“The God Who is Faithful to His Promises” The Book of Exodus

Our desire as Christians is to know the God of the Bible. But who is he and what is he like? This fascinating book narrates three main events: Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (1-12a), the journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai (12b-18), and the receiving of the Law at Mt Sinai and instructions on building the Tabernacle (19-40).

The message of Exodus is about the story of deliverance and portrays God who is faithful to his promises. Exodus cannot be understood apart from Genesis. The God who made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants remains faithful to his people. Thus, Exodus fulfils the patriarchal promises of offspring, land, and blessing (Exod 1:1-20; cf. Gen 12:7; 13:14-17; 15:18). Pharaoh, threatened by the growth of the Jewish population, embarks on a program of infanticide (Exod 1:15-16). Yet Yahweh hears the cry of his people and remembers his covenant promise (Exod 2:23-25; cf. Gen 50:24). He raises up Moses (Exod 2:1), whose life was spared (2:10).

The theme of promise or covenant is prominent throughout the Bible. In Exodus, the covenant God comes into focus in two great events: the name of the Lord and the blood of the lamb. While there are many titles for God, there is only one name in the sense of his personal name, and this name, represented in Hebrew by four consonants YHWH, is translated as “Lord” in Exod 3:15. In appearing to the exiled Moses (Exod 3:1-4:17), Yahweh reveals his name, I AM WHO I AM, which indicates his covenant relationship with his people.

The name Yahweh resounds throughout the account of the Passover. It is the Lord who provides for the sacrifice. The Lord is the redeemer, law-giver, and the God who is worthy of our worship. The New Testament continues the story of the blood of the lamb, but explicitly points to Jesus Christ as the fulfilling Messiah of the nation of Israel. John writes in John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” What is interesting is that John uses the term “dwelt,” which, in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, is a reference to the Tabernacle. In other words, Jesus “tabernacled” or was present among his people. God has fulfilled His promises in Jesus.