Below is the paper I wrote for my Old Testament Class. By the grace of God (and help from the boy) was I able to write this.
This is kind of long, but I hope this will allow someone to enjoy the gift of a relationship with God.
Exodus and The New Christian
The dictionary defines the word Exodus as a journey by a large group to escape from a hostile environment. The second book of the Bible details the birth of Moses, (Exodus 2:2) who on God’s behalf declared to Pharaoh to “Let my people go” (Exodus 5:1, 7:16, 8:1, 8:20). Moses initially led the people of Egypt from Pharaoh’s hateful regime (Exodus 12:31-32). While Moses was a great man, it is not his story I want to explore. I want to explore the struggles the Israelites had with their new freedom from slavery and how it parallels to the journey of a Christian today as we accept the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior and answer to a one true God.
The first reading of Exodus is simply the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites to freedom. However, to look deeper, it can be used as a roadmap for our salvation and an understanding that listening to God and hearing what He says is not easy. On a closer reading and meditation, another story emerges. The second story or lessons that are in this book can serve as a guide for new and struggling Christians. The book of Exodus is the story of a people who have to break free of oppression and begin a journey toward the promise of a new land. Just like today. We may not struggle with a tyrannical Pharaoh, but there are tyrants in the form of debt, lust, and envy that keep us enslaved.
In Exodus 3:14, God presents Himself to Moses by saying “I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” How powerful is this statement? A new Christian can take this statement to understand that God is Almighty and there for us because of his awesome power. There are not enough ways to delve into the powers and the reach of God, so this simple yet powerful statement shows that God is omnipotent.
We must surround ourselves with people who will help us on our journey. Moses was a man who didn’t speak well (Exodus 4:10) and had a flawed past (Exodus 2:12). The Lord forgave him for the murder, and had his brother Aaron act as his mouthpiece although it was the Lord who provided the words.
After his initial meeting with God, Moses then approaches Pharaoh to let his people go. Pharaoh represents many of the struggles Christian’s today face: alcoholism, lust, and addiction, hate. By his refusal to budge, (and God hardening his heart) (Exodus 7:3, 14; 8:19; 9:12) Pharaoh shows the grasp of sin in our life.
When God does Passover for the Israelites, it is a way to show how we are covered in the blood of the Lamb, or the blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” (Exodus 12:13). With this blood, the hardened heart of Pharaoh was finally softened and the people were set free. (Exodus 12:31-32) This is like the blood of the lamb, the Lord Savior Jesus Christ! When Christians today are washed in the blood of the lamb, sin is not eradicated but the grasp of sin in our life lessons as God blesses us and has our best interest in mind.
Once we have accepted Jesus as our personal savior, we must put all our trust into God. As the Israelites faced the sea, they could only see the terror of the sea and Pharaoh’s army behind them (Exodus 14 9-21). We must stop seeing and begin to believe. Faith is not all ways something we can see, but as Moses answered the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.’ (Exodus 14:13) As a new Christian we must learn to have trust in God and must allow God to work in our lives, even when we are not able to see or understand the way He is working.
When we are saved it is into new territory that we go. Like the Israelites, we have to wander in the wilderness (Exodus 16:1) to ensure that we are truly delivered from our past lives and actions. As the people of Israel began a new journey, their old lives began to seem more appealing. Walking with Christ is not an easy walk. It takes patience, diligence and obedience. These are traits the Israelites began to lose touch with as their journey became more difficult. (Exodus 16 2:3)
One struggle the Israelites had was not enough nourishment. Exodus 16:3 detail the lack of food and the complaints of the people. In Exodus 16:4, God then answers their cries by raining down enough manna for each day to sustain the people. Each day He would rain down enough to satisfy the needs and hunger but just enough for that day. Of course, rather than let God be, the people began to hoard and keep extra, despite the promises of God to provide. This again is like the Christians of today. We try to guide the hand of God in our lives rather than allow him to come in His time. God says to trust in Him (2 Samuel 7:28) and that our needs will be fulfilled. We cannot store up promises for the upcoming days, but rather enjoy and trust what God has set forth at the present.
As the walk with God becomes deeper, we can sometimes feel a strain due to a sense of not being able to endure. Many times new Christians are drawn to God because of promises of a life that is easier and freeing, however, that new life takes work. Moses felt this way (Exodus 18:21-22) because as a leader, he was constantly tugged in various directions to act for the needs and wants of his people. It proved to be overwhelming to him, but God told Moses that as long as he persevered in His way, (Exodus 18:23) then God would help him to survive. God never allows more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), once we “learn to continually lean on Him for the strength” we “need.”
During our growth, there are times when we must be responsible for ourselves. The Israelites did not want to take responsibility for their actions, rather charging Moses to be accountable for their prayers and consecration. It is wonderful to have a prayer partner, but we also must spend time on our own in silent mediation and praise to God, cultivating our own personal relationship with God. (Exodus 25 1:2)
The story of Exodus can be a great guide if read carefully. By allowing God to work in our lives through the Holy Spirit, we are just like the Israelites who followed the cloud of God in the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:36-38), ensuring that they reached out to God in their lives.