EXODUS ~ A Super-Short Summary (and a Less-Than-Super-Short Summary)

EXODUS - A Super-Short Summary and Less-Than-Super-Short Summary (Welcome to the Bible series) via www.JeanWilund.com

2. EXODUS

“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

Super-Short Summary:

In Exodus, God shows what it looks like to be rescued from slavery to sin and the dominion of evil and raised to new life into the freedom and service of a loving and perfect Ruler.


Less-Than-Super-Short Summary:

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.

FAVORITE VERSE: God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” ~ Exodus 3:14 NASB

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.

The Tabernacle

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?

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Welcome to the Bible: Books, Chapters, and Verses, Oh My! (Part 1) Why Two Testaments?

Welcome to the Bible: Why Two Testaments? Let's look at why the Bible has the Old Testament and the New Testament. A Brief Summary.

Sixty-Six Books, 1,189 Chapters, and 31,173 Verses 

The Bible has 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 31,173 Verses. Oh, my! 

At least in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation, it does.

There are many different translations of the Bible. If there weren’t, only those fluent in the original language could read it. Know ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek? Me either.

Obviously, we’re not going to look at each book, chapter, and verse today. But I hope you will eventually.  

Last time we talked about the authors. Today, we’re going to and look at why the Bible has two halves, namely, two testaments.


The Two Halves of the Bible

The Bible is split into two: the Old Testament and the New Testament.

They’re equal in importance, but not in size.

By the way, the Old Testament is longer.

The Old Testament is the front half of the Bible. It was written before God’s Son, Jesus, came to earth in the form of man.

The New Testament is the back half and starts with Jesus’ coming as the Savior. It ends with His return as Ruler over all.

The word testament originally meant covenant, as in a promise or agreement.

God’s covenant—promised agreement—with the world is the heart of these two divisions.


The Covenant of the Old Testament

All 39 books of the Old Testament center around God’s original covenant—the old covenant—which He made with his people Israel.

It’s also about how God’s people responded, which is to say how miserably they failed to keep His covenant.

This failure trend began with the first man and woman, Adam and Eve.

They believed the lies of God’s enemy Satan and disobeyed God’s one law not to eat the fruit of one tree.

One law. That’s it. And they couldn’t do it.

None of us would’ve been able to do it either. 

Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God’s one law brought in catastrophic consequences – slavery to sin and separation from God. Forever. (Otherwise known as death.)

But God revealed His amazing grace toward them.

He promised a Savior (Jesus) to rescue and restore them into His love. Forever.

God covenanted His promise of a Savior to the nation of Israel—and the world—and gave them a set of ten laws (AKA the Ten Commandments) and 613 rules.

Gulp.

These laws and rules taught Israel how to safely approach a holy God.

It’s not easy to do when your heart is filled with sin, but God made a safe way.  

The laws also revealed that sinful hearts can’t fully obey God.

Who can flawlessly obey ten commandments and 613 rules every day?

We couldn’t even obey one of them for our entire life. Not perfectly. 

Man’s only hope was to receive a new covenant based on grace, rather than law.

Amazing grace. How sweet the sound.

But only a sinless Savior could make such a covenant.

Speaking of . . . 


The Covenant of the New Testament

The 27 books and letters (epistles) of the New Testament tell the story of the new covenant through Jesus Christ.

God created the plan for this covenant long before He laid the foundations of the earth and before sin entered the scene (I Peter 1:19-21).

The New Testament shows how Jesus fulfilled the old covenant by living a sin-free life and paying the full price of our sin by dying on the cross.

Jesus ushered in the new grace covenant when He defeated sin and death and rose again.

Through this new covenant, He offers salvation to all, Jew and Gentile alike, if they believe and trust in Him.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB).

The rest of the New Testament focuses on the birth and growth of Christ’s church, i.e. Christians.

The church is people, not buildings.

It teaches how Christ empowers Christians to live their new life in Him free from sin’s power, even while their old nature clings to them, refusing to die. 

The New Testament also reveals as much as God was willing of Jesus’ return to earth, and how He’ll destroy sin, death, and Satan and his demons forever.

It ends with Jesus’ judgment on those who refused to believe in Him and His glorious reign in the new heaven and new earth.

And that is the short of why we have two testaments.


Summary

The Old Testament shows us:

  1. There’s a holy and perfect God in heaven.
  2. He created us to know and walk with Him.
  3. Sin destroyed our relationship with Him.
  4. God had already created a plan — a covenant based on law — to restore us back to Himself.
  5. God began to unfold His covenant plan and point forward to Christ. 

The New Testament shows us:

  1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  2. He fulfilled the old covenant through His sinless life, death, and resurrection and ushered in the new covenant based on grace.
  3. God sent His Holy Spirit to those who’ve trusted in Jesus. The Holy Spirit and God’s Word teach Christians and empower them to live their new life in Christ free from sin’s power, even as their old nature clings to them and entices them to return to sin.
  4. Jesus is coming again and next time He comes, He’ll set up His eternal kingdom.

Next time we’ll look at the 66 books. There’s a rhyme and reason to their order that might surprise you.

Welcome to the Bible: Why does the Bible have two testaments? #Biblestudy #Christ Click To Tweet

In case you missed these earlier posts in the Welcome to the Bible series, click the photos:


An Introduction to the Introduction to the Bible, See the Big Picture:

Welcome to The Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand -- Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. -- See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion (via www.JeanWilund.com)


An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible

Welcome to the Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible





Welcome to the Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible

Welcome to the Bible: A Thick Book With Lots of Authors — An Overview of Who Wrote the Bible

In the Beginning . . .

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). And thus began the story of the Bible.

It took God only six days to create the world but about 1,500+ years to complete the Bible.   

In my first post in the Welcome to the Bible series, I introduced the Big Picture and mentioned it helps us understand the more confusing smaller pieces of the Bible. We’ll talk about that more. Later.

First, I’d like to address the Bible as an actual book. A thick book — unless you have a copy with tissue-thin pages and tiny type — written by lots of authors.

So Many Authors — So Many Backgrounds

God inspired about 40 different authors from three different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) who wrote in three different languages (Hebrews, Aramaic, and Greek) to write down in 66 books what He wanted us to know.

All without contradiction.

All point to Jesus.

And all without error.

In the original language, the Bible is infallible.

The exact number of authors is in question because we’re not completely certain who wrote some of the books. Judges, Job, and Hebrews, to name a few.

Seeming contradictions in the Bible become agreements when we set them into context, consider the original language, and/or understand the specific audience and intent of the author.

The original form of the Bible varied greatly from the kind of books we know with bindings and splashy covers. These authors wrote onto materials like scrolls — and a couple of stone tablets.

Many authors were prophets (special spokesmen for God). Others were shepherds, kings, and fishermen. Some wrote in palaces. Others from prison.

But all were inspired by God.

All Scripture is inspired by God…
~ 2 Timothy 3:16

It’s All Greek to Me — or Not

Most of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew somewhere between 1400 B.C. —  400 B.C.

Part of Ezra and Daniel and one verse in Jeremiah were written in Aramaic.

The New Testament was written in Greek between A.D. 44 and A.D. 96.

Many books of the New Testament are actually letters written to specific churches or individuals.

The apostle Paul wrote 13 letters — 14 if you believe he wrote Hebrews.

I personally don’t know.

Paul wrote most of the letters to various churches he’d visited. Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philippians for example.

He also wrote to individuals such as Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.

No one seems to know when the book of Job was written, except for perhaps Job, and we can’t ask him. Yet.

Every known author of the Bible was Jewish except one. Luke. He wrote the Gospel of Lukeno surprise there — and was a Gentile doctor

A Gentile is anyone who’s not Jewish.

From First to Last

Moses wrote the first book of the Bible — Genesis

Moses also wrote the next four books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, to be exact. He wrote five books and one Psalm in all. 

John wrote the last book of the Bible — Revelation.

John also wrote four other books: The Gospel of John, 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.

Genesis is fairly easy to understand. Revelation is not. 

But the right teacher can help us understand much of Revelation. By the way, the Holy Spirit is the best teacher. More on that later.

After Jesus returns and everything that must take place in Revelation has taken place, we’ll finally be able to say, “Oh! Now I get it.” Until then some of it will remain a mystery — and who doesn’t like a good mystery?

Revelation is the written account of the revelation given to John from Jesus. It is the final revelation. That means everything God wants us to know has been written down between Genesis 1:1 and Revelation 22:21.

There’s no new revelation, no matter what any pastor may proclaim.  

The Fabulous Four

Four of the most well-known authors are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Their books together are known as the Gospels of Jesus Christ.

“The Gospels of Jesus Christ” is the written record of Jesus’ life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament.

The Gospel” is the good news that Jesus paid the penalty for sin on the cross through His death and resurrection and that whoever trusts in Him will be saved. (Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9-10) 

These four fabulous authors kick off the New Testament and tell of Jesus’ time on earth but from different viewpoints and to different audiences.

A friend of mine didn’t know this fact when he first started reading through the New Testament. He began to think every book in the New Testament was the same story. 

They’re not. 

Matthew was a Galilean Jew who wrote to the Jews to prove Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Mark was a Jew who wrote to Romans. He revealed Jesus as the Suffering Servant.

Luke was a Gentile doctor who wrote to Greeks. He focused on Jesus’ humanity and presented Jesus as the Son of Man.

John was a Jew who wrote to Christians and highlighted Jesus’ divinity as the Son of God.

Many Authors. One Lord.

Many authors wrote the Bible, but they all pointed to our One Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the living Word and the visible image of the invisible God.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
~John 1:1

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
~ Colossians 1:15

Why Is This So Important?

Why should we care about all the details — the languages, continents, authors, perspectives, years, and one consistent message?

We should care because it reveals that the Bible is a supernaturally written book, unlike any other in history.

And it reveals that Christianity is a unique faith because God revealed Christianity to the world through this incomparable book– the Holy Word of God — written by numerous authors all pointing to one Lord.

Next Time

Books, and Chapters, and Verses. Oh, My!

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Welcome to The Bible: See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion

Welcome to The Bible: So Much to Confuse and So Little to Understand -- Wait a Minute. Strike That. Reverse It. -- See the Big Picture to Increase Understanding and Reverse Confusion (via www.JeanWilund.com)

Welcome to the Bible Tour — And Willy Wonka

I’m starting the New Year with a Bible Tour blog series: The Welcome to the Bible series. And naturally, I’m introducing the series with Willy Wonka. 

Ok, maybe not so naturally. In fact, this may be the first article you’ve ever read about the Bible and Willy Wonka. 

In case you’re not familiar with Willy Wonka, he’s a crazy character in a book and two movies, which tell about his bizarre search for a new owner of his chocolate factory. He gives out golden tickets to lucky winners to tour his factory where they meet Oompa Loompas, geese that lay golden eggs, and other oddities. 

Fans of the original Willy Wonka movie may recognize this Wonka line that inspired today’s title:

Willy Wonka: We have so much time and so little to see. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you.

The Bible can often make us feel like we’re on a Willy Wonka tour — overwhelmed and confused.

A burning bush? A talking donkey? A crucified Savior? (How can a dead Savior save?)

The book of Revelation alone will leave you wide-eyed and scratching your head. 

It can be confusing and surreal. Until we see the Big Picture. 

The Big Picture reverses our confusion, turns it into clarity, and leaves us amazed at God and His unfathomable ways.

What’s the Big Picture?

The Big Picture is both a Who and a what. 

God reveals the Big Picture throughout the Bible, but most famously in John 3:16: 

For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him
shall not perish, but have eternal life.

The Big Picture is that God created man so we may come to know and enjoy Him forever, which was only made possible through the death and life of His Son Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In short, the Big Picture is Jesus Christ, who is our salvation. 

From first to last, it’s all about Christ.

The Red Thread

I often refer to the Big Picture as The Red Thread

The Red Thread of Jesus runs through the entire Bible from the first book — Genesis — to the last — Revelation. 

It reveals God’s mysterious plan to restore man to Himself through Jesus.

How we’re able to know Jesus personally and receive His salvation is the heart of the Bible and will be an important part of our tour. 

Join the Tour

We’ll get started on our tour in the next post by looking at some Bible basics and how the Big Picture drives these basics.

By the end of our tour, my hope is that you’ll feel confident in being able to approach the Bible with more understanding. And I pray you’ll know Jesus Christ. 

You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.
St. Augustine 

From our first cry to our final breath, Jesus is our greatest longing. He’s everything we’ve always wanted.

Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.

Charlie: What happened?

Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.

 

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Wait. What? — Need Help Understanding the Bible?

Leiann Walther and Strong Hands Enterprises Helps You Understand the Bible via www.JeanWilund.com

“I’ve tried to read the Bible before, but I just don’t understand it.” 

How many times have you heard that? Or said it?

I get it. An IKEA instruction manual can sometimes make more sense than the Bible.

Sometimes. 

But never fear. God has not left us to decipher it by ourselves. Not only does He send His Holy Spirit to guide us in understanding, He’s also gifted many men and women with the ability to teach.

It’s important to note, however, that not every teacher out there has been gifted by God. Some teaching is just plain wrong. (Think Prosperity Gospel–Word of Faith teaching.)

But there are many wonderful teachers as well. Websites and podcasts can be our friends. Your local pastor can be even better. And a solid Bible study teacher is the cherry on top.

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite Bible teachers, Leiann Walther. Actually, I’ve already featured her before: 

So You Need to Teach A Bible Study but You Have No Idea How?
“Able to Teach” to the Rescue!

I’m featuring Leiann again because she’s recently updated her website, Strong Hands Enterprises, with even more great resources to help you understand the Bible.   

On Strong Hands Enterprises, Leiann offers

Audio teachings
Handouts
Downloadable studies
Resource suggestions
And much more

Great resources for both us learners and teachers. Check it out:

Strong Hands Enterprises


Leiann Walther with Strong Hands Enterprises via www.JeanWilund.comLeiann Walther is the author of many Bible studies and devotions. 

She received a Bachelors degree in Education & Bible and her Masters in Curriculum & Instruction from Columbia International University. She’s taught the Bible for over 30 years. 

For more information about additional seminars by Leainn Walther and Strong Hands Enterprises, click this link: Strong Hands Enterprises.


 

Help others understand the Bible, too, by sharing this post. Thanks!

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Leiann Walther and Strong Hands Enterprises Helps You Understand the Bible via www.JeanWilund.com