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April 1 – Introduction to the book of Exodus

This month we reflect on Exodus 1 to Exodus 6:13. These introductory chapters of Exodus can fill our days well with lessons on the relevant truths of God’s covenant promises, God’s prominence, God’s prevalence, God’s power, God’s mercy and God’s justice.

The term “Exodus” literally means “the way out.” “Departure” describes “Exodus” well; Exodus reveals the departure of God’s people out of Egypt.

People often conclude that the Old Testament Scriptures have little relevance for the New Testament church. However, all Scripture speaks to God’s covenant dealings with His people. Believers in Christ today, as God’s covenant people, can find relevance in all the Scriptures as they point to Christ and the calling to respond in penitence, faith and gratitude to God in Jesus Christ.

Exodus is not just a remembrance of past events that carries no significance for the present. Exodus is very contemporary; it is a history lesson for upcoming generations, testifying to the God Whose covenant promises are “Yes” and “Amen” in Jesus Christ.

This is a month where we take special time to reflect on the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Exodus helps us remember those pillars of the Christian faith. Moses points to the Great Shepherd of the sheep, Jesus Christ, Who becomes the ultimate Passover Lamb so that God can truly be the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—the God of the living.

May you be edified by this devotional on Exodus—unto the praise of the covenant God of the living. 

God’s promises prevail throughout the generations

“Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly…” – Exodus 1:6-7a 

Scripture reading: Exodus 1:1-7

Exodus starts with the word “and,” which doesn’t show up in the English translation, but that little word expresses that the covenant plans of God are continuing to unfold. Exodus continues the covenant history of Genesis, deriving covenant-family history from Genesis.

Exodus is a history lesson for upcoming generations. What is gleaned from the history of redemption is addressed to the present and the future. History lessons are for the young and for others who can learn about the past of which they are not aware.

The first to read about this covenant history would have been those about to enter the promised land. Succeeding generations would also read this book, including our own—which reminds us that Scripture is not merely old or for the old. It speaks to those in the present, called to listen to and learn from the history of God’s covenant plans, ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. In this family history, we read that new generations arose to take over for the old. As they did, it was their calling to carry on in covenant with God. The God of new generations was not a new God. It was the same God as the God of their spiritual forefathers. The generations had changed, but God’s promises had not.

This history was not just to show that someone had a large family, it was to show that time does not prevail over God’s promises; God’s promises prevail over our times—ultimately in Christ. Good news!

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for His stable Word in unstable times and pray that many might come to appreciate that stability.

Rev. John Vermeer is the pastor of Doon United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.

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