Summary: The theme of Exodus is redemption and the point of the book is that God saves his people.
Sermon 1 - Who is Yahweh?
Bruce B. Miller
Who is Yahweh?
9-11 video and series bumper
For days the media has been remembering 9-11. In the wake of overwhelming 9-11 memories, for some there are too many stories and pictures. What I remember are the questions, important questions. Ten years ago, churches around the country were filled with people asking where is God? Who is God and does he care?
These are the very questions that the book of Exodus addresses. The people of Israel were asking similar questions, not because of a terrorist attack, but because of their long oppression in Egypt. Today we begin a new series: Exodus: the God you thought you knew. Exodus also calls us to remember, but what we are to remember is very different. It is not a tragedy we are to remember, or even individual heroic acts, but we are to remember the great God who delivered his people.
We will discover that the theme of Exodus is redemption. The point of the book is that God saves his people. The central character is not Moses or Israel, but God himself. This is an exciting book. According to the ESV Study Bible, Exodus is an adventure story par excellence. It features a cruel villain (Pharaoh), an unlikely hero (Moses), overwhelming disasters (the plagues), a spectacular deliverance (crossing the Red Sea), a long journey (through the wilderness), a mountaintop experience (where Moses received the Ten Commandments); and a grand finale (the presence of God coming down to the ark of the covenant, filling the tabernacle with glory). The story features unexpected setbacks and unpredictable delays, magic tricks (from Pharaoh’s sorcerers) and miracles, feasts and festivals, music and dancing, and many close encounters with the living God.
We are exploring and remembering seven anchor stories of our faith in Exodus. In each of them we will come to better understand the God you thought you knew. This chart from the Exodus study guide shows where we are going from, who is Yahweh?, to, God acts, God redeems, God delivers, God provides, God instructs, and finally, where is Yahweh? The story takes place in three main places. We start in Egypt and move through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where we receive the Ten Commandments and the instructions about the Tabernacle. We will learn about God’s power, protection and presence.
In many ways Exodus is the central book of the Old Testament. It reveals the character and presence of God with his people. Passover, the exodus from Egypt through the Red Sea and the Tabernacle are anchor stories referred to again and again in the rest of the Old Testament and in the New. Understanding Exodus helps you understand Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfills the role of Moses, the deliverer, the great Liberator. Passover anticipates Christ’s redemption as the ultimate Passover Lamb of God. Jesus is associated with the manna in the wilderness. Jesus is the One who dwells with us. His death is our exodus out of slavery to sin. We are getting ahead of ourselves, but I want you to look out at what is coming. Look for connections.