Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Exodus Salvation

No single story figures so prominently in the salvation saga of God's people, Israel, than the great deliverance and exodus from Egypt.

The sons of Jacob sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt, and though he would rise to second in command of the nation, perhaps this was a foreshadowing of things to come.

Joseph moved his entire family to Goshen from Canaan, and they enjoyed many years of life there. They produced and multiplied in number, a blessing for this once nomadic family. But this multiplication would bring their doom and four hundred years of oppression by Egyptians fearful of their power in numbers and the possibility they might ally with Egyptian enemies.

Gruesome as it sounds, a new King of Egypt who did not know Joseph, sent word to the Hebrew midwives to "Kill the baby boys." The text, however, says they feared God, and the implication is their allegiance to God over Pharaoah Rameses II. They did not kill baby boys or girls. But the threat of Egyptians throwing Hebrew babies in the Nile remained. It was into this environment that Moses was born then "drawn out" (the meaning of his name) by the king's daughter. She must have known she was breaking her own father's decree. She recognized that this was "one of the Hebrew" babies. She felt sorry for the crying baby and agreed to let a Hebrew girl--the baby's sister--take her to a Hebrew woman--the baby's mother--to be his nursemaid.

We're not sure how old he was when he left his own mother's side, but we know he was conflicted about his own identity--enough to defend his Hebrew brothers and kill an Egyptian guard who was abusing a slave. Moses was the son of a Levite father and mother weaned in a Hebrew home and educated as Egyptian royalty.

The humble story is the first episode in Exodus, a saga of God's deliverance of a people for himself. The story of Moses being called "lifted from the Nile" foreshadows the part both the water and the one from the water would play in God's exit strategy for his people who had been enslaved four hundred years.

Dozens of texts reference the exodus not merely as a historic fact but a great sign of God's power, mercy, and redemption. It is one of Scripture's most popular and powerful story metaphors of God's salvation. Here are some texts that speak of the strong hand and outstretched arm of the Lord in the exodus:
Exodus 15 - Moses and Miriam, Song of the Sea
Nehemiah 9
Psalm 105/106
Deuteronomy 4:34, 5:15, 7:14, 11:2, 26:8
2 Kings 17:36
Joshua 2:10, 24:6
Judges 11:16

What others have you found . . . some in the New Testament?

7 Comments:

At 7:57 AM, Blogger john alan turner said...

400 years of silence.

Baby boys being killed by a frightened king.

God's entire plan narrows to one tiny baby who will grow up and lead his people out of bondage and into the Promised Land.

How's that for NT?

 
At 12:48 PM, Blogger David U said...

How about Paul's exodus? Yeah, it was motivated by a close encounter of the FIRST kind....but he made an exodus.

We all have an exodus story of some kind or another, don't we? :)

Thanks Greg!

 
At 8:33 PM, Blogger Toby Taylor MD said...

Each of us is a child of God living and raised in a foreign land. ie Moses a Hebrew raised in an Egyptian home. Each of us seeks to leave this world to enter the promised land while leading others withh us.

 
At 6:34 AM, Blogger Fajita said...

Stories of deliverance; stories of emergence. I think about the woman at the well.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Steve Duer said...

Read Psalms 77. It ends with a beautiful telling of the exodus as a reminder of God's abiding care for us. (I like Peterson's take on this passage in the Message, it captures the despiration well).

I have used the comparison of children of Israel having the red sea in front and pharoes army behind and us having sin behind us and death in front of us. Only God could save in each of those situations.

 
At 10:55 AM, Blogger Terry Finley said...

I invite you to visit my blog and to study the Bible with me.

Terry Finley

http://clearcutbiblestudies.blogspot.com/

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger Toby Taylor MD said...

I thought of another Exodus. There are a growing number of people leaving homosexuality. They have an organization called "Exodus International" and they give, I believe, a true picture of homosexuality. Here's their webpage.


http://exodus.to/default2.asp

 

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