God makes a good world and installs humans as its rulers. Humanity rebels and ends up ruling the world in a destructive way, leading to violence, death, and the founding of the city of Babylon. God’s response is to set in motion a plan to rescue and bless the whole world through the family of Abraham.
God makes a promise that He will bless all nations through Abraham’s family. But with aging husbands, impatient matriarchs, blessing-stealing children, and jealous siblings who keep mucking things up, how will God’s promise prevail?
The first part of Exodus recounts how Abraham’s family ends up enslaved in Egypt. God raises up a deliverer to confront the evil of Pharaoh and to liberate the Israelites. From Egypt they set out into the wilderness on the way to Mt. Sinai.
The Israelites come to Mt. Sinai, where God invites them into a covenant relationship. He wants to make them his representatives to all the nations and come to personally live in their midst. But Israel rebels by making an idol of the golden calf, which is just a really bad idea.
God invites Israel to live in close proximity to his holy presence. Which seems awesome, but it’s actually dangerous. This book explores how the sacrificial rituals and purity practices cleared the way for morally corrupt Israelites to become God’s covenant partners.
A road trip gone really bad. Israel leaves Mt. Sinai only to rebel against God at every step. God responds with short-term severity and long-term generosity as He leads them into the promised land.
Moses delivers his final words of warning and wisdom to the Israelites before they enter the promised land. This is the epic conclusion of the Torah! And, spoiler alert: Moses dies.