We’ve committed to a study of the entire book of Exodus at the Fellowship and this study will span more than 50 sessions. At this point in the year (October!), we’ve already completed 27 sessions, and are somewhere in the middle of Exodus. Most of the action that we’re familiar with is behind us, namely the plagues and the great Red Sea deliverance. The wilderness and law accounts lie ahead of us, and as its name suggest, sound very dry.
But why is Exodus so important for us to read so carefully? There are at least 2 reasons.
First, Exodus follows Genesis as the second book of the Bible. Like "The Two Towers" to "Fellowship of the Ring", or "A Clash of Kings" after "A Game of Thrones", it is a sequel from the family of faith to the nation of God. If that weren't enough, it is important for a few more reasons for Fellowshippers. Genesis is a special book because many current Fellowship regulars first came and were ''hooked" to Bible study by studying Genesis and seeing that it really is the prologue to the whole Bible. It takes place on a similar dramatic scale and carries over the wonderful features of a narrative. It also shows us the God of promise -- the great God of power, might, glory and grace, and melts our hearts to love Him as the Hero of all the Bible. Our prayer is that many of us will have a new experience of this -- some for the first time, others, to re-awaken your love for God in the Bible. Old Fellowshippers, amid the busyness of life -- work, relationships, family obligations, ministry, friends and stress, make special time for the God of your younger days. Will you do this by faith? For all of us, may Exodus be a new sacred meeting place between you and God.
Second, Exodus is the grand narrative of the gospel in the Old Testament. That may not mean like much to you, but there are few accounts as impressive, dramatic and imagination stirring as Exodus. The drama of the confrontation between Pharaoh and God, the violent plagues that He rains down on Egypt, the bloodied Passover lamb slain, the dramatic Red Sea parting, the terrifying encounters on Sinai and the Commandments, the wondrous sight of the cloud and fire pillars, the water bursting from the rock, the detailed symbolism of the holy Tabernacle, the scandal of the Golden Calf -- all of it is meant to be a part of the furniture of Biblical imagination. For the Christian, we must install these basic features into our thinking, and understand how the rest of the Bible builds off these fundamental features to talk about the unfolding grace of God throughout the Bible. Without these, how will we imagine and think about our gospel? How will we see the Cross? We need holy vision unveiled and eyes of our heart awakened to this great Old Testament story of rescue and redemption.
These two reasons: Exodus as the sequel to Genesis, and that sequel becoming the grand OT gospel narrative are great reasons to study this book. All of Exodus is God-breathed, so let’s keep an eye on the bigger picture as we walk along this book together!
If you’re interested in more reasons to preach and teach through the whole book of Exodus, the good folks at 9marks have a helpful article titled “4 Reasons You Should Preach Through Exodus”.