Welcome to Exodus
I’m looking forward to Sunday.
Now in one sense I’m always looking forward to Sunday because I love to worship Jesus with his church. I love to sing with you, and to open God’s word together. I love to serve and receive the Lord’s Table — the start of every week is chocked full of wonder. But I’m especially excited about this Sunday because it marks the start of a new season. If we’re going by the semester calendar — which we tend to do — it means this Sunday is the first Sunday of the fall semester, and there are a lot of exciting things going on.
Events Coming Up
First, this Sunday means the beginning of Sunday School for our kids — and it’s not too late to sign up, or to grab a kids’ Quarterly. (Register via the app, and we’ll see you at 9:00am!)
This Sunday also means a few special events are coming up, like our deaconess discussion on September 15 and the start of our new adult Sunday School course on September 22, not to mention the men’s retreat on September 13–14 and the next Women’s Gathering on September 21. And don’t forget the marathon on October 6 that means we change our service time to 6:00pm. There’s also a CG Leaders Summit on October 13, the Foyer on October 18–19, and a big membership meeting on October 23. Add to this our revamped staff and the unofficial refresh happening in our Community Groups — plus the folks in transition, whether coming in or headed out — and well, before long it all starts to feel new. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really think this fall semester marks a new day in the life of our church.
And the Book of Exodus is exactly what we need.
Going into Exodus
Over the last three fall semesters we’ve been in the Book of Genesis — the book of beginnings (1–11), the story of Abraham (12–25), and the destiny of Jacob’s sons (26–50). And all of Genesis, in short, has just been setting the stage for Exodus.
I’m newly convinced that Exodus is the most important book in the Old Testament(!) — for starters because it bridges Genesis to the rest of the Bible, and because it’s where God reveals his name, and it’s where we first see the pattern of salvation that gets repeated in redemptive history, introducing the themes of holiness, rescue, presence, and blood. And then beneath all this are the interconnected realities of God’s covenant faithfulness and sovereign power. The Book of Exodus shows up that YHWH, the mighty God of promise we know from Genesis, is also the holy God of salvation who saves his people because of his covenant faithfulness through his sovereign power. It is a glorious book that takes us to the theological mountain tops (literarily literally). It’s deep and wondrous, and also very practical.
Written for Our Instruction
This book is teeming with life-application. In fact, when the apostle Paul says that the Old Testament was written for our instruction and example, he had the Book of Exodus directly in mind.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:1–4,
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
Okay, so the cloud, the sea, and food and drink — these are all episodes in the Book of Exodus. And then Paul goes on to talk about their idolatry and grumbling and how God judged them (verses 5–10), issuing a warning to us not do to what they did.
Paul’s point here is that we flee from idolatry, acting differently than Israel, but we also see his understanding of the Old Testament (and the Book of Exodus in particular). He writes in verse 11,
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
When Paul says “these things” it applies to the whole Old Testament, but he had just referenced events in Exodus — which means we can’t read Exodus without this in mind! There are lessons for us in Exodus! This book was written for us! For our instruction!
So I’m on the edge of my seat. I believe that God intends to grow us this fall through the Book of Exodus. Would you join me in praying that he does?