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Summary: The exodus marks the real beginning of the history of Israel as a people and a nation. It tells the story of Israel’s continued struggle with sin and obedience. Despite all of this, God chose them for a special role and sticks with them

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The Exodus

Exodus 14:21-31

At the end of Genesis, Egypt and Palestine were in the grips of a famine and Joseph had been reunited with his father, Jacob, and his brothers after they came to Egypt to buy food. Joseph invited them to stay with him in Egypt. God used the next 4 centuries to fulfill 3 promises to Abraham and his descendants. The first was that they were to increase in numbers. (Gen. 46:2-4) Egypt was just the kind of place where that could happen. It had a predictable supply of water in the Nile River, a temperate climate and less exposure to invasion than other countries. This provided an environment where Jacob’s descendants could grow significantly. The political climate of Egypt was also favorable as well. Wealth flowed into Egypt from all over the world along with craftsmen and traders as Egypt increased it borders in Palestine and Syria and to the south. This was a time of benevolent rule and peace. And because of Joseph’s service to Egypt and its ultimate rescue during a great famine, his family enjoyed the political favor of Egypt.

But the second promise fulfilled is that the Israelites would be afflicted. The Scriptures tell us a time came when a new Pharaoh rose to power who had no knowledge of Joseph’s contribution or of his family. With its newfound wealth, Egypt began great building projects requiring forced service to complete. The Hebrew people fell under oppression and servitude along with conquered Asiatic people. The Hebrews made mud bricks, which was filthy and miserable work and had daily quotas that Egyptian records show slaves rarely met. The Hebrew time as Egyptian slaves was unbearable as they were worked “ruthlessly” and their lives were “bitter” due to “hard, cruel” service. As a result, Israel languished in “misery” and “suffering” and their spirits were “broken.” And so they cried out to God to deliver them and he heard them and responded. The third promise would happen only when these first two had transpired: the gift of the promised land. And what we finb is that all of this happened for a reason and were part of a larger plan.

In response to the growing threat of the number of Hebrews, Pharaoh demanded the killing of all Hebrew babies. But in response to Israel’s cries for help, God saved one child, Moses who grew into a man. Even though he had mishaps and flaws, he was used by God to deliver the Hebrews from slavery. God revealed himself to Moses in a burning bush and charged him to go free His people from slavery. God equipped him for this calling and what followed was an epic showdown between Pharaoh and Moses that included 10 plagues. Pharaoh finally relented after the Passover of the spirit of death over Egypt killing the Egyptians babies. The Hebrews were freed and after a dramatic escape, they entered the wilderness where they will travel for 40 years in a kind of spiritual bootcamp as God molded, shaped and prepared them for the challenges and calling that lied ahead. At the end of the journey, God gives the Law to teach them the expectations of relationship with him and how they were to live together as one nation.


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