Exodus 1:1-7 An Introduction
So, today begins our study in the book of Exodus. Now, this is a study that I have wanted to do since I became the pastor here at Emmaus 3 years ago. I have wanted to preach this book for a number of reasons. It is a great story for one…it displays the power and purpose of God in an epic way. It is larger than life for sure. A narrative that has been displayed in secular film even a number of times. This narrative is so powerful, and it is that basic storyline of just about every epic adventure ever. Now, there is a reason for that. I believe that we are hard wired to understand and appreciate the story of redemption. People who study mythology will often note how often the same types of characters appear in many of the mythologies of different civilizations. They will say how often there are creation myths, and redemption myths and savior myths. They will point to our scriptures and say how we too have the same patterns in our “myths”. This is something that C.S. Lewis wrestled with a great deal. He and his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien used to talk about this topic often. In Lewis’ mind there was history on one hand, and myth on the other. He saw truth as history, simple facts that had no meaning behind them. On the other hand, he saw meaning and beauty in the myth. Stories that were meant to convey deep beauty and meaning. He did not see the two of those things intersecting. What he came to realize later was that the story of Jesus was a “true myth” all of the beauty and meaning of a myth captured in history, and set there by a divine action. The story of the Exodus is the same thing. It is a story that actually happened, and by God’s sovereign design, it is meant to convey to us, and to every christian that has lived the meaning and beauty that exists in God’s redemption of His people through Jesus.
Another reason why I am excited to preach this book is that it is a story that we point to and reference every week when we take the Lord’s Supper together. And the more we understand the story of redemption in the Exodus, the better we can understand the significance of the cross.
Now, I want to let you in on how I will be looking at this book. It is going to be very different than the book of Timothy that we just finished, or Ephesians, or any other epistle. Those books are prescriptive texts. Books that are prescribing how we as Christians are to live. They contain explanations of theology, as well as exhortations for the readers. The book of Exodus is a descriptive text. It is describing what happened in a particular time to a group of people. In a narrative, we will be reading much larger sections of the book. Sometimes we may read several chapters at a time. Today we are only reading a few verses, but next week will take a larger chunk. Later on in the book we may even take a few chapters at once.
I will also not be taking the typical approach to this book. I will be leaning heavily on a book by a guy named mark Wilkerson called Redemption. It takes a look at the book of Exodus through the lens of looking to Jesus primarily, but also as it relates to the idea of being set free from various forms of bondage, addictions, past hurts, various sins, and trials.
Now the primary theme of this book is fairly simple: God fulfills His promises.
The first half of the book is God fulfilling His promise to Abraham from Gen. 17:7-8
The second half of the book is God revealing His covenant with His people, confirming that covenant, His people breaking it, and God renewing it.
the first few verses we just read are the verses that tie this book back to the one before it, which is the book of Genesis. This is the second of 5 books that make up what is called the Pentatuech. It contains the history of the people of Israel, as well as the commands of God concerning how he wants his people to live.
What is important to remember about this is that we pick up this story as it is already begun. there are things that have already happened that are important to the sort we are reading. That is what these verses are talking about.
Today we are going to look at the events that brought us to where we are as we begin Exodus. God’s promise, God’s providence.
Gods’ promise: Genesis 15; 17:7-8
God’s Providence: Genesis 37-50. Read 50:15-21
How’s, as e study this book, I have said that we are looking at it with the eye to apply the truths contained in it to our lives. I want to warn you at the outset I am going to be fairly frank about a number of issues that people can be enslaved to.
The point of this study is that when we are finished with this book that just as we see God’s people set free from bondage in Egypt, that many of us will be set free from bondage that we are in. Due either to wrongs we have done, or wrongs that have been done to us.