Why did God give us the book of Exodus?
So we can rest in his awesome power to save, learn the joy of obedience, and see the promise of his presence.
Sometimes we need a good story to help us find hope in God’s promises. God promised Abraham that through his kids the whole world would find blessing—but Abraham never really sees what God means by that, and although you and I have a general idea of what a blessing is, if we don’t learn from God we won’t know what he means either.
So, when we read Exodus, we begin to see how God will bless the world. The book begins as God shows his awesome power to save in Exodus. We can be amazed at the lengths he’ll go to save his people. He works miracles, parts the sea, rains food down from heaven, provides water in a desert—all of those miracles demonstrate both his power to save and his love for his people.
As God saves his people we see the clear connection between the sacrifice of a spotless lamb and the salvation of God’s people. This is what John the Baptist meant when he said of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29 ESV). Our salvation depends on finding forgiveness before Almighty God. And Exodus shows how God leads the way in providing that forgiveness.
God didn’t save people who were already godly. Just like we’re told in the New Testament that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 ESV), God rescued the children of Israel before they knew how to live as God’s people. They worshipped idols and knew customs from Egypt that were contrary to God’s laws. So, after God saves them, he teaches them his law in the ten commandments, and then helps them know what it means to obey those laws in everyday life.
And finally, God shows his glory in a visible way and lives among his people in the tabernacle. Although our sin separates us from God, God in his mercy and kindness made a way for sinners to find forgiveness and to enjoy the blessings of his presence.
So much of the New Testament looks back to this book, and God’s glory is so clearly shown in its pages, I would strongly encourage you to read and study it. Find encouragement in God’s power, and forgiveness in God’s spotless lamb. And long for all God’s glory and blessing.