St. Mark’s Adult Education Meeting Summary
A General Overview of the Old Testament
A Discussion led by The Rev. Mike Kreutzer
Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Old Testament — Exodus: Chapters 13 – 15
Israel sees this story as its very own. It is a saving event for each generation. It goes back to the same story again — back to the passover story. Spring is the time of replenishment and the Israelites were instructed not to eat leavened bread for seven days because of what the Lord did for you to deliver us all from Egypt. You shall also offer sacrifices to God when your first child is born also to remind you of what the Lord did for us.
Returning to the main story, the Israelites did not go along the coast through the land of the Philistines because they were afraid to enter into war there. Instead, they went through the wilderness to the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds). Jacob’s bones are also taken to the promised land as he had desired. The presence of God represented by a pillar of light is with them.
The Lord tells the Israelites to backtrack so Pharaoh will think they are lost and vulnerable and send his armies after them. Then the Lord can have his glory over Pharaoh. So Pharaoh sends his army to pursue the Israelites with over 600 chariots. Then Moses was instructed to spread his staff over the Red Sea and as the east wind blew, a clearing of dry ground appeared for them to walk through. Moses spread his staff again, the winds changed direction and Pharaoh’s army was trapped and they all drowned. Now the Israelites believed in the Lord!
The Song of Moses probably came from the time of David and Solomon. It portrays the Lord as a warrior. It praises God for his assistance in the defeat of the Egyptians. It thanks God for leading them through the wilderness and for bringing them to the temple. Then Aaron’s wife, Miriam, thanks God again for the defeat of the Egyptians. The story goes back and forth between ritual and the contemporary life there.