I love the Old Testament. It makes my nerdy heart sad knowing that the Old Testament is so quickly synonymized with boredom and confusion. For starters, all of those genealogies make me feel really good about the list of baby names I’ve thought of throughout the years, and if my kids complain about their names I have a whole bunch of Scripture to provide perspective for them. There are some crazy stories in the Old Testament; some disturbing on a whole new level and others revealing a deeper extent of God’s sense of humor. What I love most about the Old Testament is the attention to detail. Over the thirty-nine books in the Old Testament God continues to reveal His character, His holiness, and His attention to detail. He sets the stage for the arrival of Jesus so beautifully that by the end of the story you are left breathless. In light of the Gospel, in light of Jesus Christ, the Old Testament is transformed from boring, confusing, stodgy law to a gloriously rich foundation into which grace sends its roots deep down.

So with that said, we are about to embark on a series based in Exodus. I am so excited to share with you some of the truths that God has been gently, yet firmly, imprinting on my heart through this text. I want to be up front and let you know that I am the farthest thing from a Biblical scholar, but I will try to let the text speak for itself as I share both implications and applications for my personal life. I strongly encourage you to “take the meat and leave the bones” in these subsequent posts. Hold everything in the light of Scripture, take it before the throne of Grace, and always examine that which others speak into your life.

I think it is always beneficial to pause and reflect on where you have been, where you are now, and plot out where you want to go moving forward. Not only do I find this incredibly valuable in making sure I am living intentionally in my everyday life, I also think it is crucial in establishing proper context for biblical passages. Before we dive into Exodus, let’s take a step backward for a bit and establish a solid foundation.

Exodus is the second book in the Old Testament. It follows Genesis, literally “The Beginning” of God’s story. From the creation of all that is to the death of Joseph, Genesis details some of the most famous Sunday school stories (anyone else remember the felt boards?). Over its fifty chapters, we see God create the world, form Adam and Eve after His image, and live in relationship with them. We then see Adam and Eve doubt God’s heart towards them as they exchange the truth of God for a lie and sin enters the story. We see the extent of the fall of man in the story of the flood and God’s mercy towards man in the life of Noah. We see God call Abraham and establish the nation of Israel through one of the most dysfunctional families of all time. We are introduced to Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s twelve sons – the most famous of which being Joseph. We see God waste nothing in Joseph’s life as He establishes Joseph as second in command of all of Egypt, placing him in a position of great favor with Pharaoh and enabling him to relocate his entire family to Egypt during a significant famine. We see God remind His people of their promised home as Joseph issues a prophetic word to his family in the conclusion of Genesis:

And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.” {Genesis 50:24-26 ESV}

It is with that sweet reminder of God’s faithfulness to His promises that the story of Exodus begins.

Egypt had served Israel incredibly well during the years of Joseph’s life, but it was still not the home God had promised them. Perhaps you are in a season where the promises of God seem like a distant memory. You are not in a bad place, but you are not living in the fulfillment of the promises God has given you. As we dive into the richness of the text in Exodus, my prayer is that we would keep Joseph’s last words in the forefront of our minds and hearts; that we would allow the truth of God’s faithfulness to direct our steps while we trust Him to bring us up into the fulfilment of all that He has promised to us.

-a

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