The name Exodus refers to the exodus that takes place of God freeing Israel from 430 years of slavery in Egypt.
The author of Exodus is attributed to Moses and was written between 1446 BC and 1406 BC, which is between the Exodus event and the death of Moses.
The purpose of this book is to show the salvation of God’s people and the origin of God’s people. He gives the people the law, not just for behavior, but to understand what it means to reflect the character of God, being a Holy Nation, to bless the Nations of the world and not be contaminated by the sin of those nations.
The Literary Style is a prose, narrating a lot of what takes place from Israel’s journey from Egypt to Mt. Sinai.
After seeing God’s purpose in Genesis to rise up a nation to bless the nations of the world, we see that He brought Israel into slavery for 430 years. They grow from about 70 people to 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 people, during their time in Egypt. God placed Israel in a protective bubble, living in the land of Goshen because as Shepherd’s they are unclean in Egyptian eyes. So, the Egyptians leave them alone to grow and multiply, maintain their own religion, values, language, and culture. After the time of multiplication, a new Pharaoh takes power and is fearful of their great numbers and losing power to them. This takes us up to the beginning of Exodus.
The first section of Exodus focuses on Moses and how being a Jew, circumcised, he grew up, first, being raised by his birth mother at a young age and then, in the palace trained and educated in all things. In Acts 7:25 we can see that Moses sees the trouble of his people, the Jews, and he tries to save them by killing an Egyptian, but the Jews didn’t understand at the time. God must take Moses through a Discipleship Training School of 40 years where God works on his heart. Within these years, God takes time to form his Character; He cares about quality in leaders. After 40 years, the Jews begin to call out to God and He appears to Moses, and despite the 5 excuses of Moses of why he is unable, he obeys God and returns to Egypt at age 80 to set his people free.
A big part of this book is God revealing Himself to the Jews, Egyptians, and Nations as “I AM who I AM”, Yahweh, the Lord, who was, and is, and will be. He is the uncreated, one, true God. Each of the 10 plagues represent one of the Egyptian Gods and God is showing both Israel and the nations that Yahweh, the Lord, is the one Supreme God of all the nations, Exodus 19:3-6. In the Exodus a ‘mixed multitude’ leaves with the Jews and again we see how God always was a God of all the Nations. Choosing one nation was not to be selfish, but to be like God and bless all the other nations of the world, being a reflection of Him.
The rest of the book of Exodus is the story of an all-powerful God whom just saved His people, redeeming them with His power (Exodus 15:13-16). He promises to protect them and care for them, and they promise to love Him and trust Him. This is better understood when we study the Suzerain Treaties of this time-period in history. God creates a covenant with His people, a people chosen to be a Nation of Priests (Exodus 19:6). Despite their disobedience, and rejection of God, He continues to be faithful to them, conquering their hearts. The people reject God, but God’s plan for man has not changed, “create a nation of priests who love and trust God, reflecting Him in all that they do.” We see and learn from this book that God is the One True God with all power and He never intended for man to need ‘external government’ with laws and consequences, but to live as a “nation of priests” having internal government, reflecting God in all that they do, with the Lord as their individual, family, and national leader.
On a personal level, this book always challenges me just how patient God is, and how much He does care about our character as leaders. We are called to reflect Him. Blessing is not for personal and selfish reasons, but rather blessed to be a blessing. “I did not choose you because you were so good”, but rather because the other nations were so evil. Transformation comes from God, not from my own power. It is easy to have tunnel-vision and look at myself and nothing more, but this book helps me to remember that God does what is best for everyone: nations, tribes, clans, families, and individuals. His wisdom is so much greater than my own and His choices always take into account all of the Nations. This is my desire, to not only see what “I need”, “I want”, or “I feel”, but to see what “my wife”, “my child”, and all of the “others” in the world would need. God is the all-powerful God, in His Natural Attributes: supreme in power, supreme in knowledge, all present, uncreated, triune, eternal God. By His power I have been saved and baptized. It is a wise choice to submit and follow the God of the universe, and I must remember where He has taken me from, and what He has done in my life. REMEMBER, “In the beginning, God, ‘NOT YOU/ME’ created”. For Him, by Him, and through Him!