The God of the Story

Exodus: The Presence of the Savior  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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5 books of a series
mad libs printed)
I’m convinced there are two types of people in the world (different than the two types from last week): Those who like creative writing during their time at school and those who would rather eat the paper than write creative stories on the paper - the latter was me
While I hate trying to create a story, I really do like hearing or reading a good story
The Count of Monte Cristo
To Kill a Mockingbird
But the greatest of all stories are those which affect us personally.
The love story of me and my girl
The story of how each of our kids entered into our family
The time I shot a gun and it hit me in the head and split me wide open while we were in the middle of the woods no where near a hospital.
Some of those stories are so fantastical we need to objectively verify the story by adding “True story, bro!”
This is why we are turning to the book of Exodus.
it is the second greatest story of deliverance the world has ever heard
It’s a story that redefined a people, reshaped a landscape, and revealed a God — THE God.
It is a story that personally affected the Jewish people for generations - so much so that they ordered the rhythm of their lives around it’s remembrance.
It’s a story that cast a shadow not only backward but forward about 1500 years until the shadow was dispelled by the light of Christ who retraced the story with bolder lines as he redefined a new people, reshaped a new Kingdom, and revealed God — The Son of God.
This fulfillment through Christ is the greatest story of deliverance ever told, and reorders the rhythm of the lives of his followers, thereby personally affecting you and me.
That’s the introduction.
Before we jump in:
Exodus is book 2 of a 5 (6?)- book series known as the Pentateuch
The Pentateuch - this five-book series- is the foundational writings for the Jewish faith, and by extension, the Christian faith.
Also known as the Torah, which means, the Law as it is in this section of the OT that we find the Law of Moses or the Law of God given to Moses.
The Torah, along with two other collections of writings, form the Jewish OT, or the TaNaK - The Torah, The Katuvim, The Naavarim
Here is why this is important - The story of the Exodus is not a story that can be separated from what came before and what comes after
Hebrews 8:5–13 (ESV)
5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent , he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
As we go through our study in Exodus, we will see how Jesus is, as the author of Hebrews describes, the greater Moses. You will see, and we will point out the whispers of Jesus that we find all throughout the story of Exodus.
Genesis 1:1 (ESV)
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
The book opens with God.
God is the Author of the story

This is HIStory

Four moves of the story:
We are in the third move and scripture is clear that this is God’s story that will be completed.
You are a part of God‘s story - not the other way around.
It is less so that God is a part of your story, and more so that you are a part of his. This is good news because it means that, though the pages look blank from your perspective, the author already has the end in mind.
You are a part of God’s story. This is good news because those are the pages ahead of you may look blank. The author already has the end in mind.
ILLUST - Kind of like MadLibs - we add pieces to the story and God directs it
Genesis 1:26–27 (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

The Author wrote you into His story because He chose you.

God didn’t need to write us into his story but chose to in order to display his glory through sharing his love.
Beyond generally, each of us are written into God’s story.
Eph 1 - God chose you before the foundation of the world
Ephesians 1:3–4 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
What if I don’t think God wants to write me into his story - you’re hearing it now, aren’t you?
ILLUST - having a part in a famous movie or meeting a famous person or being invited into a relationship with a famous person
Genesis 1:27–28 (ESV)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Genesis 3:6 (ESV)
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Genesis 3:15 (ESV)
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
- first hint that God has a plan for the rest of the story
As the people increase, so does the evil.
Genesis 6 we see God rescuing his people
Genesis 6:6–9 (ESV)
6 And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 These are the generations (toledot) of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
Genesis 6:17–18 (ESV)
17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.

No matter how dark the story, God has a plan of rescue.

God has a plan for his people to rescue his people. (not in notes)
Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV)
1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 15:1 (ESV)
1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
Genesis 15:6 (ESV)
6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
“But he said, ‘O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?’”
Genesis 15:13–14 (ESV)
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

God’s covenant binds His story together.

Covenant is the spine which binds the pages of the story together The covenant is why we can claim the promises of God
ILLUST - book - spine holds the pages, contains a story, is unique, has an author
Genesis 15:17–18 (ESV)
17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,

God’s story works through ordinary people.

Gen 16 - Abraham heard God’s promise and believed God and his covenant, but was still persuaded to help God write the story by taking Sarah’s servant as his concubine.
Genesis 17:21 (ESV)
21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”
Isaac - son of promise
Notice the son of promise (only way the story could continue with God’s promise) comes after God makes the promise and Abram is very old.
*God’s promises are true even when we cannot see how they could be possible
Gen 21:1 - Isaac is born
Genesis 21:1 (ESV)
1 The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.
Isaac marries Rebekah
Gen 25 - birth of Esau and Jacob
God promises to Isaac the same promise he gave Abraham
Genesis 26:3–5 (ESV)
3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. 4 I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
- Gen 27 - Isaac blesses Jacob (the younger)
Jacob’s dream
Genesis 28:12–16 (ESV)
12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”
Gen 29 - Jacob marries Leah and Rachel
Gen 35 - God renames Jacob to Israel and reminds him of the covenant
Genesis 35:9–15 (ESV)
9 God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
Jacob (Israel) had 12 sons:
From Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun.
From Rachel: Joseph, Benjamin
Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan, Naphtali
Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad, Asher
These form the twelve tribes of Israel.
Gen 37 - Joseph sold by his brothers to slave traders who take him to . . . Egypt.
Gen 39-50 - story focuses on Joseph - falsely accused and later forgotten but time and again we read this phrase, “The LORD was with Joseph. And whatever he did, the LORD make it succeed.”
Again, though the story was dark, Joseph allowed the Author to write his story and through God’s help, Joseph rises to power in Egypt just at the time a widespread famine hits the land.
The famine is severe in the land of Canaan, the land where Israel and the eleven brothers still live.
Israel sends some of the brothers to buy grain in Egypt, Joseph recognizes his brothers, and through dramatic twists and turns, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, showing them the mercy they failed to show Joseph.
Because of the continued famine, Joseph brings his father, Israel, his brothers and their families to the land of Goshen (the one in Egypt) where they settle.
Through Joseph, God ensures the story continues.
Israel dies in Egypt.
Joseph understands God is the Author of the story of which he is a part:
Genesis 50:19 (ESV)
19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God?
Genesis 50:22 (ESV)
22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s house. Joseph lived 110 years.
Genesis 50:24–25 (ESV)
24 And Joseph said to 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.” 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here.”
God will continue the story.
Big Idea:
God is inviting you into His story - a story of freedom and rescue.
It’s a fantastic story of freedom and rescue
A story that uses ordinary people to accomplish incredible things to move His story forward.
A story with a good Author who has the power to edit those dark pages and bring it to a good ending
True story, bro.
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