Finally, by the end of Exodus, the tabernacle has been meticulously constructed, and God’s glory dwells with his people. God has brought his people from slavery to worship. But while the truth of Christ was veiled to them, we can behold his face with unveiled eyes. While God dwelled at a distance, he tabernacled amongst us in Christ, and if we trust in him, his Spirit dwells within us.
Just after making a covenant with God, Moses goes up the mountain, and the Israelites fall into idolatry. They make an idol of a golden calf, and begin worshipping it as if it’s God. This leads to an incredibly dramatic scene of intercession and divine judgement. And because of Moses, the mediator between man and God, some of the Israelites are spared.
What does the Law of Moses have to say to us today? We can make the mistakes of applying it directly to our lives, or ignoring it altogether. But through the lens of the cross, we can see its true application for us today: that this law was showing us that God was more holy and more loving than we could ever live up to on our own.
As Israel came to this terrifying mountain where God dwelled, it would have been natural to feel worthless. But God assures them that they are his treasured possession, and that he will make them a nation who will bring God’s light to the world.
The Red Sea is the first time in the storyline of the Bible where God talks about getting glory, and it’s a paradigm for salvation in the rest of the Old Testament. And we can see so much of God’s grace and power in it. In this one scene, God is both creating a people and destroying a people, in a great image of re-creation and un-creation through the water.
As God’s plagues come to a terrifying conclusion, we see the first Passover happen before our eyes. And as God himself visits Egypt, the only thing coming between Israel and death is the blood of the lamb. This lamb is showing that death has already happened for the household, and is a shadow of the great reality of Christ, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
When Pharaoh refused to let God’s people out of slavery, God sent 10 plagues to his country. But why? Why not start with the final plague, that actually worked? Because something greater is going on here: God is showing his power as the Creator, against the false gods of Egypt. And at the same time, God is showing the undoing of creation. This shows that the plagues aren’t only random acts of judgement, but that they are meant to save. When we refuse to worship God, we are warring against our Creator, and we are inviting chaos and uncreation into our lives.
A name can say a lot about a person. But what does it mean for God to reveal his name? In this chapter, God reveals himself to Moses in a burning bush, giving Moses a mission and a promise.
After four-hundred years of slavery, the Israelites could easily have felt that God had forgotten his promises. But through these events, God was at work to fulfil his promises to bless his people. And through his people multiplying, and through this little baby Moses, God begins to show us his great plan of redemption.