"God hasn't retired"

Our story is not self-created, nor a mere matter of our past, our culture. It’s something given from outside ourselves. Understanding the Old Testament stories like Exodus and how they came to be seen in light of Christ in the new helps us understand who we are as Christians, and how we stand firm in faith today.

A sermon concerning the centrality of the Exodus story for Israel, and its connection to Jesus in the New Testament church.

Above: Worship Guide for the night I preached (click to expand).

My Hebrew professor wrote her dissertation on the “narrative parts” of the Psalm. That is, the parts of the Psalms which tell a story. I thought it was fascinating how the Exodus story isn’t only told in Exodus. So, since we were looking at a large span of the Exodus story, in between readings were interspersed parts of Psalm 105 as response.

The Main Passages

Exodus 13:17-22

New International Version (2011)

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”

20 After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Exodus 14:10-13

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.

Exodus 15:19-21

19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the Lord,
    for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
    he has hurled into the sea.”

Delivered 1.18.2020.

The story at the end comes from An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America by Andrew Young.

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