We're reading Exodus!

From bondage to deliverance to community with God. Exodus continues the Israelites’ story from Genesis as God rescues His people from slavery and brings them into a relationship with Him.

We hope you’ll join us on this journey! Explore the resources below to make the most of your reading with in-depth insights, Bible studies, discussion questions, and more.

Going Deeper with Exodus

Exodus is divided into two major sections. The first (Exod. 1-15) takes place in Egypt and details how God works through Moses to lead the people out of slavery. The second (Exod. 16-40), follows the people’s journey through the wilderness to Mt. Sinai, where God again uses Moses to establish the covenant with God’s people. Exodus shows the great lengths God is willing to go to in order to bring His people out of oppression and make His name known among the nations.

Exodus continues the story of Genesis. Despite human evil, both from the surrounding nations and within the hearts of God’s own people, God is faithful and seeks to be in community with His people. God gives them the terms of the covenant at Mt. Sinai and provides a special place where God can dwell among them with the Tabernacle. The covenant and its laws were designed to set Israel apart, establishing them as a great nation through which God would bless the world.

Week One: Chapters 1-5

Key Thought/Summary

Pharaoh begins to emerge as the ultimate symbol of resistance to God and the oppression of God’s people. But even in the midst of Pharaoh’s evil, God’s power is revealed as the Israelites continue to thrive despite the building pressure of evil forces. No matter what, God is going to remain faithful to God’s promises. Even the most powerful ruler on Earth cannot stand against God when it comes to God’s plan to save His people. In fact, what Pharaoh meant to be the destruction of God’s people is what God will use as the means for bringing about Pharaoh’s ultimate demise and the rescue of God’s people.

Supplemental Resources:

  • The Name of God: Yahweh Lord -- The Bible Project.
  • Overview: Part I of Exodus -- The Bible Project.
  • Sometimes music moves us more than text. Listen to this song from the opening of The Prince of Egypt. It’s powerful.
Exodus This Week In Exodus Week2 copy

Week Two: Chapter 6-10

Key Thought/Summary

The stage is set. God is about to square off with Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt and show the nations what kind of God Yahweh really is! Through each of the 10 plagues, God is proving His power over creation and the false gods of Egypt while strengthening the faith of God’s people. Notice that long before God ever brings the people to Mt. Sinai, He is going to bring them out of the clutches of an evil empire. God is gracious and compassionate; He delivers the people before He ever impresses upon them any laws or commandments.

Supplemental Resources:

Week Three: Chapters 11-15

Key Thought/Summary

Blood. Frogs. Gnats. Flies. Disease. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. Nine times God gives Pharaoh a chance to let the Israelites go, and nine times Pharoah refuses. In each case, God reveals to the Israelits and the Egyptians that God is the one in control. God is more powerful by far than any created thing like the sun or the waters or any other false Egyptian god the people may have cried out to for help.

We now come to a turning point in the Exodus story — the 10th plague, which is death. From the blood on the doorposts to the death of the firstborn, this next act of the Exodus story is rich with symbolism, and for modern readers, it’s a difficult story to stomach. For the ancient Israeliltes, it was a defining moment that would be celebrated throughout their history for generations to come. These chapters tell the story about how God heard the cries of His people and came to rescue them from slavery.

Exodus This Week In Exodus Week4

Week Four: Chapters 16-20

Key Thought/Summary

Even though the people did nothing to earn God’s salvation, God acts to save them anyway, defeating the evil Pharaoh in the process. God rescued the people in miraculous fashion, Moses sings a mighty song bringing glory to God, and then the people begin their new journey through the wilderness. Now the real challenge begins as we turn toward the second half of the book: How is God going to turn the people into a nation who will live for Him?

If the first half of Exodus is all about deliverance, the second half is about worship. What does it mean to be a people of God? How are the people called to live, and how will they serve as representatives for God to the surrounding nations? Those are the questions at the heart of the second half of the book. This week, spend time reflecting on the story thus far. What have you learned through the first half of Exodus about the character of God, the nature of humans, and the world in which we live?

Supplemental Resources:

Week Five: Chapters 21-25

Key Thought/Summary

Most people think of the Law as primarily centered around the Ten Commandments, but there are dozens of additional laws given in Exodus that detail how the Israelites are to worship and how they are called to act as a community. In other words, how they are to love God and love others (Matt. 22:39).

God’s desire is to shape His people into a nation of priests, or representatives that can bless the surrounding nations, just as He promised He would do with Abraham (Gen. 26:4). Thus, God’s law extends into every facet of the people’s lives; there is no part of their way of living that is not governed in some way by God’s law. Laws in the ancient world didn’t operate the way we think about laws today. They were designed not as a strict rulebook, but as a code of holiness to set the Israelites apart from the world; they center around the concepts of holiness, justice, sacrifice, and keeping sacred time (Want to learn more about reading Law in the bible? Watch this).

As you read through these chapters, try to set aside your way of viewing the world and instead reflect on why God might be establishing the laws themselves. Think about the ancient context these laws were given in and ask the following questions:

  • Who are they meant to protect?

  • How are they meant to keep or establish justice?

  • How do they set the Israelites apart from the nations around them? (Not sure where to go to learn more about ancient laws? Check out the commentary on the NET Bible here).

Exodus This Week In Exodus Week6

Week Six: Chapters 26-30

Key Thought/Summary

Ever since the Fall in Genesis 3, God has worked to mend the broken relationship between God and humans, so that God can once again dwell in their presence. This is the main function of the Tabernacle, creating a mini-Eden, where the people can once again meet with God. The level of detail given in these chapters to describing the Tabernacle and how the priests are to interact with it reveal the importance of the structure and how the people are to worship their God. By the end of this week, the stage will be set for the next major movement of the book. The people are called to worship God, and God alone, and they’ve all agreed to do so. But will they keep their promise?

Supplemental Resources:

Exodus This Week In Exodus Week7

Week Seven: Chapters 31-35

Key Thought/Summary

While Moses is up on the mountain with God receiving the instructions for the Tabernacle and the priesthood that will allow God to once again dwell with His people, the people are down below wondering what happened to him. The people recognize their need for a god, but rather than worshiping the God that brought them out of Egypt, they ask Aaron to make them a golden calf to worship. And even though Aaron was to be ordained as High Priest, representing God to the people and the people to God, he gives into their idolatrous request.

This famous story, the creation of the golden calf, is a pivotal moment in the Torah (first five books of the Bible). It reveals just how shallow the people’s commitment was when they agreed to follow God just a few chapters ago. But aside from highlighting the failure of the people, this story also shines a light on the people’s need for a mediator to stand in the gap between them and Almighty God.

Supplemental Resources:

Exodus This Week In Exodus Week8

Week Eight: Chapters 36-40

Key Thought/Summary

You’ve reached the final five chapters of Exodus. While they may seem like a repeat of what you’ve read before, don’t skip them. Starting in chapter 36, the Holy Spirit empowered artisans to begin crafting the Tabernacle and all that goes into it. These chapters represent the second chance the people have to dwell with God’s presence in their midst, as they’ve recommitted themselves to the covenant. How do you think they will fare this time?

Exodus has revealed that for the covenant relationship between God and the people to survive, there will need to be a priestly, prophetic figure willing to stand in the gap between God’s judgment and the rebellious nature of God’s people. We need a mediator. As you turn the page on the final chapter of Exodus, spend some time reflecting on what you’ve learned about the character of God, the nature of humanity, and what the Exodus story might have to teach us about our own story today.

Supplemental Resources:

  • What does Exodus mean for us today?

Pairs Well With