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God's Journey with the Israelites

Powerful Essays
In the book of Exodus in the Hebrew Old Testament, an incredible story can be seen of an all-powerful God who works in the lives of humans that He specifically calls His own. These people, named the Israelites, after one of their ancestors, Israel, are enslaved to the Egyptian people, forced to do immense amounts of manual labor. God uses the harsh environment and obstacles to teach the Israelites many different things before rescuing them from the Egyptians. God ultimately attempts to teach the Israelites three major ideas: faithfulness, sin before God, and holiness.

It is important to note that one of God’s primary methods for teaching His people is through verbal expression. Whether that manifests itself through God Himself talking to the people (which very rarely occurs in the entire Bible), or Him talking through a leader or prophet, God often uses specific words ideas, and commands to express His desires to the Israelites. This form manifests itself in many different ways. For example, in Exodus, God chooses Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to be His voice to the people. Moses acts as God’s voice for a long period of time, from the very first time Moses tells Pharaoh to free the Israelites (Exodus 5:1), to when Moses delivers the Ten Commandments to the people (Exodus 20), all throughout the entire books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, until Moses dies at the conclusion of Deuteronomy. It is obvious that God chose Moses for a specific purpose. More importantly, though, it is what God does through Moses to change His people, the Israelites. The reader can see that God desires several things for his people. The most obvious thing God attempts to teach the Israelites is faithfulness. He desires them t...

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... with the destruction of Egypt’s army and pharaoh.

Another parallel that is interesting to investigate is the difference in the covenants that God makes with Abraham and later, the Israelites. For Abraham, God spends a mere five verses describing the conditions that Abraham must fulfill to keep the covenant – only circumcision, but in the book of Exodus, nineteen out of the forty chapters – almost fifty percent – are filled with directions concerning specific commands from God. And the three remaining books of the Torah are littered with all kinds of obscure social and moral laws from God.

Works Cited

The Holy Bible: Updated New American Standard Bible : Containing the Old Testament and the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1999. Print.

Kugel, James L. How to Read the Bible: a Guide to Scripture, Then and Now. New York: Free, 2007. Print.
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