Another big book with big stories: Exodus, Israel leaving Egypt. A miraculous and maybe even incredible story. Did God actually divide the Red Sea? Did all those plagues really hit Egypt? But there is more than enough historical evidence for the story of the exodus to believe it. Until the present day, Jews around the world remember God (JHWH) as He wants to be remembered: the One that brought them out of Egypt, to be their God (Lev 22). All those signs and miracles happened to show the greatness and might of God.
Still, there are two sides to this story. We see God acting as the Most Powerful, and we see the people of Israel acting as the Most Human: there is complaint, unbelief, impatience, more complaint, greediness, unfaithfulness – not uncommon to most of us. At one point, the people assure to God that they will obey his commands; the very next day they disobey in the most hideous way you can think of – remember the Golden Calf? And although there is much emphasis on the Law, you can see Gods love and faithfulness to his people time and time again. For example: I love those passages in Exodus 35 and 36, where you can see that God gives special giftings to some, and involves everyone in a way that fits them.
God even decides to come and live among his people. Picture this: the Most High, coming down to live in a tent with a bunch of murmuring nomads, and even letting them participate in the production.
Already you can see the ‘foreshadow’ of what’s coming: Israel being freed from Egypt*) as a picture of the redemption of the world; the Law and all instructions following as a picture of Jesus, the perfect man; God coming down as a picture of the Holy Spirit living in the believers.
Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
*) Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to say that Egypt is the devil. Read here to find proof that Egyptians are the most peaceful people in the world 🙂