What's up, Relentless Students? I hope you are enjoying the sun on this first day of May. As we continue our journey through the story of the Bible we now enter Exodus. When we left Genesis we see Joseph bring his family into Egypt, knowing full well that God would bring them to the promised land in due time. The issue was, Egyptians saw the Israelites (Joseph's families offspring) growing in numbers and feared them. So, in order to retain their status over them, they forced the Israelites into slavery. This would last 400 years and then begins our story in the book of Exodus.
Even as slaves, the people intimidated the Pharaoh of Egypt. He was worried that their numbers would grow to great and there would be a revolution sparked. To deter this possible revolution he made a decree that all of the baby boys be killed, in order to stunt the growth of the people. One of those baby boys was named Moses, we all know him and are familiar with his floating down a river into the hands of Pharaoh's daughter, who would adopt him into the family. Raised as an Egyptian, Moses didn't understand where he came from and the people he belonged to. Over time he understands the divide more between who was raised as and who he really is. This divide causes an internal issue that leads to spur of the moment saving of an Israelite through murdering an Egyptian. Terrified of the consequences he runs into the desert.
Moses runs into a group of people out there, falls in love, gets married, becomes a shepherd, and all but forgets his old life in Egypt. If you've seen The Prince of Egypt you know what happens next. A bush ignites in flames without burning. A voice calls out from the bush and tells him that he will be a mouthpiece to free his people from the tyranny of Egypt and restore them to the promised land (a place promised by God in Genesis). Moses had the audacity to say no to God out of fear. Eventually, burning bush wins and Moses is headed to Egypt where he will meet up with his brother and sister and work to free the people.
This leads us into the 10 plagues, the last of which inspiring the Passover (the meal being observed by Jesus just before his death). The last plague was the death of all firstborn male children if you did not head the sign of lambs blood on your door frame. Pharaoh's son died and burdened with grief he lets the people go. God guides out of Egypt and towards the promised land. The ten plagues showcased God's power and His love for His people.
After 40 days the people arrive at the promised land to find it currently inhabited by people who appear stronger than them. Fearful of what might happen if they enter, they refuse. God then punishes them by forcing them to walk the desert for 40 years, long enough to kill off the generation inspired by fear, rather than faith. During this time Moses, Aaron, and Miriam are leading the people in their wandering. They end up at Mount Sinai and receive the 10 commandments. This is when a messy situation happens.
Aaron and the Israelites were worried that Moses had left them or died on the mountain. In their fear, Aaron stepped up and created a golden calf out of the peoples jewelry. It went over about as well as a lead balloon...
The rest of Exodus is about them creating a sacred space for the 10 commandments that are engraved on 2 stone slabs and continuing their trek through the desert. Putting us near the end of the 40 years of wandering they had been forced to do.
For more details about the book of Exodus, check out these videos: