The book of Exodus concludes in stark contrast to its beginning. Israel has graciously been delivered from oppression and cruel slavery by the blood of the lamb and now lives with the presence of the LORD in their midst.
In chapters 25-31 God lays out his plan to dwell with his people in tabernacle. The tabernacle is a holy place in which God's presence will reside with his people. However, Israel grieves God (in chapter 32) by breaking the commandments before they even leave Mount Sinai. Israel turns to worship other gods and now stands to bear the wrath of God. Mercifully, Israel is saved through a mediator who pleads for them before God.
The covenant initiated by God with Israel is confirmed in Exodus 24 through the blood of a sacrifice. At the Lord's Supper, Jesus picks up the language of Exodus 24 and initiates a new and better covenant with his disciples. Rather than the shedding of the blood of oxen, Jesus offers his blood as a lasting and perfect sacrifice for our sins that we may be united to God forever.
We conclude Exodus 20 by examining the remaining six commandments and looking to Jesus as the fulfillment of the law. God's law is holy and good and teaches us how to walk righteously before God. But our best efforts are not enough. Praise be to God for a magnificent Savior.
Israel is gathered into the presence of God at Mount Sinai to receive the law of God. There at Sinai, God initiates his covenant relationship with the nation of Israel and commands them to walk in His ways. Indeed the giving of the law to Israel was a gracious act of God. But how are we to think of the Ten Commandments today? Are they helpful for us on this side of the cross of Christ?
Moses has returned to worship the Lord at Mount Sinai just as God had foretold. And God, being rich in mercy, invites Israel into a covenantal relationship. Israel has become a people of privilege and purpose. God calls Israel to be a 'kingdom of priests'. Likewise, our purpose as the church is to bring glory to God by faithfully proclaiming the good news of the gospel.
In Exodus 18 we learn that transformed lives transform lives. Moses shares the story of the mighty deliverance God has provided to his father-in-law, Jethro. The testimony of Moses and the work of God is the means by which Jethro is brought to saving faith in God.
Thirty-nine years ago today, the Supreme Court exacted a judgment that legalized abortion in the United States. On Sanctity of Life Sunday, we examine Proverbs 24 and Isaiah 58 and listen to what God expects of his people when the innocent are taken away to death.
Music is powerful. Music can impact us in a number of ways, effecting our emotions, mood and affect. Each week we gather to sing songs that glorify Christ and help us respond to who He is. This week we discuss Exodus 15 and learn why we sing, what singing accomplishes for the gathered church and how it glorifies God.
We begin 2012 as a church family with a focus on prayer. We look to Paul's prayer for the church in Ephesus as an example to follow and also strive to be strengthened by Christ's indwelling presence through the Spirit. Indeed as Paul states, God is able to do more than we can ever ask or imagine.