Survey of the Old Testament - Lesson 12


This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

Miles Van Pelt
Survey of the Old Testament
Lesson 12
Watching Now

I. Introduction

A. Name

B. Moses

C. Purpose

D. Genre

II. Structure

A. Yahweh as Israel's warrior king

B. Yahweh as Israel's covenant king

C. Yahweh enthroned as God in the tabernacle

III. The Book of Exodus as the Gospel Promised Beforehand

A. Jesus is the true and better Moses

B. Jesus is the true and better Israel

C. Jesus is the true and better tabernacle

  • Dr. Miles Van Pelt is offering an opportunity to study the Old Testament and understand its overall message in more detail. The Old Testament consists of 2/3 of the Bible, and serves as a foundation for many teachings found in the New Testament. Its main purpose is to point towards Jesus who makes possible a new covenant with God's people. The structure of both Testaments follows a covenantal pattern that compels humans to make choices regarding their relationship with God, while demonstrating His patience and perseverance in doing so.
  • Knowing the purpose, structure and theological center of the Old Testament, will help you understand more accurately the character of God, and his purpose in the world and in your life. The Old Testament teaches you about Christ and describes his ministry. Colossians 3:15-16 reads, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly."

  • What you decide is the theological center of the Bible will determine how you understand the Bible and apply it to your life. You can see unity in biblical authorship by the number of times the phrase, “thus says Yahweh” is used in the Old Testament.  The person and work of Jesus is the theological center of the Old Testament. The living force of the canonical word must be the incarnate word. The proper nouns used in the Bible indicate the important characters and themes.

  • Jesus claims that the Old Testament finds its ultimate meaning in him. After his resurrection, Jesus meets two disciples on the road to Emmaus and gives them a lesson in biblical interpretation. The Father and the Scriptures testify about who Jesus is. In Romans 1:3, Paul refers to the Gospel being revealed through his prophets, in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son. Every book in the Bible teaches about Christ so every sermon should teach about Christ. Hebrews 11 refers to the great cloud of witnesses.

  • The Kingdom of God is the over-arching theme of the whole Bible. God governs his kingdom by his covenants. The covenant of grace is in effect throughout the Bible and has different administrations.

  • The form that our Bibles come to us in is meaningful for interpretation. The Hebrew Bible has a different order of the books than the English Bible.  

  • The order of books in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible is different because the criteria for determining the order is different. The order of the books in the Hebrew Bible reflect an emphasis on covenant, and also teaching important concepts then giving a practical example to illustrate how to put it into practice.

  • The three divisions in the Old Testament are the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Genesis and Revelation are the introduction and conclusion to the Bible and have parallel themes. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are the four covenant books that record the birth and death of the covenant mediator and contain his life and teachings. The former prophets record the history of Israel. The latter prophets call people to repent and return to God.

  • Your presuppositions about whether or not the authors who wrote the books of the Bible were inspired by God will influence your position the authorship of the Pentateuch. The traditional view is that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament at about 1200 to 1400 B.C. The documentary hypothesis claims that there were four or more separate authors that wrote beginning in about 900 B.C.

  • Genesis is the covenant prologue and is both protological and eschatological. It is the most covenantal book in the Bible. One way to outline the book is into twelve parts, each beginning with the phrase, “these are the generations.” Creation is described using a theological order.

  • Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sixth day of creation, culminating in the creation of woman. Chapter 3 describes the Fall and the consequences. Hebrew homonyms link the passages and intensify the descriptions.

  • Noah functions as a prophetic covenant mediator. God promises a remnant in his covenant with Noah and also renews the covenant of common grace. God continues his redemptive covenant with Abraham and his descendants. The book of Genesis ends with the narrative of Joseph.

  • This is the beginning of the formal documents of the covenant of God with the people of Israel. It begins with the birth of Moses and ends with the people of Israel coming out of Egypt.

  • Leviticus is primarily instructions to promote the holiness of God’s people. It provides a system that allows for a holy God to live among an unholy people. In the sacrificial system, there are 5 kinds of offerings. Jesus is the fulfillment of the observance of the Day of Atonement.

  • The book of Numbers is a record of the events of the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The purpose is to contrast the faithfulness of God with the faithlessness of the Israelites. The time in the wilderness was a period of testing for the people of Israel.

  • This is a renewal of the Mosaic covenant in preparation for entering the Promised Land. It’s an encouragement to keep the Law and a reminder of blessings for obedience and cursings for disobedience. Deuteronomy points us to Jesus who ultimately fulfills the Law.

  • Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings describe the nature and purpose of the Sinai Covenant and the historical events of the occupation of the land. God know that the people of Israel would fail to obey the Mosaic Covenant, so he had planned from the beginning to establish the New Covenant when the time was right.

  • Joshua was the successor to Moses. The book of Joshua focuses on the Promised Land. The people of Israel enter the land, conquer the land, divide the land between the tribes and then renew their covenant with God. Holy war and covenant obedience are important themes.

  • Judges has two introductions, two conclusions, six major judges, six minor judges and one anti-judge. It can be described as the, “uncreation” of Israel. Their purpose was to judge the nations and to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors.

  • The book of Samuel provides the answer to the crisis of kingship. Samuel, as the last judge and first prophet, anoints Saul as king. The people of Israel reject Yahweh as king. Saul is anointed by Samuel and serves as king but is later rejected because of disobedience. David is anointed king because God acts according to his own will. Solomon begins well and ends badly.

  • The book of Kings is the story of the monarchy in the nation of Israel. It begins with the united monarchy under Solomon, then after his death, is divided into the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. We can learn about God’s character and the importance of living in a covenant relationship with God.  

  • The Latter Prophets are covenant lawyers. They are executing the lawsuit of God against Israel for unfaithfulness to the covenant. Prophets use both oracular prophecies and sign acts to communicate their message.

  • Isaiah is sometimes described as the, “fifth gospel” because it is quoted so much in the New Testament. The themes in Isaiah are both timely for his generation and also point to their ultimate fulfillment in Jesus and the end of time.

  • Jeremiah’s call was to tell the people of Judah why they were going into exile and also to give them hope for future restoration. The book contains oracles, accounts of visions and symbolic actions, prophetic laments and historical narratives.

  • One key to understanding Ezekiel is the glory of God in the temple. The book begins with God appearing to Ezekiel, then God leaves the temple and, in the end, God returns. Ezekiel’s oracles and signs illustrate each of these.

  • In the Hebrew Bible, these 12 minor prophets are treated as one book. Each one is a covenant lawyer that is prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the unfaithful nation of Israel and also preaching a message of hope for restoration. The Day of the Lord is the day of the king’s victory over his enemy, either to crush an enemy or to save a people.

  • These books are about how you think and live in light of the covenant. The genres include narrative, poetry and prophecy. The Hebrew Bible order emphasizes teaching then example.

  • Covenant life is a life of worship. The book divisions in the manuscripts were purposefully arranged so the book as a whole has a meaningful narrative. It emphasized the kingship of Yahweh, the Davidic line and the temple. You can use specific patterns of construction for understanding lament, thanksgiving and hymns of praise psalms. You can also use the same patterns to help you respond to God and worship him.

  • Job deals with the issue of human tragedy and suffering. Job never knows what happened in heaven that resulted in his suffering. His three friends made correct theological arguments but they were misapplied. Job speaks about suffering and hope. God challenges Job at the end of the book, and also restores his possessions and children.

  • Solomon created a collection of practical wisdom sayings. Some were for instructing children, some for instructing kings, but they all are applicable to help everyone live in the light of the covenant of grace in the context of common grace.

  • Ruth follows Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible. Even though she is from Moab, she lives in Israel with her widowed Israelite mother-in-law to take care of her. She marries Boaz and is included in the genealogy of David and Jesus.

  • Marriage should be both rock solid in terms of covenant commitment and white hot in terms of sexual intimacy. If it is both, you can better resist temptation, endure hardship and promote wholeness.   

  • The message of Ecclesiastes is that true knowledge, wisdom and meaning in life begins with the fear of the Lord. The author of Ecclesiastes, likely Solomon, tests this conclusion and is unsuccessful in finding ultimate meaning in activities, “under the sun,” like wealth, relationships, power, projects, etc.

  • Lamentations is a collection of funeral dirges lamenting the fall and exile of Jerusalem. The elegant structure of the book is a contrast to the chaos and destruction of the events that are taking place. Each poem gives you a different perspective on God’s character and his covenant faithfulness.

  • Esther is a story of living a life of faith in exile. It Bringing “shalom” into a hostile environment sometimes even requires risking your life. The festival of Purim commemorates God saving his people and is still celebrated today.

  • Daniel and Esther are examples of living a life of faith while in exile. Daniel was different than the writing prophets because he is not primarily a covenant lawyer prosecuting God’s lawsuit against the people of Israel. The first six chapters are biographical stories highlighting God’s power to save and his sovereignty over the nations. The second six chapters are visions of the future.

  • The book of Ezra-Nehemiah records the last events, chronologically, in the Old Testament. Ezra returned from exile with authorization to teach the Law of the Jews and institute the sacrificial system. Nehemiah returned to rebuild Jerusalem. They fail in their human attempt to rebuild heaven on earth, which encourages you to look forward to the city built by God.

  • The return from exile is not the greater one prophesied by the prophets. We still look forward to the return from exile with them in the resurrection. Chronicles traces the seed that was promised and gives an account of the return from exile.

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give you an overall view of the Old Testament then discuss specifics about each of the books. 

For instance, you might ask, "What kind of book is the Old Testament?" The OT is a single story told three times over: once in Genesis, once in Exodus through Nehemiah, and once again in Chronicles (just like day 6 in Genesis 1–2). The OT loves to repeat itself, repeat itself, repeat itself. This is how it teaches us. The Old Testament is about 2/3 of the Bible and is the basis for everything you read in the New Testament. The better you understand the Old Testament, the clearer you will understand the message of the Bible. 

What is the Message of the Old Testament? The Old Testament points to the New Covenant. The teachings, prophecies and examples of covenant life point to Jesus who makes the New Covenant possible and inaugurates it. There are also examples in the Old Testament of how human efforts to create heaven on earth fall short, so that we will anticipate and yearn for our ultimate deliverance from exile.

What is the Structure of the Old Testament? The structure of the Old Testament, and the Bible as a whole, is covenantal. God offers to live in the covenant of grace with him and compels them to make that choice. The administrations of the covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus demonstrate God's patience and perseverance to include as many as are willing.


Recommended Books

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Take this opportunity to study with Dr. Miles Van Pelt as he shows you patterns and themes that will help you understand the Old Testament and the whole Bible. He will give...

Survey of the Old Testament - Bible Study

Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Survey of the Old Testament



I. Introduction (00:13):

Happily now we're moving into the book of Exodus making some good progress. Exodus is the second book in the Pentateuch and it also begins the second main section in the Pentateuch or the law of Moses.  What I've got here on the board is our outline from our covenantal model of the cannon, where the Pentateuch consists of two parts. The first part is Genesis the covenant prologue. It ends in a poetic blessing and the death of the blesser, which starts the second section here, Exodus to Deuteronomy. It will again end with the same thing in Deuteronomy, the blessing of the 12 tribes and then the death of the blesser. We've got the two sections. We're moving into section two which are the covenant documents. This is the covenantal arrangement in which the Lord will unite Himself to His people Israel in a formal legal fashion. Just like God made a promise to Abraham in Genesis chapter 12 but entered into a formal covenantal relationship in chapter 15.

A. Name (01:12):

God is going to move into a formal covenantal relationship with the people of God through Moses the covenant mediator. Its Hebrew name is [foreign language 00:01:22] which means these are the names. It's the first words in the book. These are the names of the sons of Israel. So now the tribe has grown from 70 people at the end to a multitude at the beginning of Deuteronomy. So 70 people at the end of Genesis, a multitude and nation in the beginning of Exodus, over those 400 years. This doesn't come across in any of the translations but the Hebrew text that begins Exodus. It's not just “these are the names”, but it's “and these are the names”. That's important because that conjunction in Hebrew, the “and” in Hebrew connects this book to Genesis. It's there are two parts but they're intimately connected.

In fact Genesis is joined to Exodus by the word “and”. Exodus is joined to Leviticus by “and”. Leviticus is joined to Numbers by “and”. Then Deuteronomy starts something new at the end because now there is the covenant renewal. Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers are covenant documents part one. Then Deuteronomy is covenant document part two, so there's divisions there and how it works.

B. Moses (2:20)

The book of Exodus begins with the birth of Moses the covenant mediator and the proposed author of the book. It covers approximately 80 years of Moses's life. In these books we've got an 80 year time span. The purpose of Exodus is to explain how the Israelites became slaves in Egypt, how they got out of Egypt, and to reveal Yahweh's name as it relates to His divine presence to dwell among His people. How did Israel get in Egypt? What happened to them there after Joseph and the 70? How did they get out? And who is the God who delivered them? What is His name?

C. Purpose (3:00)

The book of Exodus lays the foundation for the theme of divine presence. In fact, one of the major themes in this book is the theme of divine presence. This is important because in the garden of Eden, man dwelt with God in His presence but he was exiled from the garden of Eden temple. Therefore he lived outside of God's presence. We're now living in a time that's progressing back towards that presence in new heavens new earth. So this is in some sense how this covenant arrangement is going to be, it's going to be a sign, symbol, or a token of what heaven will be like. We'll be living with God in His presence, in His temple, worshiping Him.

D. Genre (3:46)

So the theme of the divine presence is going to be big here. In terms of genre, the vast majority of Exodus is a narrative. It includes both events narrated and speech recorded. There's also ancient poetry like the Song of Yahweh and legal material, the law material in the covenant. So you've got a narrative, which consists of narrative proper, and discourse speech. You've got poetry and then you've got legal texts in here. And a little bit of song. The structure of the book of Exodus, its macro structure appears right here on the board. There are three sections to the book of Exodus. 1:1 to 15:21 which concludes with the Song of the Sea, which is a poetic conclusion. You've got 15:22 to 24:18 where you've got some wilderness wanderings, some trials. Then the covenant itself is in Exodus 20 to 24, the covenant document.

That's 20-24 which is, 5 chapters of a covenant document which would have been written on the stone tablets. We're going to look at some of the testing here. Then finally, 25 to 40 is the construction and instructions for the tabernacle. The building of it and God's going to fill it. We're going to look at the golden calf episode in 32 to 34. So those are the big sections. How do we think about these sections?

II. Structure (5:11)

Remember, it's all covenantal and kingdom. So Yahweh's coming to enter into a covenant to administer His kingdom and He's going to be the covenant king. Yahweh reigns. So in this first section, section one, you can entitle it this way, Yahweh is enthroned over the Red Sea as Israel's warrior king. How? In theophanic glory.

What I mean by the phrase “in theophanic glory” is that He's actually going to be physically present in fire, smoke and cloud. In this section we have the birth and the call of Moses, Moses confronts Pharaoh, the 10 plagues, the Passover, and the death of the firstborn, the exodus event, and the Song of the Sea, which is a victory song. That's the climax, that's what's in that section.

Section two right here, in 15:22 to the end of 24 is Yahweh enthroned over Mount Sinai as Israel's covenant king. Section one, is the warrior king. Section two, covenant king all enthrone. I really worked hard on these tiles because that's the way to look at it. This section includes in chapters 15 to 19, testing in the wilderness followed by the Sinai covenant in 20 to 24. So testing and covenant. For example, when Jesus was baptized like Israel was baptized in the Red Sea. They experienced testing.

Now they're in the wilderness experiencing testing. Israel is going to get an F and Jesus' going to get an A. Israel will not pass the test and that culminates in the golden calf but Jesus passed the test and therefore achieves what we could not. Okay, that's the second section.

The third section is Yahweh enthroned in the tabernacle as Israel's God. So notice that each of the three sections is Yahweh enthroned because He's the king. As the warrior king, as the covenant king, as Israel's God or the object of worship.

In this section, we get instructions for the tabernacle. The sabbath is a sign of the covenant, we’ve got to have His covenant sign. The golden calf episode which plagues Israel for the rest of their lives, the building of the tabernacle. Note that sections one and three climaxes to the remarkable display of God's theophanic presence. Section two is dominated by the presence of God on Mount Sinai with the making of the covenant and the giving of law. So theophany is everywhere.

A. Yahweh as Israel’s warrior king (8:00)

I want to go back to section one now where we've got Yahweh enthroned over the Red Sea as Israel's warrior king. It begins with the call of Moses, the birth and the call of Moses. I want to look at chapter three because it's going to be programmatic. I'm going to read the call of Moses and then we're going to comment on it.

1. Call of Moses and Gideon (8:15)

It's going to be important because the call of Moses and the call of Gideon are the same. I want you to focus on this call. The person being called is not wanting to do it and is giving you an excuse. Then there is the answer to the problem. The human person is going to say, I don't want to do this, I'm not qualified. God's going to say, don't worry, I've got a solution to your problem. So that's why I want you to focus on in these few verses. So here we go, Exodus 3, verses 1 and following, "Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. And he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked and behold the bush was burning yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, 'I will turn aside to see this great sight. Why the Bush is not burned.'

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called him out of the bush, 'Moses, Moses.' And he said, 'Here I am.' Then He that is God said, 'Do not come near, take off your sandals from your feet for the place in which you are standing is holy ground.' And he said, 'I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look at God." Jesus quoted this verse in his lifetime. "Then the Lord said, 'I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their suffering and I've come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of the land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey. To the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, the Jebusites.

And now behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me. And I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.'" That's his call. "But Moses said to God, 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?' God said, 'But I will be with you. And this shall be the sign for you that I have sent you. When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.' Moses said, 'If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask, what is His name? What shall I say to them?' And God said to Moses, 'I am who I am.'

And He said, 'Say this to the people of Israel, I am has sent me to you.' God also said to Moses, 'Say this to the people of Israel, the Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. And this is my name forever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.'" That's a big text. You've got God appearing in a bush as a fire and the bush is not being consumed. The call of Moses is going to typify the ministry of Moses, the appearance, because later God is going to appear on a mountain with His voice coming out and the mountain is not going to be consumed. So you can see how the image of the call relates to the ministry that he's going to be called to.

2. God Gives the Divine Name (11:23):

That's an important thing. Then He calls Moses to go to Egypt and to tell Pharaoh, "Let my people go." Moses responds, "Who am I that I should go?" And it's going to be because of speech issues, later we're going to find out. What's God's answer to Moses? It's in verse 12. He says, "But I will be with you." So the answer to Moses's dilemma regarding his problem of inability is going to be solved by the divine presence. Does that make sense? Then he says, well, who should I tell them is calling? God then gives Him the divine name. Now we've known the divine name since Genesis chapter 2. We know that Abraham called the name of the Lord. So what we're getting here is not “what is the name?” but “what's His name mean?”.

3. Names have Biblical Significance (12:13):

In order to do that, I first need to tell you how names work in the Old Testament or especially in the Pentateuch so that you'll understand what I'm going to say in just a second. So how do names work? Certain names, not all names in the Bible have special significance to them. So Ruth just means Ruth by the way, it doesn't mean anything else. But Naomi means “pleasant”. She changes her name to Mara, which means “bitter”. Then she changed her name back to Naomi. Does that make sense? That has significance to it. Solomon's name means “reconciliation” because he is the product of David and Bathsheba. The Lord calls him Jedediah, “beloved of Yahweh” but he's never called that again in scripture. He's the only one not called that. So some names are significant, some are not. Significance has to come from the text.

4. Shorthand Designations for Bigger Plans (12:55):

One of the things scholars note from how names work in the Old Testament is that they are shorthand terms, shorthand designations for longer or for bigger things. There are short hand like mnemonic device or something like that, term for something bigger. I'm going to give you some examples. In Genesis chapter 3, Adam names Eve and he names her Havah which means life. Why is she named that?  She was the mother of all living. So it's not just life but she was the mother of all that was alive. So it's a bigger thing. But Eve just means life which means mother of the living. See how it's Eve's a shorthand designation for a broader category. Noah in Genesis 5:29, "He called his name Noah saying out of the ground that the Lord God has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from our pain filled hands." So that's what Noah means. He's going to bring us relief from our curse and our toil and the painful things.

Abraham in Genesis 17:5, "No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations." So it's got the word nations in there and Abraham just means father of a multitude, it's a father of a multitude of nations, it's short. Jacob in Genesis 25:26, "After his brother came out with his hand holding Esau's heel. So he was called Jacob." Jacob means to grasp, but it was to grasp the heel that it was short for. Israel, this is one of my favorite ones. "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel for you have striven with God and with man and have prevailed." Israel just means wrestled with God. But it's really wrestled with God and with man and guess what? You prevailed. That's what it means.

5. The Great I Am (14:37):

Moses means to dry out, [foreign language 00:14:41] means to dry out. It says, "Because I drew you out of the water." So it's a bit longer thing. You've got Gershom, Eleazar, Gideon, and all these things. So the name is a shorthand for something longer. So the question is, what is Yahweh shorthand for? The divine name Yahweh. So we'll put this divine name here. This is what we know the divine name to be spelled like this in English or some people do this, Y-H-W-H, this is fuller the Tetragrammaton. The key always comes from the context of the narrative that it's set in. If you look at verse 12 where God reassures Moses that he'd be with him, He said, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" And God said, "But I will be with you."

There's a special form there of the verb “to be” in Hebrew. It'd be pronouncing like E-H, it literally means “I will be”. In Hebrew, you don't need the verb to be, to have a “to be” clause. Just like in Greek, you can have a so-called verbless clause. So when you see it, it's a special thing. This is a first person to come and say, it's a one CS verbal, first common singular. One says “I will be”. Every time this verb form appears, in the whole Pentateuch and Joshua. So the so-called Hexateuch. It's always with reference to God being with someone in their presence, every time. So this is the context from 3:12, “I'll be with you”. Now we progress in the narrative. When Moses asked God about the name, "Then Moses said to God, 'If I come to the people of Israel and I say to them, the God of your fathers sent me to you. They ask, what is His name?' Say to them, 'I am who I am.'"

It's the exact same form here. You can translate I will be who I will be. It's the exact, it's [foreign language 00:16:56]. So we can write that, [foreign language 00:16:58] I'll be who or what [foreign language 00:17:03] I will be. I hope we're tracking. I'll be who or be what I what we'll be with you. We can also translate this [foreign language 00:17:14] as because. It's a relative particle in Hebrew and it has a whole host of meanings based on this context. We know words like that in English. The words like, for, or,  and of, in English have a whole host of meanings in context. So a legitimate translation of this is “I will be because I will be”. In its full form, because of context, “I will be with you simply because I'll be with you”.

6. The Divine Name is the Promise of the Divine Presence (17:39):

So I'm going to say it this way, the divine name is the promise of the divine presence which makes perfect sense in that context. Let me say it again. The divine name is the promise of the divine presence based on this context. Based on the fact that that verb is used in the Hexateuch only for associations with God actually being with someone. I will be with your mouth Moses, I'll be with you. He renews that to Gideon, He renews it to Joseph, He renews it to I'll be your God, you'll be my people and I will dwell in your midst. That's the covenant formula. We call it the covenant formula because the promise of the divine presence. So this is great. We normally think of the divine name in this way. I will be who I'll be is like, God's the only free and all powerful being who's not controlled by anything else. We think of it as His transcendence. But that's not what a covenant name is.

Let's say my last name is a covenant name and I give it to my wife and now I'm bound to her. That's the way in which I say you are always in my presence. It's the promise of my presence with you. My belonging, one to another. It's the same way. This is not a promise. This is not a statement of God's transcendence. It's the exact opposite. It's the statement of His eminence. I will be with you because I'll be with you. That's the whole theme of the book of Exodus. That's why He's on Sinai. That's why He's in the tabernacle. That's why when Moses strikes the rock a second time, it's impugning God's holiness or His name because it's saying, God, you're not present among us so I've got a whack this rock instead.

7. The Crisis of the Divine Presence (19:19):

That's why in the Massah and Meribah event, they're thinking my problem is water. Your real problem is you're asking this question, is the Lord among us or not? It's the crisis of the divine presence. This theme is really going to control that thing. When at the golden calf episode that's coming up, the Lord is just fed up with Israel. He says, I'll just send my angel to go with you guys because if I go with you, I'm just going to smoke you all. Moses says, don't do that. Your presence with us is the only thing that distinguishes us from everyone else. He does it because He's bound himself to His people by the divine presence. So when Isaiah prophesies a savior that's going to come to call him Emmanuel, which means “God with us”.

8. The Willing Vessel (20:04):

It's no mistake that Jesus in Matthew 1:21 and 23 said, "She will bear a son. You shall call His name, Jesus Yoshua for He will save His people from sins and they will call Him Emmanuel, God with us." Jesus in the incarnation is the permanent fulfillment of the Yahweh name. If Yahweh's name is I'll be with you, the ultimate expression of that is the incarnation. That's why we argue that Yahweh is the second person of the Trinity in most conceptions of the Old Testament. So that's an important thing. It's important to know what Moses is called do. Why he denies his ability to do it. He's exactly right, he is not worthy to do it. God says, don't worry, I'll be with you and that's how we're going to get it done. That's how all the judges work. They're not great saviors, they're all enabled or equipped by the Spirit of the Lord to do the job. So they have to be the willing vessel.

I want you to think about the name of God as another way of talking about the presence of God. This will make great sense when we get to Deuteronomy because in Deuteronomy it says, hey, you can't worship anywhere you want. I'm going to choose a place for you and I'll make my name dwell there. What does that mean? He's going to write His name on the temple? No, that means His name is a synonym for His presence. I'm going to make my presence dwell well there. So if this is the temple of Yahweh, then Yahweh's going to be there because my name is my presence. It's an amazing theology.

That's what He's telling his people. Not that my name is Yahweh, you haven't known me before. You've known me as Yahweh but now I'm telling you what it means. What Yahweh is then is see, this is a first person singular verb. So it's, I will be who I'll be. Jesus said, and He says there, so call me Yoshua. But then he turns it around and says, oh, you can't call me Yaweh because that's first person. You got to call me He will be with us so that's Yahweh. The change from an E to a Y at the beginning is from the first person to the third person. So Yahweh means, He will be, let me say with you. So it's a great evangelistic tool. So who do you worship? He will be. He'll be what? With you. How? Then you're off and running the gospel.

9. Giving the Divine Name (22:17):

Now we're going to move into, the call of Moses to giving the divine name. The divine presence is proven at the Red Sea event because He is there in all fire smoke and glory. He is the consuming fire. That consuming fire has two functions, it protects His people and it destroys the enemy. He's the Akal Esh, the consuming fire. The consuming fire is not all bad. It's like the consuming fire of marriage. It sustains the marriage covenant and protects from temptation of the enemy, it's the way it works. It climaxes in that and then we move into the part where God has saved His people and He's going to enter into a covenant with them.

B. Yahweh as Israel’s covenant king (23:05):

He's conquered the enemy, Satan which is the frantic forces. Now He's going to move into a covenant with them. In the midst of that, there's these temptations in the wilderness. So they don't have anything to eat, then quail and then manna. Nothing to drink, bitter water, then sweet water. But there's one really important one here in Exodus 17 verses 1 through 7 that we're going to look out for this section. That's the Massah and Meribah event of Exodus 17 and it's only seven verses. So I'm going to just read it and then I'll explain it to you. This is part of the wilderness wanderings where Israel is in the wilderness and they're being tested. "All the congregation, the people of Israel moved on from the wilderness of Sin by stages according to the commandment of the Lord and camped at Rephidim.

There was no water for the people to drink. Therefore, the people quarreled with Moses and said, 'Give us water to drink.'" That verb quarreled is the word for Meribah that we get later. "And Moses said to them, 'Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Massah, the Lord?' But the people thirsted for water and the people grumbled against Moses and said, 'Why do you bring us up out of Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?' So Moses cried to the Lord, 'What shall I do with this people? They're about to stone me.'' This is a judicial execution, it's not mob violence. "And the Lord said to Moses, 'Pass on before the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel as witnesses,'" I'm adding as witnesses, "'And take in your hand the staff which you struck the Nile.'" That's the God judging staff.

"'And go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb and you shall strike the rock and water shall come out of it and the people will drink.' And Moses did so in the sight of the elders and he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarreling of the people and because they tested the Lord. How? By saying, 'Is the Lord among us or not?'" Do you see how it concludes there that the testing of the waters, their thirst and their grumbling against the Lord was really impugning the nature of His name by saying, we don't believe you're among us. They have to actually put them on trial. The word therefore “they quarreled” is actually the word for lawsuit in Hebrew. So it's a legal event. What you do with people who are found guilty of a legal event? You stone them.

So this is a legal event. Moses is supposed to take that staff with which he struck the Nile to judge all the Egyptian gods in his hand. Now you can look at the scene. There's the big rock of judgment. There is the Lord standing on the rock and Moses takes his staff and strikes the rock. Who takes the blow on that day for Israel sin? The Lord does. Then the waters of salvation flow from that rock. Note what it says in first Corinthians 10, 1 till 4 about this, "I do not want you to be unaware brothers that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea and all are baptized into Moses in the cloud in the sea. And all ate the same spiritual food and all drink the same spiritual drink.

For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them and that rock was Christ." Here we have Yahweh on the rock being called Christ right here. So this is actually Massah and Meribah is the background for the metaphor for God my rock. You know the addendum that we frequently get to it, the rock of salvation. Whenever you hear of rock of salvation, you've always got to be thinking about Exodus 17 1 through 7, because the place where the Lord was struck so that His people could live. The Lord was struck so that His people could live. The rock of salvation, the rock of salvation.

C. Yahweh enthroned as God in the tabernacle (26:37):

Now, again, because of time, I don't have more to go into that, but that's a very programmatic text. It appears all over the place. It's so funny that Paul would comment in first Corinthians 10. Psalm 95 is all about Massah and Meribah. It plays a huge role in the book of Hebrews where the author of Hebrews is working with Psalm 95 and this Exodus 17 event. So if you read that in the book of Hebrews and then you can correlate it with Psalm 95 and Massah and Meribah, knowing exactly what He's doing. Related to that then is Exodus 25 to 40. This is the instructions for the tabernacle, the building of the tabernacle and the enthronement in the Lord as the glory spirit in the tabernacle. It's an amazing thing. This is where God is going to come to dwell among His people for the first time since Eden. For the first time since the Eden temple, however long ago that was, God is now going to have a physical dwelling place on this earth.

It's a remarkable event, a remarkable happening. In the midst of this great thing where God has entered into covenant. He's about to dwell in their midst, Israel falls. This is Israel's fall. It's going to reverberate through history. In fact, Stephen is going to make a big deal of this in his final lawsuit speech. So we know what happens. Moses is up on the mountain. He's been gone a long time and people say to Aaron, we don't know what's happened to him. We don't know what's going on. Make for us a golden calf so we can worship it and we'll let him lead us, this calf. All kinds of things to describe there. Aaron makes the calf and the people are going after it. Moses and the Lord find out about it, and go down. Moses breaks the tablets. This is when the Lord through Moses says, "Whoever's for me, take up your sword." Some of the Levites jump up, put on their swords and go out and kill all their brothers and sisters who are going after this golden calf.

1. The Levites: The Protectors of the Tabernacle (28:33):

This is why the Levites become the Levites. Not because they were wimpy church workers, because they were Israelite assassins. They didn't care who they got to kill. They became the protectors of the tabernacle that way, doing exactly what they did that day. Moses prays for them, and intercedes for them. God says, "I'm going to wipe them all out." Moses intercedes. He says, "No, I won't do it." Moses offers his life. God says no. Then Moses says, "Show me your glory to prove to me that You're going to be in our midst." Then we get that very programmatic text. He says in Exodus 33:18, Moses said, "'Please show me your glory.' And He said, 'I will make all of my goodness pass before you. And you will proclaim before me my name Yahweh. And I'll be gracious to who I'll be gracious and show mercy to whom I show mercy.'

But He said, 'You cannot see my face for man not see my face and live.' And the Lord said, 'Behold, there's a place by me where you shall stand. Where you shall stand on the rock.'" Is that familiar? Stand on the rock? "'And while my glory passes by, I'll put you in the cleft of the rock and I'll cover you with my hand until I have passed. Then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back but my face, you shall not see.'" This is an amazing thing. So in Exodus 34:47, "Moses cut two step stone tablets out like the first. And he rose early in the morning, went up on Mount Sinai. And he took in his hand two tablets of stone. The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord."

So it's interesting that when the Lord says, "I'll show you my glory," we get a sermon on His name. It means His name is His presence and it's all glorious. "The Lord passed before him and he proclaimed Yahweh, Yahweh." And now He's going to say, this is what my name means in application. A God merciful and gracious. Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty. Visiting the inequity of the fathers on the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generations. So first it is what is the divine name? I will be with you. How will you be with me? That's impossible.

2. God’s Character (30:50):

Well, here’s what my presence means. I'm a God that’s merciful, gracious and, slow to anger. Some translations give this word, translate this as long suffering. The Hebrew idiom is one of my favorite idioms. It means I have a long nose. The word right here is erek appayim it means long of nose. In Hebrew, the expressions of emotion are through the nose. So if your nose is long, you're patient. If your nose is short, you're impatient. If your nose is hot, you're mad. So I always say one of the divine attributes, this guy has a really big nose. So there's hope. He's a bounty in the steadfast love and faithfulness. Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. But He will by no means clear the guilty. Doesn't that sound contradictory?

3. His Steadfast Love Comes with Judgement (31:44):

It's always confused me until you put it in the light of the gospel. How is He going to keep steadfast love for thousands but by no means clear the guilty? Well we know from Genesis chapter 17, He'll become the rock that is struck. So He will take upon Himself the punishment that is deserved. God's steadfast love towards His people and His mercy towards His people never comes without judgment. It always comes through judgment. It's just not judgment on you, it's judgment on Him. He takes the judgment on us on Himself. Now here's what this means. When God hides Moses in the rock, Moses is not consumed. Does that make sense? This becomes the background for the metaphor of the rock of refuge. So the rock of salvation is Exodus 17, 1 to 7.

4. The Rock of Refuge (32:41):

Where's the rock that was struck? It takes the blow for us, so it saves us. Here, it's the rock of refuge. When we are hid in Him, union with Christ, we are free from the judgment we deserve because we've been united to Him. He's already suffered that judgment. No more judgment can come on us. It's a tremendous thing. It's a tremendous thing this golden calf episode. So we've learned some important systematic theological realities. Systemic theology in these kind of crusty Old Testament narratives. Here we've got penal substitutionary atonement accomplished, that Christ accomplished. The nature of God's wrath being swayed because of Him suffering the judgment for us. It's great stuff if we learn how to read these narratives in that light. It's just not kind of a crusty, angry deity working with a stubborn, stiff necked people. The golden calf episode is amazing, it's where Israel is called “stiff necked”.

III. The Book of Exodus as the Gospel Promised Beforehand (33:32)

When in the wilderness, when they reach their peak, after the 10 trials of God, He says, "You're still stiff-necked and you're never going to get into the land. I'm going to not let this generation go. You're going to wander 40 years. That's why when Stephen uses the next seven, it gets him stoned just like they were going to do to Moses, to do here.

A. Jesus is the true and better Moses (33:50)

The book of Exodus as the gospel promised beforehand, number one, according to Hebrews 3:3- 6, Jesus is the true and better Moses. For Jesus had been counted worthy of more glory than Moses as much more glory as the builder of the house has more honor than the house itself for every house is built by selling. But the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all of God's house as a servant to testify to the things that were spoken. Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. He is the true and better Moses. He's the true and better covenant meter.

B. Jesus is the true and better Israel (34:27) Number two, Israel is God's son. In Exodus chapter four, Jesus is the son who did not rebel when tempted in the wilderness. Israel rebelled over 10 times in the wilderness and was kept out of the promised land. But after Jesus experienced His baptism event, He was ushered into the wilderness and He did not fail in the wilderness. So Jesus is the true and better Israel.

C. Jesus is the true and better tabernacle (34:51)

Ultimately Jesus is a true and better tabernacle, our temple. In fact, Jesus becomes the tabernacle temple in the eschatological kingdom. I saw in the city, Revelation 21:22 "I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb." So Jesus is a true and better tabernacle that they build. So Jesus is the true and better savior, He's the true and better Israel. He's the true and better Moses. He is the true and better tabernacle.