I want to introduce a logical 6-part division for Exodus that will enable us to more effectively wrap our heads around this book from a structural standpoint.
Keep in mind, however, that just as the division of our Bibles into 66 books (39 in the OT and 27 in the NT) was a man-made arbitrary act, so is this division I’m going to introduce.
Having said that, just because these divisions aren’t necessarily God-ordained, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with them.
They’re a great way to approach a huge book that can at times be both intimidating and overwhelming.
Imagine trying to study the Scriptures if there weren’t any chapter and verse divisions?
It would be a nightmare.
So here are the six divisions.
PART ONE-THE DELIVERANCE NARRATIVE (Chapters 1-15)
The first section of Exodus deals with God using Moses to deliver the Israelites from over 400 years of slavery.
For the first time in Biblical history, we witness God take center stage as he flexes his divine muscles by unleashing a series of plagues on the Egyptian empire.
At that time, the Hebrew nation was huge and comprised a substantial portion of Egypt’s labor force.
This was one of the main reasons Pharaoh didn’t want them to leave.
PART TWO: THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE (Chapters 15-18)
This section details the ups and downs that Israel went through following their triumphal jailbreak out of the Egyptian Empire.
The full range of human emotions are on display in this section as we witness the Israelites go from offering glorious praises to the Lord to turning into spoiled brats as they grumble and complain about not having the luxuries they were surrounded by in Egypt.
This is bootcamp time for Israel as God shows His newly freed people who He is and teaches them that He is trustworthy, Holy and that He is NOT to be messed with.
PART THREE: COVENANT & LAW (Chapters 19-24)
There’s something I heard from an Arabian Pastor in describing the mindset of the newly freed Israelites that I never forgot.
He said, “Even though the Israelites had left Egypt, the Egypt inside of them still hadn’t left“.
While living in bondage, Israel was still just an appendage of Egypt.
And even after being surgically removed from the land of their slavery, God still had a lot of work of to do in order to mold them into His image.
This was accomplished by means of God giving Moses the Torah, Israel’s manual for living in harmony with a Holy God.
PART FOUR: THE PRIESTHOOD & WILDERNESS TABERNACLE BLUEPRINTS (Chapter 25-31)
God has always desired to dwell among His people.
In order to accomplish this, God arranged for the construction of the wilderness tabernacle.
Again, keep in mind that the tabernacle is a physical model of heaven.
And the first temple which will be built hundreds of years later will be patterned after this wilderness tabernacle.
We’re going to in painstaking fashion go over the design of what was at the time the holiest object on the planet.
The design of the tabernacle and the rituals the priests would perform there are highly symbolic and prophetic.
Understanding the symbolism inherent in the priesthood and the tabernacle will allow us to uncover much in the New Testament (especially the Book of Revelations) that would normally be hidden from our understanding had we not taken the time to study this in detail.
PART FIVE: THE GOLDEN CALF REBELLION (Chapters 32-34)
This section shows man at his impatient worse.
While God was in the process of teaching His people the divine blueprint and commands by which one should live their lives, the Israelites rebelled by constructing their own blasphemous structure in the form of a golden calf.
This kind of ties in with what I said earlier that although the Israelites had left Egypt, the Egypt inside of them still remained.
By building the golden calf, the Israelites were attempting to return to their past life in Egypt.
What followed were terrible consequences.
However, more important than the horrible consequences that ensued is the pathway of reconciliation that God showed man must take when they rebel against a pure and holy God.
PART SIX: THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE WILDERNESS TABERNACLE (Chapters 35-end)
In this section, the blueprints that God gave to Moses up on Mount Sinai come to physical fruition.
This section concludes with God’s very own Spirit inhabiting the divine structure.
Now I don’t know if you realized this, but this 6-fold structure of Exodus is the same pattern that we believers have to go through in our lives, sometimes more than once, until we reach full maturity.
First, we are delivered from our bondage to sin and this evil world.
Second, since we are still babies in the Lord, the tendency to sin will still often rear its ugly head causing us to trip up and fall flat on our faces more times than we’d like to.
Third, we receive the covenant which includes BOTH the Torah and the Living Word (Yeshua).
Unfortunately, many Christians skip the Torah part resulting in the overlooking of a key factor that could contribute strongly to their walk with the Lord.
Fourth, through the purifying blood of Yeshua, our tabernacles (bodies) are prepared to receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, due to the evil inclinations that still reside within us even after becoming believers, we will still backslide big time.
But the Lord will make a way for us to come back to him.
At this point, some will accept the Lord’s grace and return back to Him.
And, unfortunately, some will fall away from their Father never to come back.
Finally, after much stumbling and falling, we will emerge as a fully constructed and complete tabernacle ready to do God’s Work.