The Exodus story is the great epic of the Old Testament. It takes five
books of the Bible to tell the tale. It’s not just the story of the
Israelites and how God led them out of slavery in Egypt and, finally,
settled them in Canaan. As with many other stories in the Bible, it is a
story for everyone who loves God and who would love to be able to bring
their whole selves to God. It is the great template that God has left us
for how we go from slavery to the world’s ways to God’s ways, to
living in the Kingdom of God.
It’s easy for us to see that the Israelites were enslaved—they are
foreigners in Egypt; there were Egyptian masters who beat them if they
didn’t make their quotas of bricks. As the story about God leading the
Israelites out of Egypt begins, they’ve just had their workloads
doubled. The Pharaoh is an autocrat who uses them to sustain and grow
his wealth and power, enslaving them to keep them from rebelling. They
have no freedom.
Our own slavery to the world’s ways is not so easy for us to discern.
First, we’ve grown up in the system that enslaves us. Second, we’ve
adopted the world’s thinking about ourselves as very young children,
capitulated to the self-images the world offers us, not knowing that by
looking deeper into ourselves beyond what the culture taught us, we
would find another way to live. A way that is congruent, integral to who
we were created to be by God.
So, we buy into the kind of oppression that seems normal and convinces
us that it is the only way to be. Each culture has its own version of
the world’s viewpoint, but mainly we humans are so self-protective of
ourselves and of our own people that anyone who is different from us is
perceived as a threat. We are so self-involved, so culturally-involved,
that we can only see life as we imagine it to be, using our own limited
point of view. And we are so fearful of any pain and suffering that we
find many ways of pushing the pain of slavery away—watching TV,
playing endless video games, drinking, taking drugs, always having our
nose in a book, always going shopping and spending money, always
checking our phones--and many other options which become addictive.
God is calling us out of slavery, just as He called the Israelites out
of Egypt. In this book, we will be exploring what the story of Exodus
has to tell us about our own story and where God would take us when He
leads us out of our own “Egypt.” We will follow the trajectory of
the Israelites from Moses, dealing with Pharaoh, to Joshua leading them
into the Promised Land - after forty years of wandering in the
wilderness. We’ll be looking at what happens to us in the wilderness
and why that long time there is necessary. We’ll see the huge part
that rebellion plays in our human story. And we’ll be looking at the
kind of challenges we will face in the Promised Land, just as the
Israelites did. We will be exploring the classic four steps in a
Exodus is a beautiful story, compelling and dynamic. It will teach us
all we need to know to brave the adventure of leaving our own place of
slavery. Thus, enabling the closing of the door on slavery, coupled with
the intervening years in the wilderness, that will eventually open
another door in Canaan for us, which is the land of milk and honey where
all our needs are provided. We’ll look at some of the detail of the
Exodus story, the laws and commandments, the reactions of the
Israelites, the promises that God makes to us—we’ll examine this
story in some of its wonderful detail in order to see the plan God has
laid out for us. Come along with me and see what God is inviting you and
me, all of us, to do and to be.
I never thought I would be so fascinated by the whole sweep of this
story. But obviously, the Holy Spirit felt differently. For the last
four or five years I have been reading these five books, thinking about
them, incorporating what they teach us into my life and, finally, coming
to this idea of the Exodus story being God’s template for us all. Of
course, that idea was the Holy Spirit’s. I write with His inspiration.
All error is mine; all truth is His.
Excerpted from "Exodus: Our Story Too!: From Slavery to the World to the Kingdom of God" by Patricia Said Adams. Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Said Adams. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.