Exodus II Explained

Anyone who has read the Bible cover-to-cover will probably have noted the number of times the Exodus Story was retold. Over and over again God reminds His people that they were miraculously freed from bondage. “Never forget; tell your children; do this every year as a reminder of how the Lord your God freed you from the bondage of Pharaoh’s Egypt.” This emphasis was applied neither to the miraculous creation story, nor to the great story of Abraham and his sons, and not even to the shocking story of the purging of mankind on earth except for Noah and his zoo-ark. All of these events and many more are at least as significant as the one about the brave man, Moses, with a magic stick releasing a few thousand slaves from their master’s stronghold. And yet, it is the Exodus alone that is commemorated annually in Passover fasts and over and over again in the Bible. Why is this?

I suspect that it is because God wants humankind to renew the psychological/spiritual journey away from bondage and to be grateful for His power.

The parallel is striking between the Exodus story of Moses leading the Jews away from Egypt and the story of Christ leading mankind away from sin and death. One group goes to the Promise Land, the other to the land of immortality. The relationship between the bondage of slavery and the bondage of sin is an old concept; however by overlaying the Exodus story onto the Christ story, the parallels are not only remarkable, they help us to see more clearly our plight as Christians. The physical Exodus is not so very different than the spiritual journey children of God must take to reach the promise of a land where we will live absolutely free from war, illness, poverty, and want. The Promise Land is still being held out for us and we still must move from one place to another to be there.

This physical/spiritual Exodus is best reconstructed during Great Lent when each day can represent one year of travel. And yet this journey does not end with the crucifixion, it begins with it and ends with the Resurrection where we can find ourselves right smack in the middle of the Promise Land of immortality. Forty years in forty days about forty hours. Never forget that God set you free and that you have somewhere to go. I hope you will continue to be with me on this journey. We have surprises in store for you. 

Exodus II

We have been walking away from Egypt for days now. It is hard to believe that we are finally free. I don’t suppose we really know what that means yet; someday we will. At least I hope I will. Ben, Asa, and Zeporah have formed a marching cluster along with Linda, Richard, and their children. Like most of us, I am in a daze walking quietly and thinking about what just happened.

God has appeared as a spirit cloud, a pillar of holy fire leading us to His Kingdom, His Promise Land of immortality. We are told that it is a land that flows with milk and honey, a land of peace. To be honest such a land, I can’t imagine. So I walk and I think about the days of miracles before the son, the son of Pharaoh died and we were released from bondage.

It all began when the man of God showed that he had power over the serpent. He had a rod that turned into a snake when he placed it on the ground. But when he picked it up it was a rod again! And even when the serpent tried to lure him by offering to turn stones to bread, or offer him all the kingdoms of the world the man of God simply grabbed that serpent by the tail and turned it into a tool. That is what I call power over evil.

The next thing that happened, if I can remember correctly is that water turned to blood, or was it water turned to wine. I don’t remember which, but it was the first real miracle. The villagers chattered about it for days. That man of God he knew how to get attention, he did.

After that, he healed people right and left from all that could hurt them even biting ants and blood sucking gadflies. People were hurt, people were healed.

Then he, that miracle-making man of God turned to what matters to most of us, our stomachs! First, he did something that killed all the livestock then he fed thousands on bread and fish. That wasn’t the end of it. He proved that through God he even had power over nature. First, he stretched out his hand and hail fell from the heavens on humans and animals and on the whole land of Egypt and then such thunder as man has never heard. I thought I would go deaf. Thunder and hail, and fire came down on the earth. It rained hail with fire flashing continually in the midst of it. I truly thought I would die. But with as much authority over nature he calmed the sea and even walked on it!

As if that wasn’t frightening enough we lived through three days of darkness and then the son died. Now poof! Here we are walking away from the only world we ever knew. We can leave that world with our feet, but can we leave it with our minds and with our hearts? I don’t know; that will take a true transformation. Maybe that’s why this journey must take so long. This army, this people of God, need time to become the kind of people who can live free in the Promise Land.

Oh! Where are we now? We stopped. Ah looks like we are camping by this sea tonight. I am ready to stop walking. My legs are sore. What is this I hear? The Egyptian army is coming after us! What will we do now? Be calm, God is with us. Let me run up to the front to see what is happening so I can tell you. There he is, the man of God. I see him lift up his hands. You will never believe this but the sea is parting! It is time to march again. Here we go. The cloud is leading us through the sea but on dry land. I hear a sound from heaven, a mighty wind. The pillar of fire has dispersed and there is a tongue of fire on each one of us as we walk. All around me I see us pilgrims with tongues of fire over our heads marching through a corridor of water. Solemnly we trudge through mud: man, woman and child hearts absorbing a new and Holy Spirit.

Whew! We are on the other side now. Is everyone here? Yes. Look! The sea has closed up and swallowed our enemy, Saul. There is no turning back now. Onward compatriots, to the new world!