In reading the opening chapters of Exodus I’ve hit something of a biblical nerve, and if you pinch that nerve just right it’ll squeal out a whole bunch of stuff critical for making sense of the rest of the Torah and beyond.
The passage in question is Exodus 6:2-8. This passage outlines the great themes or motifs found throughout the Torah. I want you to find your mark-up bible and underline the parts I have underlined, and circle the parts I have bolded. Then draw a bracket line around the entire passage on both sides. Make it stand out!
God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord, I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name ‘the Lord’ I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment, I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.”
Read it slowly, don’t rush. After every bold or underline phrase stop, and ponder it’s significance. God is the Lord. He is the covenant God. He is God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. He is the God who remembers his covenant. He is the God who redeems. He is the Lord. Not Pharaoh or Pharaoh’s gods. Not Egypt. Not the world. Not sin. Not sickness. Not death. But “I AM”, He is the Lord!
Remember this passage well. Every time you come across a verse which links to this one, underline and write in the margins, “Exodus 6:2-8″. Here are some immediate examples were you can do this:
- Exodus 7:5: “And the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
- Exodus 7:17: “By this you will know that I am the Lord.”
- Exodus 8:10: “That you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God.”
- Exodus 8:22: “So that you will know that I, the Lord, am in this land.”
- Exodus 9:14: “So that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth.”
- Exodus 9:16: “And that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
- Exodus 9:29: “So you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.”
- Et cetera….
Like a neon sign: “I AM THE LORD” and everything that this fact entails. Like the call of Abraham and like the Garden of Eden, the Exodus event marks a keynote in the biblical narrative. It is the epicenter where Israel throughout their history look back to and remember. It is here where Israel develops the habit of reminding God of the covenant he made with their ancesters. It is here where God’s righteousness, his “vindication”, because the ultimate “type” for Israel’s hope.
Don’t read the Exodus event as just another biblical story, but learn to read all forth coming stories against the backdrop of the Exodus. Because the ultimate Exodus, the God who “redeems”, takes place on an old wooden cross on a hill called Calvary.