Exodus - Worship

Exodus describes Israel's escape from slavery in Egypt and journey towards the Promised Land under Moses. The only explicit account of the Exodus we have is the biblical account (Ex. 1-15). No extra-biblical witnesses directly speak of the sojourn of Israel's ancestors in the land of the Nile. More than a hundred times in all parts of the Old Testament except the Wisdom Literature, Yahweh is proclaimed as "the one who brought you up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."

Theme

Discussion : What do you think is the main theme of the book exodus?

Most people would say that the book of exodus is all about the Jews moving out of Egypt in search of the promised land. This is indeed the main story and also the meaning of the word exodus.

ex o dus (ek‚sƒ dƒs) n.1. a mass departure or emigration. 2. (cap.) the departure of the Israelites from Egypt under Moses. 3. (cap.) the second book of the Old Testament.

However, for the sake of this study, we want to go one step further and ask ourselves why the Lord wants Pharaoh to release His people.

Discussion : Why do you think God wants Pharaoh to release His people?

Answer

The Lord wants His people released so that they could worship Him.

Exo 7:16 Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.

Other passages that also teach this truth include Ex 5:1-4, 7:14-18, 8:1-3, 9:1-3.

The key phrase "let My people go that they worship Me" is recorded seven times in the book of Exodus making it the main theme of our study today.

What can we learn about worship from the book of exodus?


Worship is very important to God

God went through so much trouble just so that His people could worship Him. It is often tempting for us to put worship at a low priority in our Christian life.

We go to church late sometimes and don't feel bad as long as we don't miss the sermon. Never mind the worship!
We put so much emphasis on reading God's word and serving Him that at times we don't have any more time for worship.

How different from how God views worship. He sees it important enough to threaten Pharaoh time and again when he refused to release God's people to worship Him.

Discussion : Why is worship so important?

1. God deserves it

1 Chr 16:25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

2 Samuel 22:4 (NIV) I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.

2. God desires it.

Exo 7:16 Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.

1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

3. God will be angry if we do not praise Him.

Exodus 5:3 (NIV) Then they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword."

2 Kings 17:25 (NIV) When they first lived there, they did not worship the LORD; so he sent lions among them and they killed some of the people.

4. Praise changes our perspective from what is bad to what is good.

It is impossible to praise God if we only concentrate on all the bad things in life. Praise changes our perspective from what is bad to what is good.


We must be free in order to worship God

Exo 7:16 Then say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.

It is difficult if not impossible to praise God if we are not free from all things. If we come to God distracted by the things that happen during the day, we will not be able to praise God. If we harbor sins in our lives and did not confess them to God, we will not have fellowship with God and of course will not be able to worship Him.