The Exodus Motif and Discipleship 5
Exodus demonstrates that it can never be considered advisable to take one’s own direction if God is available to lead. Israel is taught in the book of Exodus, and certainly thereafter throughout the wilderness wanderings as described in Numbers and reviewed in Deuteronomy, that its proper role before God is that of follower—not because God desired to denigrate his people but because following the right leader is good for the followers. Although Moses was that leader proximately, God was that leader ultimately.
Now we come to the key event that is the motif throughout Scripture! You may wonder why I would use the book of Deuteronomy to write about the Exodus.
I thoroughly enjoy Deuteronomy as it is pastoral. Moses will expound on the first four books of Scripture. He stands before the people as the “shepherd” who has led them through the wilderness but knows that he will not go in with them. How heartbreaking it must have been, yet we see Moses’ stalwart character as he prepares them for the end of the Exodus and the conquest of the Promised Land. He is continuing to shepherd them through God’s Word.
What should have taken 11 days (Dt. 1:2) has turned into some 40 years of wandering until the last of that faithless generation has passed (Dt. 1:34 – 39).
Take the time to read Deuteronomy 8 and hear the “Amnesias” that God has Moses warn about:
AWE Amnesia v. 2, And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
All of us can experience spiritual near – sightedness when we see only the circumstances around us and not the promises ahead of us! God had shown His presence in the cloud by day and the fire by night all through their wilderness wonderings. He has promised us His presence through His given Spirit as we walk the wilderness of this life as “strangers” and “aliens” until that day we are ushered into His presence to see Him face to face.
IDENTITY Amnesia v. 11, Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, …
God had revealed Himself as He shared so much about Him and them in the Scriptures of Genesis (the Patriarchs), Exodus (Moses, the Law, and the Tabernacle), Leviticus (the worship and walk of the nation), and Numbers (God with them in the wilderness wanderings). Today He has revealed so much to us as His people in the additional books of Scripture and the Spirit Who He promised would “…guide you into all Truth;…” Let’s not forget Who we belong to!
GOSPEL Amnesia v. 14, … when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; …
The Exodus is a motif throughout Scripture because it pictures the greatest rescue of all – the rescue of humanity from ourselves and our sin. There was nothing we could do to rescue ourselves. May we never forget that miracle and the Lord Who accomplished it even as we share the Gospel (Good News) with others!
DEPENDANCE Amnesia v. 18, And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Earlier in chapter 6 Moses had warned them that when they went into the land and took the beautiful cities and houses they had not built, wells they had not dug, and vineyards and olive trees they had not planted (6:10 – 12) their tendency would be to forget the LORD Who had provided all of this for them. So today and each day may we be reminded that all that we have was provided by Him!
WORSHIP Amnesia v. 19, Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
All of these warnings are a reminder of how driven we should be to worship the only true God Who has rescued us and promised us the new heavens and new earth in our future.
We see the importance of worship in that while there are two chapters on creation (Gen. 1 & 2), there are 16 chapters on the initial place, offices, and acts of worship (Ex. 25 – 40)! It is important HOW and WHY we worship God.
May God keep us from, and may we guard our hearts from, these amnesias that He inspired Moses to warn His people about!