind, water andblood. The story unfolds in a time 3,500 years ago and a place twice as manymiles away, in the very shadow of the Great Pyramids. The book includes some ofthe greatest and most familiar stories of biblical history: baby Moses drawnfrom the river, the burning bush, the plagues, the Red Sea,the Ten Commandments, the Golden Calf. It furnishes us with several theologicalcategories that develop throughout the Scriptures: the personal name of God (“IAM”), the Passover, the tabernacle. It records stories we’ve loved since SundaySchool: manna from heaven, water from rock, Moses’ shining face, the pillar offire and cloud.

All of which is very interesting and dramatic, but whywould we study through this book together as a church? Way back in August of2011, when I was still praying about this series before its launch, here’s whatI wrote in an email to the other elders: “What really excites me about Exodus arethe ways it helps us understand 1) our God, especially His unrivaledsovereignty and tender grace; 2) ourselves, especially our need for deliveranceand our tendency toward idolatry; and 3) our purpose here in the world,especially our evangelistic function as a ‘kingdom of priests’ (19:5).”

Those three points are still my focus; and everyWednesday morning when I crack open my Bible to begin study for a new sermon inExodus, these are the three things I expect to find in each text. What doesthis passage tell us about who God is? What does it say about who we are? Whatdoes it say about our calling to witness of God’s grace and glory to the worldaround us?

That last point—evangelism—has been a deep concern ofmine for some time. God saved Israelwith the expressed intent that they would be a “kingdom of priests”—i.e., asociety whose words and ways brought the nations to a proper knowledge of God.The church’s mission is similar: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim theexcellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1Pt 2:9). Let’s pray that Exodus will help us accomplish that mission, “for theglory of God and the joy of all peoples.”