In the first two videos of the Torah Series, we learned that the book of Genesis contains the story of creation, the fall of humanity into sin, and God initiating his plan to rescue humanity and bless the entire world through a man named Abraham and his family.
This week we took a look at the first part of the book of Exodus (chapters 1-18).
You can watch the video for Exodus Part 1 here!
Session Overview: Exodus Part 1
Exodus picks up where Genesis left off, and right away we see God fulfilling his promise to Abraham. The family of Abraham moves to Egypt to escape famine, and after they have settled and begin to increase in number, Pharaoh decides to enslave them. Over the next 400 years, this family becomes a nation, just as God promised. However, they are not free, and they do not yet have a land to call home.
But God hears the cries of his people to be delivered, and he answers them. God sends Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and through a series of plagues, the power of God over creation is demonstrated to a nation of pagans who worship many false gods. More importantly, a festival is established that becomes a symbol of salvation for the rest of the Bible.
The 10th plague brought an angel of death into the land to take the life of the firstborn son of every family, Egyptian and Hebrew. But the people of God were given instructions to take the life of a spotless lamb, and spread it’s blood on the door frames of their houses, then the angel of death would pass over and the life of the firstborn son would be spared. This act was accompanied by a meal particularly outlined by God. This festival is known as Passover, and the New Testament teaches us that Jesus is the Passover lamb whose blood provides life for those who believe.
God miraculously delivers the Israelites from Egypt, and they witness his power in splitting the waters of the Red Sea and destroying the armies of the Egyptians. It doesn’t take long, however, for the people of God to begin finding reasons to complain about their situation. And so by the middle of the book, the people are travelling by foot in the desert, wondering what God is up to and what to expect next.
Join us next week to find out about the story in chapter 19 which ties the two halves of the book together!
- The book of Exodus begins with Israel’s divinely blessed multiplication and later enslavement by Pharaoh. How does the connection to God’s promises to Abraham give a wider perspective on the problem of Israel’s slavery? What’s at stake if God doesn’t redeem Israel? (Exodus 1-6)
- Read through the passages about Pharaoh’s hard heart and God’s power (Exodus 5-14). What perspective does the story offer us on human moral freedom when it’s in conflict with God’s will? How does God demonstrate his patience in the story? At what point does Pharaoh reach a point of no return?
- After reading Exodus 12-13, how would you explain the meaning of the sacrificial lamb in the Passover dinner and the meaning of the blood-on-the-doorframe ritual? How does this symbolic meal transform your understanding of Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. (Luke 22:7-20)
- How does Israel’s grumbling in the wilderness raise questions about their own gratefulness to God? Are their complaints reasonable? Why does the attitude of the Israelites seem so ridiculous after the Exodus story in chapters 1-15? What is the story exposing inside our own hearts about our own grumblings against God’s character? (Exodus 16-17)