The Sinai

Exodus – The Journey of Moses from Slavery to Freedom


The LORD is on a mission to confront evil and establish His just rule throughout the world. He saves those enslaved to evil, teaches them his ways, and guides them towards a promised land where they can live responsible free lives under His protection.

This is the story of Moses and the Exodus, the journey out of slavery into freedom from evil and oppression.

Jacobs Family of 70 become Millions

The Exodus story begins in Egypt where for 400 years the descendants of Jacob had been growing from a family of 70 to a multitude some think may have been approximately two million people. This illustrates the purpose of God to bless and multiply all who followed him but also the sad reality that they had become oppressed slaves. Their captors did not perceive their numbers as a blessing but as a threat and started to persecute them by forcing them to do harsh physical labour and by throwing their male children into the river Nile. Those so desperately oppressed cried out to God, the only one who could save them.

Moses in Egypt

A Hebrew woman tries to save her beautiful baby boy by hiding him in a basket on the Nile. Pharaoh’s own daughter finds the basket, adopts the child, and names him Moses. The child grows up within the privileges of Pharaoh’s palace. As a man, Moses is enraged at seeing an Egyptian taskmaster beating a Hebrew and kills him. Moses then flees for his life when Pharaoh finds out.

Moses in the Sina

After many years of shepherding sheep and goats among the mountains and deserts of the Sinai the Lord calls Moses to go to Pharaoh to

“Set my people free.”

Moses the Liberator

Moses made numerous excuses as to why he was not the right person to confront Pharaoh. Eventually, he gives way to this overwhelming call and obeys. Through Moses and the miracles he performed in the LORD’s name Pharaoh’s economy, gods, power, authority and will, were broken and he finally agreed to let Abraham’s descendants go free to worship the LORD.

Moses the Law Giver

This dramatic deliverance from slavery to the superpower of the day is just the first part of the Exodus story. The second part was how the Israelites themselves were to grow in their own identity from doing what they were conditioned to do as slaves to becoming responsible for their own lives. At first, they whinge and whine at where to find water, food, leadership, and direction. Gradually through their 40 years in the Sinai wilderness, they learnt how to trust and follow the guidance of the LORD and Moses. Their destiny was to become a people of powerful identity, purpose, and discipline, rooted in the eternal purposes of God.

Moses the Mediator between God and His People

The third and final theme of the Exodus story is the fulfilment of the LORD’s purpose to dwell in the midst of His people. Setting them free from slavery and forming them into a nation with just laws was not enough. Yahweh’s intent was to dwell among them as their compassionate and just leader.

But how can the transcendent Holy God live on earth in the midst of finite, rebellious people? This is the big question Moses seeks to solve in the Sinai.

The solution he receives from Mount Sinai is to build the Tabernacle, a special holy place, like the Garden of Eden, where Israel can meet and commune with the living God.

As Moses came down the mountain with these instructions, he found the Israelites feasting and dancing around an image of a golden calf. Moses understood that the covenant has been broken smashed the two tablets, ground the calf image to dust and made the people drink it. The threat to Israel’s freedom and prosperity is no longer Pharaoh but their own unbelief, superstition, and idolatry. How can it be possible for such people to live with the presence and blessing of Yahweh?!

Moses the Intercessor

Moses treks back up Mount Sinai yet again to pray for the people. He appeals to the God’s character and his reputation among the nations not to destroy his people. The LORD accepts but says He can’t go with the people because his holy presence would harm them so he will send His angel to guide them instead. Moses cannot accept this and intercedes with the LORD to lead them Himself and to show them His presence.

The Lord replied,

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14.

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming,

“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”

Exodus 34:5-7.

Moses discovered that even when the people were unfaithful, the LORD will remain faithful to His Eternal Character and Covenant.

Moses and the Presence of God

The people gave generously their most precious materials for the Tabernacle and the most skilled artists crafted the structures and ornaments. Then the Levite priests erect this sacred tent with the 10 Commandments placed within the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place. Over the Ark was the Mercy seat where the LORD was to reside, teach, and judge the community.

The book of Exodus ends with the glory of the LORD coming and taking His place over and within the Tabernacle.

So the cloud of the Lord was over the Tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.

Exodus 40:38.

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