Exodus - A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation

by Sarah Barry   06/19/2000     0 reads




 Daily Bread - Old Testament [ 2000 ]

 Exodus - A Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation

Key Verse: 19:4-6


Exodus is the second book of Moses. It begins with Abraham's descendants in slavery in Egypt. They had become a great multitude, but their life in slavery was hell. Pharaoh represents all systems and men who oppress other men. The lives of the slaves in Egypt is a vivid picture of slavery to sin. The slaves in Egypt had secure jobs and enough to eat. But they had no hope and no direction. They learned to accept fatalistically an existence without freedom and without meaning.

Exodus 2:24 says that God heard their groaning and remembered his covenant with Abraham (Ge 15). He saved and trained one man, Moses, and sent him to deliver his people.

The key verses of Exodus are 19:4-6. These verses provide an outline for the book. "You have seen what I did to Egypt..." God performed ten acts of judgment on the Egyptians, and brought Israel out of Egypt (1:1-13:16). "And how I carried you on eagle's wings and brought you to myself." God enabled his people to cross the Red Sea as on dry land. He trained his people in the wilderness and brought them to Mount Sinai (13:17-19:25). There he gave them the law and made a covenant with them (20:1-40:38). His purpose was to make them a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. The first half of the book is about getting Israel out of Egypt; the second half, about getting Egypt out of Israel.


Exodus 1:1-14

Key Verse: 1:8

1. The Israelites filled the land (1-7)

God had brought Jacob's family--70 persons--to Egypt so that he might make them into a great nation. Now, 400 years later, they had become a great multitude. They could never have become such a numerous and homogeneous people if they had remained as nomads in Canaan. Furthermore, God used the furnace fires of Egypt to mold them into a nation.

2. Egyptian policies (8-14)

Joseph had been instrumental in saving Egypt, but when the dynasty changed, the new king did not remember him. The king only knew that the land was filled with Hebrews, and he feared them. Because of fear, greed and the desire for an easy life, the Egyptians enslaved and oppressed the Israelites. The Egyptians tried to reduce their numbers by using them ruthlessly to do hard labor. They wanted many weak Israelites to die. God was with the Israelites, however, and they continued to increase in number.

Prayer: Lord, in the darkest and most senseless times you are working out your purposes. Teach me to trust you.

One Word: The Sovereign God turns evil into good


Exodus 1:15-22

Key Verse: 1:17

1. Shiphrah and Puah fear God (15-19)

The cruel policies of the king did not slow down the birth rate of the Hebrews. The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied. So the king of Egypt took more drastic measures. He commanded the two Hebrew midwives to kill the newborn baby boys. But the midwives feared God more than they feared the king. The lamp of faith in Israel had not gone out.

2. God blessed the midwives (20-22)

The king rebuked the midwives because the Israelites continued to increase in numbers. They told the king that Hebrew women were stronger than Egyptian women. God blessed the midwives with families, and he blessed the nation with increased population. God blesses and uses people who fear and obey him more than they fear men. The king, however, did not give up. He ordered the boy babies thrown into the Nile.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to love and fear you so that you may use me as a blessing to this nation.

One Word: Fear God more than the king


Exodus 2:1-10

Key Verse: 2:10

1. Moses' parents (1-4)

Moses' parents (Jochebed and Amram) were Levites. Their second son was born under an edict of death. They defied the king's edict and hid the baby as long as they could. His mother believed that God had a special purpose for her son. She believed that God who gave him to her would save him and use him. By faith, she did what she could, and God did the rest (Heb 11:23).

2. Pharaoh's daughter (5-10)

Moses' mother put him in the Nile River, but she did not throw him in; she made a water-proof basket, placed the baby in it, and put it among the reeds near the river bank. It was no accident that Pharaoh's daughter was the one who discovered him. So God provided Moses with a palace education. And his own mother was given a chance to instill faith in his heart as she nursed him and prayed for him.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for saving one person in order to save a nation. Help me to see the great importance of one person.

One Word: God drew him out of the water


Exodus 2:11-25

Key Verse: 2:25

1. Moses chooses to be a Hebrew (11-14)

Moses grew up in Pharaoh's palace, but he knew that he was a Hebrew. The suffering slaves were his own people. He could not repudiate them in order to enjoy princely privileges and the easy palace life. He realized that God had saved him and had given him the finest education in the land for a purpose. But when he acted out of human passion and killed an Egyptian, he found that his people resented him. They rejected his help and leadership, and he became a fugitive.

2. The priest of Midian (15-25)

When Moses fled into the wilderness of Midian, he lost everything. He had no direction. There in the wilderness he met Jethro and began to build a new life. Dreams of helping his oppressed people were gone. He married a country girl and became a family man, and for 40 years he took care of the dumb sheep of his father-in-law. But God who heard the groaning of his people was training one proud and able man to be their humble shepherd.

Prayer: Lord, train and use me in your work. Help me to wait on you.

One Word: Learn patience and faith


Exodus 3:1-10

Key Verse: 3:8

1. Holy ground (1-6)

Moses was taking care of sheep on the far side of the desert near Mount Sinai when he saw a bush burning. He went near to see why it was not consumed in the fire, and God called him by name. God who called Moses was not some vague spirit; he was the God of history, the God of promise, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob--the God his father had trusted. Holy ground is the place where a person meets God.

2. Go, I am sending you (7-10)

God called Moses to give him a mission. God saw the misery of his people in bondage. He came down to bring them out. He promised to bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey, a broad and good land–a land full of enemies to overcome. Despairing slaves needed hope and vision. He said to Moses, "Go, I am sending you. Bring my people out." God's promise planted hope in their hearts. God's promises are sure, but we must believe and act on them.

Prayer: Lord, the most desolate ground is holy when you are there to give us vision and hope.

One Word: God keeps his promises


Exodus 3:11-22

Key Verse: 3:14

1. Who am I? (11-12)

Moses asked, "Why me?" when God told him to go and bring his people out of Egypt. God answered, "I will be with you." And he told Moses to bring the people to worship him on Mount Sinai. He would meet them there. This would be the sign that it was God who had sent Moses.

2. Who are you? (What is his name?) (13-15)

For 400 years God had been silent. But he had been there, watching as they multiplied and suffered. Now he was sending Moses to bring them out of their misery in Egypt. But Moses wanted to know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So he asked God his name. God's name is "I AM Who I Am" (YHWH or LORD). He is the God who exists. He was and is and always will be.

3. God promised; they would listen (16-22)

God told Moses what to do and what would happen, and how God himself would strike Egypt and bring them out of bondage.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being there. Teach me to seek you and to trust and obey you.

One Word: God is with us now and forever


Exodus 4:1-17

Key Verse: 4:2

1. What is that in your hand? (1-9)

Once Moses had been confident of his ability to lead his people. He had depended on his palace education and human skill. But when he was able and confident, his people had rejected him. Now, after 40 years in the wilderness, he had forgotten everything. He was helpless. He told God, "No one will listen to me." So God asked, "What is that in your hand?" Moses had