Friday, July 27, 2007

Exodus; Tabernacle & Creation

Peter Enns, in his helpful commentary on Exodus points out that the tabernacle is paralleled with creation.

1. There are seven 'The LORD said to Moses' instructions re. the building of the tabernacle and accompaniments (25:1; 30:11, 17, 22, 34; 31:1; 31:12).

2. The seventh (31:12) is an instruction not so much about the tabernacle (on the face of it) but rather about the sabbath. The instruction here highlights the link to creation clearly (31:17).

3. Enns is unsure about the order of the other six and is reluctant to see them tied too directly to the days of creation, stating that the overall point is made clear simply by the structure of seven climaxing in sabbath rest. I haven't thought a lot further, but it is interesting that the sixth 'The LORD said' instruction is regarding Oholiab and Bezalel, two men filled with God's breath/Spirit/spirit and commissioned to build the tabernacle (cf. Genesis 1:26-30 = Day 6 and creation of humanity, commissioned to have dominion. cf. Genesis 2:7, 15 = Man created and filled with God's breath, commissioned to tend God's garden-sanctuary).

4. Following the Golden Calf incident and following (32-34), there is yet again mention of the sabbath (35:1-3) and then a narrative of the actual building of the temple, under Moses instructions, through the obedience of the Israelites, all according to the heavenly pattern.

5. When all the building is done we are told that 'Moses finished the work' (40:33) in a (surely) deliberate echo of Genesis 2:2.

So, the tabernacle was a model restoration of creation order, a microcosm (Enn's word) of creation, showing how things could and should be with Yahweh as King. How exciting that, by extension/fulfilment/typology/union with Christ, the Church is the tabernacle/temple.

Exodus: Talks and passages

Here is the rough breakdown of my series on 'Exodus - The Great Escape' for camp (starts saturday, 9-12 yr olds).

1. Exodus 1 (&2). God keeps his promises (intro to the series)

2. Exodus 3 (&4). Meet the LORD (i.e., what's he like? Holy/Saving/Reliable)

3. Exodus 7-11. The Big Fight - Pharaoh vs God (God is God of all the earth)

4. Exodus 12. Passover - Rescue through Blood (Mainly about PSA this talk)

5. Exodus 14. The Red Sea - Rescue through Victory (God beats his people's enemies)

6. Exodus 20:1-17. Living God's Way (How should rescued people live? Point of rescue was from slavery in egypt to Yahweh's kingship etc.)

7. Exodus 25, 29, 40:34ff. God with us (Tabernacle, God dwelling with his people as the goal of redemption, God guiding Israel all the way to the promised land etc. etc.)

It has really struck me in preparation just how much stuff there is in Exodus. Along the way we'll meet (at times only briefly, alas) with such themes and doctrines as;

- God's sovereignty and human responsibility (talks 3&4 mainly)

- Salvation as new creation (talks 5, 6, 7 mainly)

- Judgment (and in fact sin) as de-creation (mainly talk 3, but it could so easily be in 5 too)

- The Perseverence of the Saints (talk 7)

And of course, Covenant/Promise, Penal Substitutionary Atonement, Death/Resurrection, Law/Grace, Lordship, Kingdom, Christus Victor, Revelation and so on...

Basically, there's quite a lot in Exodus, and I've only started to scratch the surface.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Exodus - The gospel according to Moses

This is the first of what I hope will turn into several posts on Exodus to help me get myself clear(er) in time for talks next week at camp. First up, some general points which will govern all my teaching from Exodus.

1. Exodus follows Genesis.
The book of Exodus is self-consciously a continuation of the story begun in the first book of the bible. The story of Creation-Fall-Abraham and ff. is always in the background either explicitly or implicitly. In short, I'll be aiming to teach Exodus as part of the story of God pursuing his original plans for his creation through the family line of Abraham.

2. Exodus is 'about' Jesus
This is because the story begun in Genesis and continued in Exodus reaches its climax in what God did/is doing through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is obvious and more familiar in some parts (Christ as the passover lamb of Exodus 12) but I'm guessing there will be less familiar discoveries along the way too.

3. Exodus is Gospel
In a very real and significant way, therefore, Exodus is a proclamation of the gospel, both in terms of types and shadows (the tabernacle, the passover) but also in terms of its exposition, expansion and exploration of the gospel promises already announced to Abraham and co. in the covenant(s) of Genesis 12, 15, 17 etc. and its further revelation of the gospel/covenant-proclaiming and fulfilling God. This assumption will prove especially important when teaching the 'law bits'. One of the things I hope to help the children see is that 'His commands are not burdensome' (1 John 5:3).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Reformation in Geneva

Here are some pictures from our visit to Geneva on holiday. The first is Calvin's auditorium where he and John Knox lectured and where reformed refugees from across the whole world gathered to hear them, including many of the guys who would go back to Britain in Elizabeth's reign to get the reformation going again.

The second is the cover of the initial copy of Calvin's Institutes. This work helped clarify the teachings regained at the time of reformation
and spread them across the world.

This is the inscription from Calvin's grave.

There were many more delights, especially the city's newly-opened museum of the reformation. Claire and I bumped into Mark Dever there, which was slightly weird. Whilst he tried to buy a bust of Calvin for his office desk from the Museum gift-shop, I rather fancied the ale they were selling named after the great reformer.

Anyway, the point of it all? Just the kind of thing geeky Oak Hill students get up to on their hols? well, I was struck by one big thing:

The reformers achieved an awful lot and changed the world. Calvin was 55 when he died. Others died younger. Yet these guys left behind them an incredible body of work. In an age before the internet etc. they worked tirelessly to spread the gospel they'd re-discovered around Europe and lay foundations for the generations of Christians who followed them. Just in our one day in Geneva we saw and heard of schools, universities and churches set up, civil government reforms, church government reforms, missionaries trained and sent, books written and revised, and more. It kind of makes me wonder what I've been playing around at these last 28 years.