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?
Isaiah 44:22 states "I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me for I have redeemed you." Like so many of the OT stories, I, too, turned my back. I, too, believed I could do it on my own for many years and made choices I will live with for the rest of my life. However, God’s promise of redemption and restoration for His people as read in the OT as well as the NT STILL holds true today. When I was at my WORST, HE redeemed me and fully restored me! As I read through the stories in Genesis and Exodus, I am reminded of just how powerful his redemptive plan is for my life! Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope, and a future. Then you will call upon me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." I can not stress enough how true this verse is. When you seek him with all your heart (as Abram did), then will you be able to start living out the plans He has for your life!
Hindsight makes it easier to see how seemingly negative events from my past have set up blessings that I experience now. It is hard for me not to wrestle with God and admit I cannot do it on my own. When I look back I wonder if I suffered longer and more than I needed to because I didn’t turn to God. The trick would be to use that hindsight now. How am I rebelling from God and pushing blessings away from me in the process?
Just like He did in Genesis and Exodus, God loves me through my trying to live my own way. He corrects me, nudges me, loves me, and is faithfully there.
See I’m am very quick to anger and I’m not proud of myself because of it, But even though I do get angry at people and sometimes angry at life God still is there for me. I have been praying and trying so much for me to be slow to anger and I have gotten way better as I have done more bible studies and surrounded myself with a better group of people. He has helped me little by little, and I’m so thankful for that! And even through all my imperfections God still loves and cares for me and will always be there for me. LOVE YOU GOD!
I can see the hand of God through redemption in all parts of my life. In my health, after being incapacitated for 10 years without therapies to completely address the conditions, God began to mold me back together and renew my health. In my finances, when I was frugal and yet not ultimately wise, God provided for ALL the needed resources to care for my Mother well – even though I could have made fare better plans. But the greatest evidence has been in His patience with my indifference and sometimes outright disobedience. Over and again, God has used situations and even guided circumstances to ensure that I could not easily neglect His love and care. He has over and again pursued me and welcomed me home despite my stubbornness – with loving arms.
Currently He moved us to England, I had to quit my job and submit to my husband and that has never been in my nature, I have always been a leader, in front of the pack. So this stage in my life is a work in progress.
God sent the people to wander in the desert for 40 years BUT he didn’t abandon them, praise God! He has not given up on me either because He knows how my story ends.
He pursued me especially when I was just 14 years old. (which was almost 50 years ago) Plucked me out of my family… who doesn’t care about knowing Him. Even though I have felt alone at times in my journey (in regards to my family) God continues to remind me of his great love for me.
When my husband first saw me at a conference he said, "Barbara “I love YOU!” (to be funny and to get my attention).That is a reminder to me of God’s LOVE FOR ME. Even though I tend to forget about that sometimes. I forget (or take for granted) God’s pursuit of me and I forget my husband’s constant pursuit of me.
My forgetting looks different than the the israelites.. not as outwardly hostile but more inwardly with my discouragement and wrestling and doubt. He truly has redeemed my life from the pit… given me a purpose to know Him and make Him known.
I see evidence of God’s redeeming plan in His love and forgiveness- He loves me so much, He was willing to send His son to die a death He didn’t deserve for me.
The story of Rahab & despite the fact that she wasn’t one of the Israelites, God still honored her obedience and she became part of the lineage of Jesus.
His grace & continued 2nd chances for me stick just like the way He gave the Children of Israel 2nd, 3rd and 4th chances.
Hindsight! Before I knew God, I can see him directing my rebellious spirit to his unconditional love. Signs along the way is the evidence after my conversion. Like getting my attention of a beautiful flower breaking through cement or patio door window breaking in a wonderful masterpiece that stayed till we had to replace the widow. Each message showed that God can make hard places flow as well as making masterpieces out of broken pieces. I believe if we are saved, we represent Genesis to Revelation not just to Exodus.
Just a few pieces of evidence of God’s redemptive plan in my life is him giving me the courage to move out of my hometown alone, using my divorce to draw closer to him, and to choose me worthy of spreading his gospel and bringing others to know him. The way he worked in my life is similar to how he acted during the times of Genesis and Exodus is pretty simple and all circles around the hearts of his followers and their obedience.
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