Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The divine revelation in the Scriptures is progressive, unfolding and developing book by book and chapter by chapter. The sixty-six books of the Bible were written over a period of approximately sixteen hundred years. During this long period, God did not speak once for all at one specific time. Rather, He spoke to His people progressively, time after time, over a long period.
In Colossians 1:25 Paul said that he was made a minister according to the economy of God “to complete the word of God.” At the time of Paul, God’s revelation in the Scriptures had not been completed. Thus, there was the need for Paul to take up the burden to speak and to write in order to complete the Word of God. It is John’s writing in the book of Revelation, however, that marks the completion of the divine revelation in the Scriptures. Because the revelation is complete, we are warned neither to add to nor to take away from the words of God’s revelation (Rev. 22:18-19). Now that God’s progressive revelation in the Scriptures has been completed, no one is permitted to add anything to it. What we need to do today is to read, study, and even search the Bible progressively book by book.
Having completed the life-study of Genesis, we come now to the book of Exodus. Historically, Exodus is the continuation of Genesis. Experientially, however, Exodus is not a continuation of Genesis. According to spiritual experience, what is portrayed in Exodus is not a continuation of the experience of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as recorded in Genesis. In our study of Genesis we pointed out that the experiences of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are three sections of the experience of one person, one believer: the experience of being called and of living in fellowship with God by faith (Abraham), the experience of enjoying the inheritance (Isaac), and the experience of transformation (Jacob). In Genesis we have a clear picture of the three main sections of a believer’s spiritual experience. Because the Old Testament presents such a vivid and detailed picture of spiritual experience, the Old Testament has become very precious to me, and I have come to regard it highly.
Spiritual experience has not only sections, but also different sides, different aspects. The portrait of our experience in Genesis covers just one side, one line. In Exodus we see another side, another line. The record of experience presented in Genesis is marvelous, but it is not complete. For the completion we need another aspect, which is found in Exodus.
By comparing Exodus with Genesis we can see how Exodus presents a side or line of spiritual experience not found in Genesis. For example, in Genesis we do not have a clear picture of redemption. With Abraham we see God’s calling, but there is no account of Abraham’s redemption. Abraham was an example of a typical called one; he was called by God out of Chaldea, out of the land of Babel, a land of rebellion and idolatry. When Abraham was still living in Babel, the God of glory appeared to him and called him (Acts 7:2, 3). But there is no clear word concerning redemption. The picture we see in all of Isaac’s experience is a picture of the enjoyment of the rich inheritance rather than a picture of redemption. Neither is there a picture of redemption in the record of Jacob’s experience. Although Jacob was eventually transformed into an Israel, a prince of God, there is no record regarding Jacob’s experience of redemption. Where then were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob redeemed? They were redeemed in Exodus. In this book we have a clear and full picture concerning God’s redemption.
What portrait of redemption could be clearer than that of the Passover? Not even in the New Testament do we find a more detailed picture. The Passover is a beautiful picture of our redemption. In this picture there is even an indication of the cross. I once read an article describing how the Passover lamb was slain by the Jews. According to this article, they took two wooden bars and formed a cross. Then they tied two of the lamb’s legs to the foot of the cross and fastened the other outstretched legs to the cross bar. Following this, the lamb was slain so that all its blood was shed. Hence, in the picture of the Passover we see the cross. Furthermore, as we consider the portrait of the Passover, we receive a vivid impression of the powerfulness of the blood of the Lamb of God. Exodus 12:13 says, “And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Such a wonderful picture is in Exodus, but not in Genesis.
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