Passages: Exodus 1-40
Big Idea: God saves his people so that his people serve him.
Ten lessons exploring the book of Exodus.
Exodus is the story of redemption. God remembers his promises to Abraham (Genesis 12). By Exodus chapter 1, Abraham’s family had grown into a large nation, the nation of Israel. So large in number that the Egyptians are threatened by them and so enslave them. Exodus is the story of how God set the Israelites free from bondage and slavery. He sets them free so they can live as his people. To worship and obey him as the one true God.
‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery..’ Exodus 20:2-3 This phrase is repeated again and again through the Old Testament. It was God who rescued Moses as a baby. It was God who sent Moses back to Egypt. It was God who, with mighty acts of judgment, forced Pharaoh to set the Israelites free. It was God who guided the Israelites with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It was God who sent a wind to drive back the waters of the sea. It was God who confused the Egyptian army and let the sea wash back over them. It was God who fed them with manna and quails and gave them water from a rock. At every point of this redemption story, it’s God. It’s his commitment to keep his promises to them. It’s his compassion for them that stubbornly refuses to turn his affection away from them, even in the midst of wilful rebellion and continual grumbling. It’s his unstoppable power that removes every obstacle in front of them. Exodus is the gospel story of the Old Testament.
The highpoint of this redemption is the Passover, where God’s judgment passes over every home that has a door frame painted with the blood of a lamb. But God’s judgment falls on every Egyptian house that has no blood. It’s this picture that Jesus steps into two thousand years later. When John the Baptist saw Jesus he cried, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29) Jesus is our passover lamb who takes away our sin. God’s judgment passes over us and onto him. Jesus dies instead of us.
Exodus also defines Israel’s relationship with God. In Exodus 20 God enters a covenant relationship with his people. He will be their God and they will be his people. God is exclusive, he alone is to be worshiped as God. Exodus 3 and Exodus 19 both reveal the holiness of God. Shoes are removed, bodies are washed, sexual activity abstained from and mountains are not touched. All of which point to the fact that God is holy. But God’s desire is to live with his people, not to be separate from them. And so in Exodus 25 God instructs Moses to build a tent of meeting, the Tabernacle. And even though God is everywhere, God especially promises to live with his people.
Israel’s promise to love and obey God is short lived. Moses hasn’t even come back down the mountain and already they’ve melted down the gold they plundered from the Egyptians and made a golden calf. God is rightfully angry and judgment follows. But again we see God’s mercy. The plague does not wipe them all out. God will keep his promise. These are his people whom he has rescued whom he will carry through to the promised land. God saved his people, so that his people would live as his holy people. God saved his people, so he could live with his people. This is the God we meet in the book of Exodus.
The unit comes complete with stories, pictures, suggested songs/memory verses, games, drama activities, crafts, large and small group activities. A resource pack full of crafts and worksheets is also included.