In the Basic Bible study created by Deaf Missions, there are a few things to understand before we begin the lesson on Exodus. The word Exodus means to leave something or to depart something. In this case, Israel will leave Egypt after having been slaves there for a long time. God will lead them to the Promised Land, called Canaan. God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give this land to their children. Before that happens, God will lead them to a special mountain called Mt. Sinai. It is at this mountain that God will give Moses the 10 commandments and instructions on how to build a very important place: the Tabernacle. After this, God will lead them to the Promised Land.
At the end of Genesis, Jacob’s family had only 70 people. His family grew to become a large nation called Israel. Now at the beginning of the book Exodus, they are a huge number of people. The large number of people scares the Egyptian Pharaoh. Egypt is afraid that Israel would overwhelm Egypt, so they made Israelites into slaves. In addition, Pharaoh ordered that all male boys that are born should be killed. At this time, Moses is born and his mother keeps his birth a secret. To make a long, but fascinating story short, an Egyptian princess later adopts Moses. When he is 40 years old, he becomes angry at an Egyptian slave master who is treating Israel badly and kills him. Moses runs away to the land of Midian, marries a wife there and has a family. Another 40 years pass and Moses encounters a burning bush that will not stop burning on Mt. Sinai. Curious, Moses approaches this bush and hears God speak to him. God chose Moses to go back to Israel, along with his brother Aaron, to tell the Egyptian Pharaoh to let Israel go free. God knew that Pharaoh would say no and God’s plan was to send 10 plagues upon Egypt, for each of the 10 times Pharaoh says no.
The last plague is the most important. God kills all the firstborn males including animals in Egypt. He tells Israel to kill a 1 year old, perfect lamb and to paint the lamb’s blood on their doorposts. In this way, God would pass over their houses and no one from Israel would die, only those in Egypt. Every year after that, Israel would be required to celebrate a festival called Passover, which would remind them of how God used a lamb to not only protect Israel, but to also set them free. After that night, all of Egypt became terrified of God and let Israel go free. God then lead Israel to the Red Sea. If you look at the chart, you can see that God could have easily led them between the bodies of water towards Mt. Sinai. God had a different plan. The Egyptians saw that Israel was stuck at the Red Sea and could go no further, so they gave chases, intending to make them slaves again. Instead, God used Moses to part the Red Sea so that Israel could cross over on dry land to the other side. When the Egyptians saw this, they chased Israel but God let the Red Sea wash over them. All of the Egyptians drowned.
Finally, they arrived at Mt. Sinai. It is here that God gave Israel the 10 commandants and instructions on how to build the Tabernacle. The tabernacle was the place that God would speak to the High Priest of Israel. Later in the New Testament, we learn that Jesus becomes our new High Priest. The tabernacle built on Earth was only a small example of the Heavenly tabernacle. This Heavenly tabernacle is the one that Jesus entered for us when He died on the cross and resurrected. Jesus’s death and resurrection also happened during the Jewish holiday Passover. You see, Jesus became the perfect lamb, the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’s blood frees us from our sins in the same way that the Passover lamb’s blood freed Israel from Egypt.
In the next lesson, we will learn how God leads Israel to Canaan, the promised land!