Summary: This is a more in-depth study than the one we did in Genesis. It is only on chapter 1 of Exodus, and covers the period the Israelites were in captivity in Egypt.
As the book of EXODUS begins, the Israelites are being held as slaves in Egypt. And when the time is ready for God to lead them out of Egypt, He calls a man named Moses to free them.
EXODUS is a story of how God protected His people by breaking the chains to captivity they were held under. And that story is just as relevant to us today as we struggle with our chains to sin. If we, as did the Israelites, will truly depend on God, call out to Him in fervent prayer, then God will also act to protect us.
(Note to congregation:) It is suggested that you read 2 CHRONICLES 7:14 several times each day for one full week to fully understand the promises that are given to us in it.
Moses wrote the book of EXODUS around 1440 BC. It is the story of the Israelites deliverance from slavery in Egypt, and his purpose in writing this book was to give the Israelites a constant reminder of God’s power and commitment to His children. We would be well-advised to understand that same meaning today.
To better enable us to transition into EXODUS, let’s spend a quick moment remembering Joseph, the son of Jacob. He has a dream that the whole family will bow down to him. His brothers began hating him even more because they were jealous of the love their father gave to Joseph.
They sell Joseph to slave traders from Egypt when he was about 17-years old, and then tell their father that an animal killed Joseph in the deserts. Joseph had unwavering faith in God, and so God favored Joseph all of his life. He went from a slave, to being wrongly accused and going to prison for years; to being released and finally obtaining the high position of Governor of Egypt; and only Pharaoh had more power than Joseph.
The home land of Jacob & sons is suffering from a famine and so they came to Egypt and asked to purchase some grain so they would not starve. After a tearful reunion with the brothers, Joseph invites his family to come and live with him in Egypt. This all takes place in the latter part of Genesis.
The book of EXODUS is not a new book that begins with an entirely different subject. It is a continuation of the book of GENESIS. It continues the story of God’s people, from one man, to his immediate descendants, and finally to over 2 million descendants.
Chapters 1 & 2 of EXODUS are an introduction to the people involved in this book, and to the events that took place in this book. But the heart of EXODUS begins with events that begin in Chapter 3. And we should ask ourselves why these events and people are important to us today. If we just read this as a history book, we miss the divine application for our lives.
In 2nd TIMOTHY 3:16, the Apostle Paul tells us; ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training righteousness; so that every man of God may be fully equipped for every good work.’
EXODUS begins by listing the names of the sons of Jacob, or Israel, as he is now known. This may seem like a strange way to open a book of the Bible, for they are not mentioned again, and two verses later, we read about their deaths.
A big part of the theme of EXODUS is that God keeps His promises. One of the key verses near the end of GENESIS is when God speaks to Jacob:
This is what God said in GENESIS 46:3: ’I am God, the God of your father,’ he said. ’Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there."
The amazing part of this is an earlier prophecy God made to Abraham in GENESIS 15:13-14: ’Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.’
Those two verses are a great summary to God’s glory in the first one third of Exodus! And it is a wonderful model for Christians today.
God called the Israelites to become a great nation. God has called the church to be “one body” in Christ Jesus in ROMANS 12:4-5.
I have said previously that the Old Testament is a foreshadow, or preview, of places, events, and people that are found in the New Testament. A study of EXODUS will show that Egypt is a model of the world today. Remember that Solomon said, ’There is nothing new under the sun.’