EXODUS ~ A Super-Short Summary (and a Less-Than-Super-Short Summary)
“The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.”
~ Exodus 12:13
Exodus begins where Genesis ended. The family of Israel was still living in Egypt, but Jacob and his sons had long since passed away.
The new Pharaoh didn’t remember Jacob’s famous son Joseph and all that he did for Egypt. He only noticed their massive size. They’d multiplied like stars in the sky.
He feared Israel might rise up against him, he enslaved them.
Moses, A Baby Born to Save
Exodus 1-10 – Exodus tells the dramatic account of how God chose Moses, an Israelite baby named by the daughter of the man who wanted him dead.
God chose Moses to save God’s people from slavery to Egypt. (Do you see a picture of Christ? A baby born to save people from slavery to sin – not to Egypt.)
The circumstances of Moses’ birth and childhood were remarkable.
The events that led him to run for his life and settle in Midian were disturbing.
And his call by God from inside a burning bush to return to Egypt was one of the greatest moments in history. And included one of my favorite verses.
God let Moses (and us) know that He is, has been, and will always be everything Moses needs (we need) for every moment.
Moses returned to Egypt and told Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Pharaoh said, “No,” so Egypt suffered ten terrifying plagues. God planned them to prove their gods weren’t gods at all.
The Blood of the Lamb Set Them Free
Exodus 11-13 – The final plague gave a dramatic picture of Jesus on the cross.
God told the Israelites to apply the blood of a perfect lamb to the top and sides of their door.
(If you picture the blood applied to the door, you can imagine Jesus on the cross. You can see the blood that dripped from the crown of thorns pressed onto Jesus’ head by the Roman guards. You can imagine the blood from His hands, which were nailed to the cross.)
The Israelites then were told to eat the Passover dinner inside their home and wait, ready to travel.
At midnight the LORD came. If He saw the blood on the door, He passed over the home, and the firstborn son didn’t have to die. (Just as God’s firstborn Son Jesus died on the cross in our place for our sin, the lamb of God died in the place of their firstborn sons.)
If the Lord didn’t see the blood on the door, death came. The firstborn son had to die, even in Pharaoh’s own home.
Pharaoh told Moses to take his Israelites and get out of town. So Moses did.
He followed the Lord, who led them from inside a pillar of clouds in the day and a pillar of fire at night. (Imagine how terrifying that must have looked.)
Through Giant Walls of Water
Exodus 14 – Even with all the miracles God had done in Egypt, the Israelites weren’t prepared for what He did next.
God parted the Red Sea. (Yes, really.)
The Israelites walked between two giant walls of water. They crossed over to freedom on dry ground.
Their passing out of slavery through the water and back out into freedom is a picture of the Believer’s identity with Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection to life.
After Pharaoh let all his free labor go, he flip-flopped his decision and ran after them with his army. (The man just won’t learn.)
But he lost that final stab at keeping Israel enslaved when the Red Sea crashed back into place over them. (Israel had already made it safely to the other side. Whew!)
Into the Wilderness
Exodus 15-23 – Moses led Israel into the wilderness on their way to a beautiful land of their own with God as their loving and perfect Ruler.
He soon discovered that despite having just been set free, they were an ungrateful, grouchy lot. (In other words, they acted like humans controlled by the sin in their hearts – like us.)
In the midst of their whining and rebellion, God gave them His Law – the Ten Commandments and a whole bunch of other rules. They served to reveal the sin that lurks in mankind’s heart and their hopelessness without a Savior.
Exodus 24-40 – Exodus ends with God giving Moses directions for building a Tabernacle, so He could live among them, and the Israelites building it.
The Tabernacle was a large portable tent (think portable church) where the priests and high priest brought God the sacrifice for sin. God’s presence would live over the Mercy Seat in the part of the Tabernacle known as the Most Holy Place. (That makes perfect sense, right?)
Exodus Shows Us Jesus
The Tabernacle and sacrifices gave Israel (and us) a powerful picture of the mercy of Jesus, our high priest, who came down to live among His people and sacrificed Himself to pay for our sin.
In fact, God used every one of the Israelites’ escapades to point to Christ and expose the truth about the nature of their (and our) heart, as well as His amazing faithfulness, grace, and mercy.
When we look closely at the Israelites, we see a startling reflection of ourselves. We’re equally inclined toward going our own way – the way of sin. But God continually drew His people toward Himself, and He draws us, too. Will we listen better than they?