Throughout history people all around the world have sought to answer the question: “Who is God?” Those who reach the rational conclusion that the Universe and all that is in it has come from Someone or Something rightly want to find that Origin Point and live in proper alignment with it. The history book of Exodus found in the Bible is actually a work primarily focused on answering this exact question. When the Israelite-born, Egyptian prince Moses challenged the harsh dictator Pharaoh to release the Israelite nation from bondage, Pharaoh responded by saying “Who is Yahweh God?” (Exodus 5:2). The historical record of Exodus is formulated to reveal various aspects of Yahweh God’s character so that we, His creation, can understand Him and properly align our lives with Him. If you allow it, the book of Exodus will show you the character of God and you will come to love and trust Him with all your life’s energies.
First, we see God’s Faithfulness in Exodus. The book of Genesis concludes with promises unfulfilled and Exodus begins with a people in jeopardy of being completely eradicated. It appears that Yahweh God has forgotten his promises to Abraham’s family (Genesis 12:1-3). But in fact God had not abandoned Israel. He was just waiting to fulfill all His good promises to them. In Egypt they became the great nation that God had promised they would, and when the time was right he proved Himself faithful and saved them. He did not forget His people in their distress (Exodus 2:23-25). He did not abandon His covenantal promises (Exodus 6:1-8). He is a faithful.
Not only should we trust in God because He is faithful, He is also incomprehensibly Powerful. The Plagues (Exodus 7-13), culminating in the Passover event (Exodus 11-13), demonstrated that Yahweh is more powerful than any other gods, political powers, or circumstantial obstacles. God utterly defeated all the gods and structures that the Egyptians trusted—in a very meaningful sense He defeated Egypt. When you feel weak or helpless remember the power of your God. You don’t need political leaders or more money or a throng of adoring ‘fans’ approving of you. None of these things have the strength to sustain your life. God is strong enough to destroy every obstacle, break every chain, lift you out of whatever pit you are in. Because Yahweh God is powerful.
The true God of Heaven is also acutely concerned with Justice. Israel was being oppressed as slaves. Their children were being murdered by the thousands. They were treated in every sub-human way imaginable. Yahweh executed wrathful judgment on Egypt because of this wicked injustice. We are often and rightly disturbed by injustices around us—racial discrimination, governmental corruption, abuse of the vulnerable, predatory financial practices, personal lies and betrayal. But instead of despairing we can and should hope for a better future brought about by the justice of God who will, one day, eradicate every evil and rescue those who trust in Him. Our hope is not a fantasy. Our hope is in the God of justice
All the attributes of God revealed in the Exodus narrative (and there are more than the few we have highlighted here) all flow out of one central characteristic: Love. Love is acting in the best interest of another, whatever the cost. God acted in the best interest of Israel and, ultimately, the best interest of the world that He was working to save through Israel (Exodus 19:1-6). If you are struggling to feel like you can make it through life this week, remember God’s saving love no matter how great burdened your heart is. And if the Exodus story doesn’t convince you of God’s love, then look to the Cross of Jesus. Indeed, the Exodus story is merely an echo of the final pinnacle of God’s Faithfulness to His promises, the ultimate demonstration of His Power to conquer sin and death, the ultimate self-sacrificing execution of divine Justice, and the greatest expression of Love in history. The Cross of Christ is where we see God’s faithfulness, power, justice, and love most clearly. The story of Jesus is the story of our Exodus out of a broken world and into the joyful presence of God.
In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling. (Exodus 15:13, NIV)