13. Faithfulness to the Faithless

Metanarrative - Post Header


The closing of Joshua created a strong tension between what Israel had been promised and their current situation. It forced the questions, “how long will Israel remain faithful to Yahweh?” and “how long will they maintain possession of the land?” This was compounded by the existence of various remnants of the nations whom they conquered among them and left open the possibility of disinheritance (Joshua 23:12-13). Judges will answer these questions as we see the relationship between Israel and these nations play itself out over the course of four-hundred years.

I. Judges

A. Judges in Context

While the events recorded in the book of Judges immediately follow the conquest of the land recorded in Joshua it was not written down, by Samuel, until around four-hundred years later, sometime during the beginning of Saul’s reign. This is significant because Israel was not longer comprised of people who had witnessed the mighty working of God to bring them out of Egypt or to conqueror the Promised Land. They had received these as stories and traditions. Rather than witnesses of God’s great saving acts this generation witnessed Israel’s apostasy and God’s subsequent judgment. This is the context in which the book of Judges was written and it served as both a warning and a reminder of how they arrived at their current situation.

B. The Narrative of Judges

Will someone read Judges 2:1-5? In what way did Israel fail to obey the Lord and what is His response to them?

Despite His promised protection Israel failed to drive out all the inhabitants of the land that He was giving to them. Because of this He is not going to drive them out; rather he is allowing them to stay so that their deities will ensnare Israel.

Will someone read Judges 2:6-15? What is significant about this new generation and what does this tell us about the past generation?

This new generation does not know the LORD or His mighty acts on Israel’s behalf. After the giving of the Ten Commandments Israel is exhorted to teach these commands to their children so that they and generations to come might not forget the mighty works of the LORD after they enter the Promised land (Deuteronomy 6; 11). The new generation does not know the LORD because of the previous generations failure to instruct them and their failure to drive out the inhabitants of the land.

We have talked about how God’s presence is often equated to God’s protection in what way is 11-15 related to God’s presence and when did the LORD warn them of this?

This is the negative aspect of God’s presence. Positively God’s presence means His protection but negatively His presence necessitates His judgment of sin. God has warned them of the dangers of disobedience throughout the Scripture that has been recorded at this point in history but no clearer is this seen than in the lists of covenant blessings and curses (cf. Deuteronomy 4-26).

Will someone read Judges 2:16-23? This section serves to summarize the cyclical pattern which is presented in the book of Judges. What is this pattern and what does it teach us about God and His covenant?

The pattern presented in Judges is that of apostasy, false repentance, temporary salvation, and then continued apostasy. Their repentance is false because it is based upon their physical situation (2:18) and not upon their relationship with Yahweh. This teaches us that God is faithful to His covenant. He has not destroyed them because he has made an everlasting covenant with them; He will make Israel a great nation and a blessing to the nations. However, we see that while God will keep His covenant to Israel the people can forfeit their participation in the covenant blessings to a future generation. Furthermore, we see God’s fatherly concern for Israel’s wellbeing as He disciplines His people in hopes of their repentance and return to Him.

Judges 21:25 (cf. 17:6) is in many ways a summation of the entire period of the judges but in an important way it also serves as an argument for what is to come. Would someone read this verse for us? As Judges was written during the beginning of Saul’s reign what argument is this verse making?

It is arguing for the importance and necessity of the monarchy. Everyone did as they saw fit because there was no king. This both reminds Israel of their failures in the conquest, the profound grace of God amidst their apostasy, and the necessity of divinely appointed leadership.

II. Ruth

A. Ruth in Context

The book of Ruth come to us sometime before or during David’s reign and it records events that began during the time of the Judges to the birth of David. While it was written in a similar context to that of Judges is serves two far different function. First, is serves as a rebuke as we see Yahweh working among Gentiles and their faithfulness to Him during a period marked by the apostasy of Israel. Second, it serves as a reminder of God’s covenant faithfulness to fulfill His promises (Genesis 49:8-12).

B. The Narrative of Ruth

Will someone read Ruth 1:1-7?

Naomi then pleads with her two daughter-in-laws asking them to return to their mother’s house and marry. Orpah returns to her people but Ruth stays with Naomi, which is where we will pick up in 1:15-18.
While her character is praised later in the book by Boaz (3:11) here we see a profound statement of her loyalty to both Naomi and to Yahweh. This is a harsh rebuke to Israel that in the midst of their apostasy a
Will someone read that for us? This verse is often read at weddings, and it is a profound statement if loyalty, but what is really said here?

Gentile would chose to commit herself to the people of Israel and their God. Furthermore, it is a reminder that God will bless the nations through the seed of Abraham even in spite of their faithlessness.

Ruth then encounters “a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz” (2:1). This relationship introduces the reoccurring theme of a kinsman-redeemer who “could redeem (1) a family member sold into slavery (Lev. 25:47-49), (2) land which needed to be sold under economic hardship (Lev. 25:23-28), and /or (3) the family name by virtue of a levirate marriage (Deut. 25:5-10).”[64] This theme points Israel back to Yahweh as the redeemer of Israel in Egypt. Boaz redeems Ruth, they marry, and have a son named Obed. Obed is the fathers Jesse, who fathers David the king of Israel.

III. Judges and Ruth as Eschatology

Through Israel’s cycle of rebellion in Judges we are constantly confronted with the need for a king in Israel. Amidst the rebellion God’s faithfulness to His people and refusal to destroy them stands as a tremendous testimony to His commitment to fulfill His promises a commitment which is clearly seen in the book of Ruth. Despite Israel’s failure to be a blessing to the nations we see God calling the nations to Himself in the person of Ruth. Furthermore, it is through this gentile that David is born and we will see the significance of this event in I and II Samuel.


What do these two books teach us about Yahweh and His covenant?

[64]John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2005), 293.

12. The God Who Obtains Israel’s Inheritance

Metanarrative - Post Header


Deuteronomy left us in a state of tension as it records Moses final words to Israel exhorting them to remain faithful to Yahweh as He fulfills His promises to them. This is a tension that remains throughout the book of Joshua as we see God’s people struggle to remain faithful even amidst God’s mighty acts to obtain and secure an inheritance, a permanent dwelling place, for His people.

I. The Conquest in Context

The book of Joshua was written by Joshua during the time of the conquest and it emphasizes the unity of Israel. We saw before how the creation and fall narratives emphasize our solidarity with Adam and the whole of humanity. The narratives of the patriarchs explained the origin of Israel as descendants of Abraham and recipients of the Abrahamic Covenant. Then we learned how Deuteronomy gives unity to this covenant structure by extending the promises to this new generation. The writing of Joshua then expresses this solidarity as it applies to the twelve tribes of Israel. During the exodus and wondering in the desert they existed in close proximity to one another; however, now as they move to enter the land they will be spread over great distances, depending upon their portion. Despite this geographical divide the book of Joshua reminds them of their common “history, traditions, and divinely revealed law, which bound them together, as it were, by a divine constitution.”[60]

II. The Narrative of the Conquest

Like Deuteronomy we do not have sufficient time to work through the book of Joshua with great detail. The outline below will allow us to briefly overview the narrative of Joshua while introducing us to several important themes that we need to study in detail.

  • Joshua is Commissioned by the Lord and Assumes Leadership (1)
  • Scouting the Land (2)
  • Entering the Land (3-5)
  • Conquering the Land (6-12)
  • Dividing the land (13-22)
  • Joshua’s Final Exhortations and Death (23-24)

III. Important Themes in Joshua

A. Yahweh’s Provision

If there is one thing that the book of Joshua makes clear for us it is that the Lord graciously acts on behalf of His people to secure the fulfillment of His promises to them. Israel is not responsible for conquering the land Yahweh is. Yahweh’s words to Joshua in 1:1-9 make this point expressly clear.

Would someone read that passage for us? What is the source of Joshua’s and Israel’s confidence?

Their confidence is in the presence of the Lord because God’s presence means His protection as well. Even more so when the spies encounter Rahab we see that the LORD’s reputation precedes Him.

Will someone read Joshua 2:1-16? What is the source of the nations’ fear? Are they afraid of Israel or her God? What name does Rahab call Israel’s God? Why is this significant?

The nations fear the God of Israel because His reputation as a warrior has preceded them. Furthermore, they are afraid because they know that He has given this land as an inheritance to Israel. Rahab does not refer ambiguously to Israel’s God; no she calls Him Yahweh. This is the name of the God who deliver’s Israel from slavery in Egypt and this God will deliver Rahab and her family as well.

B. Yahweh’s Holiness

The most difficult aspect of Joshua for us to cope with is the command that certain cities be completely destroyed.

Will someone please read Joshua 6 for us? What is your immediate reaction to that? How would you respond if the president announced that this would be our new policy for cities housing terrorists?

This is a very difficult question to answer and I want to look at it from several different perspectives. First, I want us to see it through the perspective of Israel’s sacrificial system. Second, I want us to see it from a redemptive-historical perspective. Finally, I want us to see it against the backdrop of God’s longsuffering, pertaining both to Israel and to these particular nations.

First, within the sacrificial system we see that this,

“was just the opposite of a voluntary whole-burnt offering in which the offerer willingly gave up the entire animal in an act of total submission (Lev 1; cf. Ro 12:1-2). Here, after much divine longsuffering and waiting, God called for everything that belonged to him in the first place ― life, possessions, valuables ― as an involuntary whole-burnt offering.”[61]

From the perspective of Israel they experienced this reality, although vicariously, as a continual aspect of life and fellowship with God. This is a profound reminder of God’s grace towards Israel because He is not partial in the administration of His judgment.

Would someone read Deuteronomy 12:29-31? What is the motivation behind this destruction?

Would someone read Deuteronomy 13:12-18? Is God’s promised response to an idolatrous Israel any different than His response to the Idolatry of the nations? Why then is this a reminder of Yahweh’s grace towards Israel [Think back to the golden calf (Exodus 32) or Kadesh Barnea (Numbers 13-14)]?

Second, when understood redemptive-historically we see the solidarity of humanity in judgment and the solidarity of renewed humanity in grace. Speaking specifically of Achan’s sin (Joshua 7) Goldsworthy explains,

“We see the principal of corporateness that operates in Scripture. The one represents the many because of the corporate solidarity or oneness of that group. Thus the whole human race sinned in Adam. . . . In Abraham the whole nation was chosen. Through the ministrations of one priest all the people are reconciled to God. And so it will develop until the ideas of representation and substitution become fixed in the concept of salvation. Now the leader, Joshua (whose name means “Jehovah is salvation”), mediates the saving and judging acts of God.”[62]

This concept of solidarity was first introduced to us in Genesis 3:15. Here we observed that while humanity is unified with Adam in rebellion and subsequently the curse. The hope of this verse is that while we all are under the curse and deserve judgment there is a second solidarity, not with fallen Adam but with the victorious head-crushing offspring of Eve. We see this reality played out both in Israel’s own struggle with unbelief and its struggles with the unbelieving nations.

Finally, this event paints a profound picture of the longsuffering and unfathomable grace of God. Turning back to Genesis 15:16 we read, “And they [Israel] shall come back here [the land] in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Now some 600 years later Joshua is leading Israel to take possession of the land that the Lord is giving them. Looking back to Deuteronomy 12:31 we see that the inhabitants of the land practiced human sacrifice to their god’s. In light of Yahweh’s command to totally destroy certain cities his patient endurance of their sin paints a profound picture of His grace and we see the fruit of that grace in the deliverance of Rahab and her family.

IV. The Conquest as Eschatology

“The stage is set for Israel to live as a light to the nations. God’s response to mutiny in his good creation has been to elect one man, Abraham, and then to recover part of the earth and to place Abraham’s descendants there. Israel in the land is meant to be a taste of what God intends for the whole of his creation.”[63]

And indeed the repentance and deliverance of Rahab and her family is a foretaste of how God will bless the nations through Abraham. Yahweh had fulfilled His promises to Israel. As Joshua 21:43-45 records:

“Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”

And yet the concluding chapters of Joshua end on a solemn note similar to that of Deuteronomy. Israel has conquered the land and it has been apportioned to the twelve tribes of Israel. But with Joshua’s closing exhortation one is forced to ask how long will Israel remain faithful to Yahweh? How long will they maintain possession of the land? This points us to the tension between the already and the not yet found throughout the rest of Scripture. They have already been delivered from slavery, they are already free to worship God as God’s people, in God’s place, and under God’s rule; but they land is not yet permanently and fully theirs. There remains among them remnants of the nations whom they conquered and disinheritance looms ever on the horizon (Joshua 23:12-13).

With this tension between the already and the not yet we are forced to conclude that this situation points us forward to a greater fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant. This points us to when God’s people, in God’s place, and under God’s rule may worship Him freely forever without the threat of disinheritance.


In what way does the possession of the land and the already/not yet tension expand your understanding of the church? What principles learned from Israel’s situation remain applicable today?

[60]VanGemeren, The Progress of Redemption, 166.
[61]Walter C. Kaiser Jr., The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 102.
[62]Goldsworthy, According to Plan, 158.
[63]Bartholomew and Goheen, The Drama of Scripture, 83.

11. A Solemn Reminder

Metanarrative - Post Header


Throughout our study we have continually seen God demonstrate His faithfulness to His covenants and His gracious disposition towards humanity and His creation. In the garden He spoke the redemptive promise Adam and Eve. When humanity’s sin was too much to bear God spared Noah and his family. When God scattered the nations at Babel He also graciously called Abram from among the nations to bless the nations. The descendants of Abraham grew to become the twelve tribes of Israel and seeking refuge from famine they settled in Egypt under the care of Joseph. Then, however, “a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph” (Exodus 1:8) and Israel was enslaved there for four hundred years. God, remaining faithful to His covenant, delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and yet they were dissatisfied and often longed to return to slavery than continue to rely upon the provision of their God. The situation climaxed at Kadesh Barnea when Moses sent spies into the land of Canaan and the people of Israel rebelled because they feared the inhabitants of the land (Numbers 13-14).

I. Deuteronomy in Context

Deuteronomy begins forty years after the rebellion at Kadesh Barnea. During those forty years the entirety of that rebellious generation except Moses, Caleb, and Joshua perished in the wilderness. “A wholistic reading of Deuteronomy presents us with a series of speeches in which Moses presents Israel about to enter the Promised Land with the continuity of covenant and promises, graciously extended by the Lord to the new generation, and urges them to respond to Yahweh in faith and obedience for the sake of the future generations.”[59]

II. Deuteronomy in Outline

  • Remembering Israel’s Rebellion and Subsequent Judgment (1-3)
  • Covenant Obligations, Blessings, and Curses (4-26)
  • A Command to Respond (27-30)
  • Joshua Commissioned to Lead Israel (31)
  • The Song of Moses (32)
  • Moses’ Blessing upon Israel and Death (33-34)

III. The Message of Deuteronomy

What is Deuteronomy teaching us? What is it’s central thrust and message?

Deuteronomy demonstrates God’s unwavering faithfulness to His promises in spite of rebellion and subsequent judgment God’s purposes stand and He will bring about their fulfillment.

IV. Deuteronomy as Eschatology

Unlike the Adamic, Noaic, and Abrahamic Covenants this covenant and the Mosaic are conditional. There are blessings and curses attached to them that depend upon Israel’s obedience or disobedience. Yes, God will fulfill His promises to Adam, Noah, and Abraham but as we saw with the generation that perished in the dessert this generation may or may not enjoy the blessing of covenant fulfillment. Deuteronomy 28:62-63 presents this generation with this staggering reality. Will the land be theirs? Will they enjoy God’s presence and protection? Will they continue to increase? Or will they forsake their God and leave these blessings for future fulfillment?


How is the central thrust and message of Deuteronomy an encouragement to us?

[59]VanGemeren, The Progress of Redemption, 140.

9. Israel’s Covenant Deliverer

Metanarrative - Post Header


The narrative of Genesis led from creation, through the fall, to several demonstrations of God’s grace which both define Him as a Redeemer and shape our understanding of redemption. Yet every experience of God’s grace leaves the recipients of the promise looking forward in anticipation of its fulfillment. And so Genesis comes to a close with the dying Joseph confidently encouraging his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob” (Genesis 50:24). Even so the promises to Abraham of a great nation in the Promised Land who both receives and is a blessing to the nations seems quite distant as Exodus begins with the coming to power of a new Pharaoh who exploits and oppresses Israel. This was never meant to call into question God’s fidelity rather Moses writes Exodus and Leviticus at Sinai (Exodus 24;4, 7; Leviticus 27:34) to reinforce the identity of God and their identity as His people.

I. The Narrative of Exodus

A. Outline of Exodus

While there are many twists and turns along the way the narrative of Exodus may be understood in three distinct movements.

I. The Exodus from Egypt and Journey to Sinai (1-18)
II. The Mosaic Covenant (19-24)
III. The Tabernacle (25-40)

B. The Exodus from Egypt and Journey to Sinai (1-18)

This study will focus mainly on the Mosaic Covenant and only briefly touch on the Exodus and the Tabernacle. There are two primary reasons for this. First, in the Mosaic Covenant God reveals His intent in redeeming Israel and secondly, this intent then naturally flows into the creation of the tabernacle. There are several important biblical-theological themes in the Exodus that will be picked up on in our study through The New Testament; however, other than the Passover those will not be addressed for sake of brevity.

This narrative is rich with language from creation and the promise to Abraham. Israel has grown in number they are being fruitful and multiplying both in response to the creation mandate and in fulfillment of the covenant with Abraham. As Pharaoh’s fear of the Hebrews grew he oppressed and afflicted them and when they continued to multiply he decrees that all the male children be killed. This is an assault upon the promised seed of the Abrahamic Covenant and echoes the struggle between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.[59] The plagues bring this conflict into focus culminating in the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn. “The firstborn son of the Pharaoh was destined to rule but instead it is the firstborn son of Yahweh who will have dominion.”[60] After the plagues and the death of his firstborn Pharaoh concedes and urges the people of Israel to leave; however, God further hardens Pharaoh’s heart and he gathers his army in pursuit. The best place to begin for a summary of these events is the Song of Moses (15:1-21).

Will someone read the Song of Moses for us? How does this song describe God? What is Israel’s relationship to Him? How does this paint a picture of redemption?

J. Richard Middleton notes the importance of these events in the shaping of Israel’s worldview,

Beneath the Old Testament’s use of explicit salvation language lies a coherent worldview in which the exodus from Egyptian bondage, followed by entry into the promised land, forms the most important paradigm or model. . .

The complex of events of the exodus was so central in Israel’s experience and memory that it decisively shaped much of the Old Testament, becoming the lens through which salvation in understood.[61]

These events are paradigmatic and exert tremendous influence upon our understanding of redemption. Indeed as we will see later it does much to expound upon God’s intentions in His promise to Abraham and His unflinching commitment to His intent in creation as well.

God had decisively triumphed over their enemies and liberated them from their oppressors Israel had been set free. “God’s purpose, however, was not simply to deliver Israel from Pharaoh’s yoke. It was to bring them under His yoke. God demanded that Pharaoh let the people go that they might serve Him.”[62] As Arthur F. Glasser explains,

The Hebrews were now free to worship their God in a spontaneous, joyous, and caring fashion because of their unbelievable sense of having been redeemed by him from Egypt. They now belonged uniquely to God and God alone. And the Passover feast provided them with a divinely authenticated way to celebrate the beginning of their national existence in the years that followed.[63]

Israel’s redemption is holistic it touches every aspect of reality this is clear both in the immediate narrative and the covenant itself,

The texts portray at least four dimensions of the bondage that Israel suffered in Egypt – political, economic, social, and spiritual – and goes on to show how God redeemed them in every one of these dimensions.[64]

And God’s intent here will be reinforced later within the Mosaic Covenant itself.

C. The Mosaic Covenant (19-24)

Will someone please read the beginning of the Mosaic Covenant in Exodus 19:3-6?

William J. Dumbrell emphatically states the importance of correctly understanding the Mosaic Covenant explaining that,

A correct understanding o f these verses which summon Israel, as a result of Sinai, to its vocation, is vital. T he history of Israel from this point on is in reality merely a commentary upon the degree of fidelity with which Israel adhered to this Sinai-given vocation.[65]

Prior to examining the covenant’s content the first possible misstep would be to assume the covenant’s conditionality based upon the requirement of Israel’s obedience (Exodus 19:5).

It is true that the Mosaic Covenant was the most conditional of all the biblical covenants. Of all the covenants, it dealt specifically with how the people of God should live. The fulfillment of the promises and blessings of any of the covenants for any particular individual or generation was dependent upon their obedience to God’s revelation. Disobedience annulled the blessings of God for that individual or generation in his/her/its own time, but disobedience did not invalidate the unconditional terms of the covenant.[66]

This, the unconditional nature of the covenant, will become increasingly clear as we move through Deuteronomy and see the overarching eschatological and covenantal thrust of the entire Pentateuch.

From your knowledge of the Old Testament what might it mean for Israel to be a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation?

Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum explain that the literary structure of this verse points to “a treasured possession” and “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” as being two sides of the same coin. “In other words, both statements are saying the same thing, but each does it in a different way and looks at the topic from a different perspective.”[67]

After a lengthy discussion of the terms they summarize the purpose of the covenant as follows:

Although the language is different from that of Genesis 1:26-28 and Genesis 12:1-3, we can clearly see that the covenant at Sinai achieves and administers in the Iron Age, through the nation as a whole, the purposes of the promises given to Abraham. God is establishing his kingdom through covenant. The covenant entails relationship with God on the one hand and relationship with the world on the other hand. Israel will model to the world what it means to have relationship with God, what it means to treat each other in a genuinely human way, and what it means to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. As priests, they will mediate the blessings of God to the world and will be used to bring the rest of the world to know God.[68]

Just as God’s redemption of Israel was holistic so too are His covenantal purposes. The covenant stipulations that follow in Exodus 19-24 with the giving of the Ten Commandments and the case law, or judicial precedents, expound upon Israel’s responsibility in light of God’s covenantal intent. J. Richard Middleton is particularly helpful in linking these two together,

. . . obedience completes the salvation begun in the exodus. . . Deliverance from bondage must now be matched by conformity to the creator’s will, which will require substantial changes in the way of life of God’s people. Salvation thus cannot be limited to deliverance from external circumstances; it must include what we might call ‘sanctification.’ The Torah given at Sinai constitutes God’s instructions for holy living, meant to direct the life of the redeemed community toward justice and righteousness, that they might be restored to flourishing.[69]

Or simply stated the covenant stipulations are “the foundation of true justice and the basis of what it means to be a son or daughter of God, an Adamic figure, i.e. truly and genuinely human.”[70]

The covenant is then ratified as they offer burnt offerings and peace offerings and Moses takes the blood of those offerings and throws half upon the altar and half upon the people of Israel and in a ceremony most similar to that of a wedding Israel is united by blood in covenant with God.[71]

D. The Tabernacle (25-40)

Building upon the these themes of Israel’s freedom to worship God, the restoration of true humanity and true human flourishing and wedding together of God and humanity in restored relationship Stephen G. Dempster explains, “the goal of the Exodus is thus the building of the Edenic sanctuary so that the Lord can dwell with his people, just as he once was Yahweh Elohim to the first human beings.”[72]

The tabernacle parallels the Garden and the Cosmos; indeed it represents a new creation a new Eden where man may dwell with God. The structure of the garden, is found in the structure of Israel at Sinai, and in the tabernacle itself pointing to God’s purposes for their relationship with the surrounding world. This as we will see here, and in Leviticus, is an ever present reminder of the intent of God’s covenants with Adam, with Abraham, and the Mosaic covenant. Below is a chart which illustrates these parallels.

Tabernacle Chart

Linking this structure to creation Gentry and Wellum conclude, “just as Adam was to fulfill his mandate by devoting himself to worship as a priest in the garden sanctuary, so Israel as a new Adam is to fulfill her mandate by devoting herself to worship as a priest in the tabernacle.”[73]

The Passover serves as a continual reminder of God’s redemption and the service in the tabernacle as a continual reminder of God’s mission for His image bearers to subdue the earth and fill it with His glory. They are to be both blessed and a blessing a picture of a renewed humanity living in the new creation in restored relationship with God.

The people have been redeemed from their bondage in Egypt, wed in covenant to their Lord, and have received instruction for the creation of the tabernacle where the people can meet with God. How does Israel respond? What happens in Exodus 32?

Looking at 32:12 what promises does Moses plead as he intercedes on behalf of Israel?

From this point Moses continues to intercede for Israel and is so bold as to ask Yahweh to see His glory. The text focuses less on what Moses sees and rather on what he hears. Would you read Exodus 34:5-7? What kind of God is Yahweh?

After further instruction the tabernacle is erected and the glory of the Lord fills the tabernacle that His people may dwell in His midst.

II. Exodus as Eschatology

“Later when the psalmists sing of God as Redeemer, they make the Exodus their theme. And when the prophets speak of a new covenant beyond the covenant of Sinai, they expect God to act in an even greater way for the redemption of human-kind and yet to be consistent with his actions at the Exodus (Jer. 31:31-34). It is for this reason that God’s deliverance during the Exodus, Israel’s wandering in the wilderness, and the conquest of the Promised Land are as significant for the New Testament as for the Old. It is in the New Testament that ‘One greater than Moses’ makes possible a liberating and redemptive Exodus, one which leads to a more lasting inheritance (Deut. 18:15-19).”[74]


Where in the Exodus did you see parallels between and hints towards the fulfillment of the covenants to Adam, Noah, and Abraham? How do you see Israel’s mission shaped and informed by that Mosaic covenant?

[59]Stephen G. Dempster, Dominion and Dynasty: A Theology of the Hebrew Bible, New Studies in Biblical Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 93-94.
[60]Ibid., 99.
[61]J. Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014), 79-80.
[62]Edmund P. Clowney, The Unfolding Mystery: Discovering Christ in the Old Testament (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1988), 97.
[63]Arthur F. Glasser, Announcing the Kingdom: The Story of God’s Mission in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003), 76.
[64]Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission, Biblical Theology for Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 99.
[65]William J. Dumbrell, Covenant and Creation: A Theology of the Old Testament Covenants (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBook House, 1984), 80.
[66]William D. Barrick, “The Mosaic Covenant,” in The Master’s Seminary Journal 10 (1999): 223.
[67]Peter J. Gentry and Stephen J. Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012), 316
[68]Ibid., 326.
[69]Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth, 87-88.
[70]Gentry and Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant, 356.
[71]Gentry and Wellum, Kingdom through Covenant, 349-354.
[72]Dempster, Dominion and Dynasty, 100.
[73]Gentry and Wellum, Kingdom Through Covenant, 322.
[74]Glasser, Announcing the Kingdom, 75.