Initially, God had a wonderful plan and started carrying it out from day one to day seven. God created the world and filled it with life. Everything was wonderful and perfect. God created human beings to be his special creatures. God instructed us to care for other creatures, but we sinned against Him out of curiosity. God was very sad, and he chased us from the garden of Eden. God became angrier because we continued to sin. Indeed, we provoked God and were made to be enslaved. God made the world divided and punished our sins. God made us enslave each other. God had a special group known as the Israelites, considered the chosen ones. Israelites lived a sinful life and were punished for being enslaved people for the rest. of their lives. Many hardships for the Israelites made them forget about God’s existence (Markl, 2020).
The Israelites needed God to save them. God sent his servant Moses to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians. Moses was afraid to face the pharaoh. After all, he had been expelled from Egypt because he had committed murder. God promised Moses that he would assist his thoughts. God had promised that he would make the Israelites’ lives easier. God promised the Israelites that he would give them their land. A land where there will be milk and honey. Land that will be very fertile and grow any time of the plant.
Israelites were very afraid of the Egyptians, and they could not fight. Israelites were held captive for so long that they almost forgot that God existed. Believing in God again was not an easy task for them. God was with them and promised to deliver them from Egypt, and he did so as soon as the journey started, when they started being faced with difficulties. One of the challenges was going through the Red Sea. The Israelites started blaming Moses because he had led them into a death trap. Moses was under pressure; he did not know what to do. God was with him and gave him instructions. God instructed Moses to raise his stick and point at the red sea. The sea split into two. The Israelites were amazed and started crossing. The Egyptians wanted the Israelites to return and work for them (Bradshaw, 2020). They followed the Israelites until the Red Sea. They found Israelites crossing the sea and rushed to capture them. God instructed Moses to make the Israelites hurry up and close the sea. The sea killed Egyptians, which showed God would protect them (Sutherland, 1993).
The journey became long because the Israelites were very stubborn people. Any difficulties they faced, they started complaining to Moses and God. God was very angry, but Moses intervened so they would not be heavily punished. The Israelites wanted a visible God. They wanted a God who could speak directly to them. They planned to make a god that they would worship and who would hear their problems. They made a golden calf with the help of Aaron when Moses went up to Mount Sinai to talk to God. Moses came down from the mountain and found Israelites worshipping the golden calf (Perry, 2020). Moses was very angry and threw away the ten commandments God gave him. He destroyed the golden calf and melted it down. Moses made the Israelites not ready to worship God and drink the melted gold. God was very angry because they forgot who delivered them from slavery. He was so angry that he wanted to kill everyone and look for others to worship him. God punished them by making them wander in the wilderness. God ensured they used a longer route the more they disobeyed him.
God commanded snakes to bite the Israelites. God was angry with the Israelites because they were continuing to sin. It led to many deaths. God wanted to show them the true God, and he did not like sin. The Israelites came to ask Moses to intervene. God was loving, and his anger against the Israelites was cooled down. Moses was instructed to make a bronze snake, and whoever was bitten would see it and get healed. God decided that he would give them heavy punishment. God cut off communication between the Israelites and them.
The story of commitment and promises begins with Abraham. God tested Abraham’s faith in order for him to receive God’s promises (Wilson, 2021). Before he became a follower of Jesus, Abraham used to worship the moon. God convinced him to change his ways and worship Him. He was promised a new land, and his descendants will inherit it. Abraham was reluctant because He had no son to inherit the land, but later he believed in God. God rewarded Abraham with a son named Isaac. Later, God wanted to know if Abraham still had faith in Him. God instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham took his son to Mount Moriah to sacrifice him, but God provided a sheep, which provided that Abraham still had faith in him ( McComisskey, 2019). Abraham was promised that he would have many descendants, and he was also promised that he would die at a ripe age. God did not let the Israelites alone because God had promised them fertile land. Moses died before reaching Canaan, the promised land. God chose two leaders: Joshua and Caleb. God helped the Israelites to conquer the land and settle it. This indicates that the promises he told Moses and Abraham were fulfilled (Abraham,2022).
The Israelites settled in the promised land and started being ruled by judges. God appointed judges and gave them instructions on how to lead the Israelites. Israelites fought many wars and won. God loved them and gave them the strength to fight for their new land. The Israelites won many wars, making them very proud and forgetting that God was behind their victories. Israelites started living a sinful life and disobeying God. God punished them, but as soon as the Israelites repented, they were forgiven.
Israelites were very stubborn. They demanded kings because they wanted to be like other nations. God anointed their first king, Saul. Kings were very greedy and corrupt. They were very biased and chose what benefited them. King introduced slavery, and those were decisions among the Israelites. Friends who were close and loyal to the king were rich and famous, but those who did not have access to the king were very poor. God was angry with this kind of system and punished them. Israelites were seized by the Babylonians and sent into exile. God wanted to give them the suffering they had in Egypt, and he was the one who delivered them. Although they were returned to slavery, God sent prophets to give them hope and courage that He was still with them.
Reflecting on Exodus and Deuteronomy, we can see that God’s story is about redemption, deliverance, and covenantal faithfulness. On seeing the suffering of the Israelites, God sent Moses to liberate them from slavery and bring them through the red sea and into the wilderness. God provided Israelites with their needs, gave them a law to follow, and established a covenant with them along the road in the wilderness (McKaughan,2022). God promised to be their savior and help them in need as long as they followed his commandments. This story directly speaks to us because we, too, require redemption and liberation. Even though we are not enslaved in Egypt, our sins and consequences have enslaved us. We are aching and wrecked, and we require a savior to liberate us from the bondage of death and sins. As the Lord heard the cries of Israelites in Egypt, Moses was sent, and in our case, Jesus Christ was sent to liberate us from our cries and agony. Jesus has made us reconcile with God and receive forgiveness through his death and resurrection. We are now worth God’s mercy and the need we desperately need
The established covenant in Exodus and Deuteronomy reminds us that God desires a relationship with us. When we obey God’s commandments, we will experience his blessings and receive the fullness of life he offers. As Israelites, we are also tempted to rebel and disobey God’s commandments, leading to brokenness, separation from God, and pain. Nevertheless, God remains faithful to his promises and covenant even in disobedience. He continuously offers us his forgiveness and grace, calling us to return to him and repent our sins. We should have courage in this story of God’s faithfulness and be encouraged to live lives that imitate his love and loveliness toward others and honor him.
Abraham, J. O., Hempson, G. P., Faith, J. T., & Staver, A. C. (2022). Seasonal strategies differ between tropical and extratropical herbivores. Journal of Animal Ecology, 91(3), 681–692.
Bradshaw, J. M., Larsen, D. J., & Whitlock, S. T. (2020). Moses 1 and the Apocalypse of Abraham: Twin sons of different mothers? Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, pp. 38, 179–290.
Markl, D. (2020). Cultural Trauma and the Song of Moses (Deut 32). Old Testament Essays, 33(3), 674–689.
McComiskey, T. E. (2019). The covenants of promise: a theology of the Old Testament covenants. Wipf and Stock Publishers.
McKaughan, D. J., & Howard-Snyder, D. (2022). Theorizing about faith and faithfulness with Jonathan Kvanvig. Religious Studies, 58(3), 628–648.
Perry, C. (2020). Mastery, Power, and Competition: Jewish Slave Owners in Medieval Egypt. In Israel in Egypt: The Land of Egypt as Concept and Reality for Jews in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period (pp. 461–488). Brill.
Sutherland, D. (1983). The organization of the Abraham promise narratives.
Wilson, M. R. (2021). Our father Abraham: Jewish roots of the Christian faith. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.