Exodus Question 1

In Exodus, when Moses leads the Israelites out of Egypt, God displays himself several ways to Israel. His actions are very specific. God acts as “a strong east wind all night long and turned the sea into dry ground” (Exodus 14:21) in order to provide a pass of escape to Israel, while, through Moses, literally opens up the flood gates on the Egyptians. God also sets the plagues on the Egyptian people in order to convince Pharaoh to release Israel from their chains. This demonstrates the duality of God. God is kind and loving to all those who follow him, but will strike down harshly upon all those who disobey or hurt God’s people, even Israel. When speaking to Moses God tells him to warn the people to not touch the mountain or to try to see God. God says, “ For I , the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their ancestors’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but showing love down to the thousandth generation for those who love me and keep my commandments” (20:5-6). This, again showing God’s compassionate, and strict natures.
God reveals Godself several times throughout these readings. However, most of these times are not anthropomorphic, unless speaking to Moses. He appears as a cloud and flame to lad Israel, along with a luminescent storm cloud to protect them from the Egyptians. Later on the mountain he speaks to Moses through a raging storm of thunder and heat. This goes along with Rausch’s idea that God must be experienced. They cannot see God, when he appears on the mountain or even when he speaks to Moses as the burning bush. Israel experiences God’s power through the storm, the separating of the seas, and the plagues. It is only after they experience God and escape Egypt that they believe in God and follow his will.
Israel’s story remains important for people in slavery today because it demonstrates that despite whatever obstacles you may face, as long as you have faith in God he will protect you and ultimately take you to freedom.

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5 thoughts on “Exodus Question 1

  1. I really like the idea that you bring up about the duality of God. I saw similar characteristics but how you explained the concept that Exodus depicts God as loving and merciful for those who follow his command but has low tolerance for those who break them is very clear. The phrase “God must be experienced” is also really powerful and conveys your point well.

  2. You did a nice job specifically pointing out instances from the Bible where God reveals himself to the Israelites and then relating these occurrences to the overall characteristics of God as revealed to Israel. I also liked how in the end you highlighted that the main reason for Israel’s successful movement from slavery to freedom was the people’s steadfast faith in God.

  3. Good attention to various revelations of God in Exodus and what they communicate to the Israelites. The E source and the P source of the Torah seem to predominate here, displaying a God who is transcendent and calls his followers to worship him and him alone–in contrast to the more anthropomorphic style of the J source.

  4. Pingback: Blog #2 Highlights | Foundations of Theology

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