Are you feeling forgotten, lost, or like you are lacking direction?
Have the trials of life overwhelmed you? Maybe you’re scared of the odds stacked against you.
Has life pushed you to the point where you’re weary of fighting the good fight?
Reading through and studying the Old Testament Bible stories as an adult is an entirely different experience from the Sunday school versions we learned as kids. The parallels and depth of understanding the Hebrew words bring to the oh-so-familiar stories are breathtaking. Likewise, the Biblical accounts deliver incredible encouragement for us today.
While I was blown away by what there was to uncover in Genesis and Job, I found that the stories in Exodus bolstered my faith. As I look back over the time I have spent in Exodus, I have become aware of just how much I needed this book. In summary, it boils down to this-
Exodus will strengthen your faith.
When I read through Exodus for the first time, I needed my faith strengthened. I had been on a rough road, for sure, and for a while, God had been quiet. I was in a winter season in my walk with Him, and although He was there, He wasn’t making himself known. I did have some wrong to repent from, and God finally brought me to that place. Then I sensed a new season beginning to emerge. Maybe you have been there, too.
Here are some things I gleaned from my study, and I hope they strengthen your faith, too.
Are you feeling forgotten?
Read about how God remembered His people and rescued them from severe persecution and bondage. (Chapter 1-2)
I don’t know how much the Israelites had passed down through their generations, but they did get to the point that they had had enough and cried out to God for help. And the Bible tells us that God chose to remember them. God “remembering” does not mean He forgot. The Hebrew term is ‘zakar,’ which means application. God is deciding to honor the terms of the covenant. But he works in a powerful way as we see the story unfold.
Are you feeling lost?
Read about the power and might through which God called and equipped Moses. (Chapter 3-4)
Previously, God had separated Moses from both the Israelites and the Egyptians through his first attempt at saving the Israelites from oppression. He gives Moses finds a new life in Midian, and we see God separate him yet again from that life as well before He makes Himself known to him. Moses is alone when God extends His call. God had been actively grooming Moses for this very moment when He called him from the bush.
Are you lacking direction?
Find out what’s most important in following God. (Chapter 7)
It was God’s plan that He would do it all for the Israelites, and he was only asking Moses to be the messenger. We need to remember that we are only called and equipped to do our part in God’s amazing plans and not anything else.
Are you feeling overwhelmed at the trials dogging you?
Read about how God swallowed up the Israelites enemies in the Red Sea. (Chapter 14)
An enemy army in pursuit was an actual reality for the Israelites. The Egyptians were chasing them with the intention of war. They were getting cornered because they were approaching an uncrossable river. It would just be a matter of time. But God not only sheltered them with the cloud between them but then made the uncrossable river crossable. And we can trust God to do the same for us.
Are you scared of the odds you are facing?
Read about how God went before the Israelites and fought the battles for them. (Chapter 15)
If you read carefully, you will see that the song of praise talks about how God had protected them. The Israelites did nothing to defend themselves, but God used nature to protect His people. Following that, the provision of food and water required nothing of the Israelites, not even faith! So when you are scared at the odds you are facing, remember how God completely met the human needs of the Israelites for protection, food, and water without any help from them or action on their part.
Are you weary in fighting the good fight?
Read about God’s responses to Moses when the Israelites were being discontent. (Chapters 15-18)
Look back and remember. Remember how God has worked in your life. Praise Him for His provision and protection. Count your blessings, ones He bestowed upon you. Just acknowledge His sovereignty and His mighty hand. The last parts of the book of Exodus give us a model for remembering.
You just can’t help but gain confidence and strength and find your faith strengthened when you read about God and His character. Time and time again, you see God work and rescue and care for his own people. You see God take a keen interest in the lives of mere men. You see how small we are and how small our lives are in the big picture and can walk away feeling relieved that it’s not all about us.
At least that’s how I’m feeling as I’m reading through these incredible stories. I have found myself “gripped by the greatness of God,” as James Macdonald would say, while studying Exodus.