I started discussing the book of Exodus with Chapter 1 on June 24, 2015 and recently finished up with Chapter 40 on September 23, 2015. Three months for a 40 chapter book? Not too shabby! Before moving on to Leviticus let me spent a few minutes on a review of Exodus. To put it simply, Exodus is the story of God commanding Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt into the promised land. The Egyptians are treating the Israelites horribly and refuse to let the Israelites leave, or so many Christians will tell you. If you actually read the Bible, however, the Pharaoh of Egypt allowed Moses and the Israelites to leave many times. Each time, however, God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart, making the Pharaoh treat the Israelites as slaves. Would the Pharaoh have let the Israelites go had God not hardened his heart? We’ll never know. What we do know however is that God needed to harden the Pharaoh’s heart for a reason. The story isn’t as interesting if the Israelites are allowed to leave Egypt in chapter 1.
Eventually God brings so much harm and destruction to the people of Egypt that the Pharaoh allows the Israelites to leave. Many innocent Egyptians were killed. Okay, maybe they weren’t innocent at the time, but God is the one who hardened their hearts into sinning. They didn’t harden their hearts themselves. After leaving, the Israelites continue to suffer. God isn’t the loving character people make Him out to be. God only speaks to Moses, even after saying He would reveal Himself. He never does reveal Himself unless you consider fog to be God in disguise.
Oh, and let’s not forget the ten commandments. Of course, there weren’t really ten commandments. There were many, many commandments God commanded of the Israelites. The first set of tablets was destroyed by Moses, and God commanded him to create a second set. The second set contained all that was on the first set, but also had several other laws added, including, and I kid you not, don’t cook a young goat in its mother’s milk. I know we’ve all been guilty of that one from time to time, so just spend an evening praying for forgiveness and all will be okay. 🙂 Maybe the next time right wing Christians take control of a local government and illegally put a statue of the commandments up it will include the one on cooking a young goat. Just saying.
Much of the latter half of Exodus is nothing but God telling the Israelites to build stuff and move stuff in specific places. God seems less interested in helping the Israelites and more interested in having fancy stuff built for Him. Who cares that the people are suffering if God has a gold altar, am I right? 🙂
Moses and the Israelites are not done yet. Their story continues in the Book of Leviticus.