Dictionary.com has seven different terms for the word Redeem. #6 says, "to discharge or fulfill (a pledge, promise, etc.)." God's plan to redeem - fulfill a pledge, promise, etc. - is told over and over in the Old Testament. One such story of redeeming His people is the story of Moses. But before we get to talking about God's covenant with Moses and how he chose Moses to be a vessel in which to carry out His pledge/promise to his people we'd like to point out something about the past couple posts.
As Matt is taking us through God's covenants with people, he's also laying out a narrative too. We started with Adam & Eve - God's covenant with his creatures, then we moved to Abraham and how God called Abraham and will establish His people from the via Abraham's bloodline, and today we're talking about Moses and how God redeems His people through Moses. While there's a narrative trend established according to God's agreements, there is a lot of information between each of these critical covenants.
We encourage you to dive into the old testament and read through each of these covenants. Seek to find the bond between each of these critical points in the old testament. You will begin to see the old testament in a narrative form, and less of pages on pages of so and so is related to so and so and so on and so on. You will see the story of How God seeks to redeem His people!
Ok! Back to Moses and God's covenant to redeem His people. Let's take a look at who Moses is and why God chose Moses as the person to redeem His people.
Pay close attention to the tie-ins & symbolism:
Moses was born as a Hebrew in the land of Egypt. Moses was a descendent of Abraham, and therefore a part of the covenant nation of Israel (hint hint here is our covenant narrative at play). But, he was born in a time where the population of the Hebrew people was exploding (Exodus 1:7), and this was viewed as a threat to the Egyptian people where Moses and his countrymen were living as foreigners and slaves. The generations prior to Moses enjoyed good relations with Egypt, and the relationship was somewhat symbiotic. However, in the years before and after Moses’ birth, the Hebrew population became a threat to the prosperity and future of Egypt. As a result, the Pharaoh ordered the systematic execution of newborn males from Hebrew ancestry (Exodus 1:8-16).
The Bible tells us how Moses was spared as his mother hid him in a basket along the banks of the Nile River. The daughter of the Egyptian ruler intervened to save this tiny child and inadvertently placed Moses in the care of his own biological mother. Yet, the woman also cared for Moses as her own child and raised him with access to all the education, wealth, and power of the Pharaoh’s own family (Exodus 2:1-10). As such, Moses was a unique hybrid of a Hebrew and an Egyptian. This is just one way that Moses serves as a type and a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ, who would come to live among mankind as fully God and fully man (hint hint another narrative tie-in).
As Moses grew and learned through his own mistakes, God assigned him the unique role as being the spokesman for the nation of Israel. He returned to Egypt after a time away in the desert of Midian (see Exodus 2:11-22 Moses flees to Midian) with the assignment of approaching the throne of Egypt to demand the liberation of the Hebrew people. According to Scripture, the dialogue with the Egyptian leadership was not fruitful and, ultimately, God had to act supernaturally to assist Moses in completing his assigned mission (see Exodus 2:23 - Exodus 11).
Passover was the culmination of the activities leading up to the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt. On the night of the Passover, the Angel of the Lord (generally regarded as a Christophany, or an appearance of the pre-incarnate Messiah) passed over all the households in Egypt and supernaturally put to death the firstborn human in every family. Only those who had followed clear instructions to sacrifice a one-year-old lamb and paint their door frame with the animal's blood were spared (Exodus 12:1-32).
Hint hint here comes a symbolism:
The blood, through the Mosaic covenant, represents life. Without blood coursing through our veins, we would quickly die. As such, God says that without the giving of a life, there is no forgiveness of sins. The sacrifice of the Passover lamb from Moses’ day to Jesus’ arrival foreshadows God’s ultimate provision of Christ Jesus as the one, lasting satisfaction of God’s requirement for the sacrifice of a life to placate His very deserved wrath.
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will.’ He does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
So, what's does Moses, redeeming of people, and God all tie into each other? Matt sums this up nicely:
God used Moses as an instrument in His story of redemption, bringing His people out of captivity in Egypt. After the Passover, God had His people spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness of the Sinai Peninsula. This time was used, through Moses, to deliver the Law to His people. This Law, consisting of the Ten Commandments, and 613 regulations, was the basis of God’s conditional agreement with His people. If the people would honor God and follow His rules, they would be given a promised land, that had been guaranteed to Abraham. But from the beginning, God knew His people would be incapable of living up to the conditions placed on them via this Law. In fact, that was part of God’s plan in sending a Savior to His people. Their inability to honor God and obey the Law gave God the right to file for divorce, breach of contract, and withdraw Himself from the relationship with mankind. The Apostle Paul states that the Law shows us God’s grace, forgiving us for our many ways that we break the contract that God, through Moses, asked His people to hold up.
Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
For this reason, the Law proves the need for a Savior, a really good lawyer to negotiate new contract terms. That new contract, or the New Covenant, we negotiated by Jesus the Christ.
I John 2:1-2
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
We present this information not to overload you, but in hopes that you will start to see the narrative that God lays out through the creation of Man, calling of people, redeeming of people, and starting next week establishing of people. We hope you'll start to view the old testament less of a collection of books with long passages of lineage, odd stories, and loads and loads of rules and more about God showing us OUR NEED for a Savior. How we as humans are imperfect and even when given rules by which to live to achieve living in His presence we can't accomplish that thus the reason we so desperately needed a Savior. God's only son who would be the ultimate sacrifice paying the price for our sins and therefore setting in place a person to speak for us on our behalf and restore our relationship with God.
Take time this week to read the book of Exodus. If you get lost, hop over to The Bible Project YouTube page and check out their videos on Exodus. These videos will help you understand all that you're reading.
Before we wrap up Covenant Theology next week, we hope your view on this term has gone from "oh no they said the word "Theology and Covenant" I'm out!" to a better understanding of the importance and amazing love/grace that God has for us! Don't get caught up on the term... dive deeper and it will reveal a better understanding than our perceived notion.
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!