As we continue our teaching series in alignment with our 2020 Bible Project (our video-watching and Bible reading plan that you can join at www.southwest.org), we have turned the page from Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and begun the book of Exodus.
How do I explain the importance of the book of Exodus in the story of God?
Genesis is vital in understanding the beginnings of God's story, but Exodus is central in understanding who God is and what He does for us. For those familiar with scripture, Exodus is to the Old Testament what the Gospels are to the whole Bible. Everything in the Old Testament either leads up to, or points back at, the story contained in Exodus.
What is that story? It is the story of God rescuing His people, committing to them, guiding them, and being with them. Specifically, the nation of Israel is oppressed and enslaved in a land not their own (Egypt), and God sends someone (Moses) as His agent of delivering His people to their own land, with their own way of life (the Law), and to enjoy relationship with Him in a way that blesses them, and the whole world through them.
It is a story of liberation. It is a story of movement from bondage and oppression to life and freedom.
Do you see why it is so central? Do see how this story has embedded within it who God is and what He does for us? Do you see, already, how it points to Jesus?
This story begins with mankind crying out to God for help because they are hurting. Do you see how everyone can find themselves there?
This story continues by introducing us to God as a God who hears us, sees us, remembers us, cares for us - and then comes down to us - in order to rescue us.
That is the God being introduced in this story. A God who sides with the hurting, oppressed, needy, and marginalized. He is the God that sides with you when you are hurting, oppressed, needy, or marginalized. And calls you to do the same on His behalf whenever possible.
Exodus contains the defining story of the whole Bible - serving even as the foreshadowing template of the essential story of Jesus.
Let us journey through this story, beginning with God's liberating His people from bondage, and find our own stories, and God's desire to liberate us, as well.