Today, let’s dig a little deeper into the first two books of the Bible: Genesis and Exodus.
Genesis and Exodus
I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies . . .
Moses wrote the first book of the Bible to give Israel a history of their origin, from the creation of the world to the time of the patriarchs. The first section of Genesis reports the story of Adam and Eve and their failure to obey God’s instructions. Their disobedience brought sin upon themselves and the entire human race.
In the second section of Genesis (Genesis 12–50), Moses biographed the lives of Israel’s ancestors, highlighting key moments in their lives. In Genesis 12, God instructed Abram (his name was changed to Abraham later) to move to Canaan. He promised that he would bless Abram with a great number of descendants, along with other blessings. God promised that, through Abraham’s descendants, the people of the world would be blessed. Later on, it is evident that Jesus Christ, from the line of Abraham, would be the answer to this promise (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8). Isaac, the son of promise, was born to Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Isaac’s son Jacob, whom God renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28), had twelve sons. From these twelve sons grew the twelve tribes of Israel. At the end of Genesis, Jacob and his growing family had moved to Egypt. God promised Jacob that his descendants would return to the Promised Land, the land of Canaan (Genesis 28:15).
Eventually the twelve men of Israel grew into a mighty nation, one the Pharaoh of Egypt feared and eventually enslaved. Exodus tells the story of Israel’s miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt. In chapter 3 of Exodus, God reveals his name to Moses—I AM WHO I AM. His name is translated “Yahweh” in Exodus 3:15. God used ten plagues to sway Pharaoh into letting the children of Israel go. However, Pharaoh changed his mind and pursued the nation until his army cornered them at the Red Sea. God divided the waters so that the Israelites could pass through. Pharaoh and his army drowned.
In Exodus, God established his covenant with Israel, engraving his commandments on two stone tablets. Unfortunately, the nation continued in their sinful rebellion and commit idolatry even as Moses received the law from God. However, God is faithful and eventually led them back to the Promised Land. Though God proved himself in this book over and over again, we find out in the book of Numbers that Israel was fearful of the people living in Canaan and refused to enter the land (Numbers 13–14). Because of their sin, God sentenced them to wander in the desert for forty years. Still, God refused to abandon them, and he gave them evidence of this truth through his presence in the tabernacle—the temporary temple where God’s glory dwelt.
Genesis and Exodus captivate us with epic stories of creation, torrential rain that led to global flooding, and massive seawaters that divided in half. As these accounts introduce us to new characters and exciting plot twists, they set in motion the overarching narrative of God’s redemptive plan for Israel and the world. They also build anticipation in us to read the rest of the story as it unfolds throughout the Bible.
Genesis and Exodus captivate us with epic stories of creation, torrential rain that led to global flooding, and massive seawaters that divided in half. As these accounts introduce us to new characters and exciting plot twists, they set in motion the overarching narrative of God’s redemptive plan for Israel and the world.
Watch Week Two
Old Testament: The Pentateuch
Where do you see evidence of God’s redemptive plan in your own life? What stories particularly stand out? Although we are centuries and cultures apart, how are the ways God is working in your life similar to how he acted during the times of Genesis and Exodus?
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