Laura Laws, Nick Skinner, Sarah Swain INT – 244 Collaborative Learning Assignment Professor Anthony Colombo March 24, 2013 Children of Abraham The Exodus event laid an important foundation for God’s redemption plan for humanity and it is clearly recognized in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. The purpose of this essay will be to discuss the historical, social and spiritual metaphor for the Exodus experience for Judaism throughout the ages. We will also discuss the ways in which the Exodus experience might parallel the salvation, conversion and the sanctification experience in Christianity.
Finally we will discuss the way Islam views the Exodus experience different from that of Judaism and Christianity. By answering each of these questions effectively we hope to gain a new understanding of what God was doing for future generations through each belief. While researching the history of Judaism we see that God lays out the plan and purpose for His chosen people; we also see the people proving their lack of desire to live according to this purpose.
Even though the people of Israel were God’s chosen people, they continually failed to meet His expectations and often did whatever they wanted because they could; this included worshipping other gods. As time went on the influence became stronger until the voice and purpose of God could only be heard by a few. The teachings of Judaism are often centered on ethical or ethical-historical monotheism; meaning that professing Jews, of various backgrounds, believe in the one and only God, the God of Israel (Baron, 2011). The Exodus can be seen as prophesy as far back as Abraham.
God spoke to Abraham about the bondage of Israel in Egypt and said that after a time of servitude, there would be relief. God used the great darkness and the smoking furnace to let Abraham know that their servitude to Egypt would last four hundred years and then “they will come away with great wealth” (Genesis 15:14, NLT). God knew that there were many trials ahead under Pharaoh’s empire but in the end the Israelites would overcome (The Exodus, 2010). The social experiences began when the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. Through Moses, God commanded this large body of water to recede and let the people pass on dry land.
Once they were through to safety God allowed the water to fall on their enemies and take them out. It was time for celebration; they were a free people with nothing else to fear but God; at this point the stopped to celebrate their first Passover. While leaving in such a hurry their bread had not had time to rise so every year when the Passover is celebrated we remember by not eating anything with yeast in it. When the Israelites began to travel they were led by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night. Since food and water were not always available to them God provided them with Manna and spiritual water.
These two things reminded them (and us) that God is always providing for us the things we need: physically and spiritually (Deem, 2008). The journey also brought them closer together as people. They were all suffering the same and so they were able to cling to one another and reach out for guidance. As God lead the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery He began to test them to see how faithful they would hold to Him. They were faced with a harsh and relentless environment that yielded little food and scarce water. They had to turn to God to provide for them because if not, they all would have perished in months.
God provided daily manna for food and water from a rock; as long as the people relied on Him, He provided. The Exodus experience not only provided a historical, social and spiritual metaphor for Judaism but it also became the foundation for the salvation, sanctification, and conversion experience in Christianity. The Exodus experience shows us an interesting parallel with the metamorphosis of salvation in the Bible. The Old Testament story of redemption provides a pathway for the New Testament metaphor of spiritual deliverance (Ryken, 1998).
God lead the Israelites out of slavery and guided them safely throughout the challenges that they faced as a nation. Now, by accepting Jesus, the Holy Spirit will lead us throughout the trials that face us. The prophecies throughout the Old Testament show how God sanctified the people of Israel after leaving Egypt. It starts in Genesis 12:1,2 “ The Lord said to Abraham leave your country, your people, and your fathers household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be blessed. This promise made by God sets the stage for the Israelites to be brought out of Egypt. I feel this experience can be compared to sanctification because God made Abraham and his decedents holy. Sanctification is to become holy. Exodus 31:33 tells us “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, and for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. ” Exodus 26:2 says “Consecrate to me all the first born, whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast it is mine. Also in Exodus 30:25 “You shall concrete them, that they may be most holy, whatever touches them will become holy. ” I think the most important piece of scripture showing how the Exodus experience parallel’s sanctification can be found in Exodus 29:34: “There I will meet with the people of Israel, and it shall be sanctified by my glory. ” The act of conversion is to accept God. In the time of the Exodus experience many in the land were pagans. God would use things like the bringing the Israelites out of Egypt to the people he is real, this was for anyone that did not believe in him.
Exodus 11:3 tells us “and Jehovah gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. ” Ephesians 2:8 tells us “For by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. ” Mark 16:16 says “Whatever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whatever does not believe will be condemned. ” God shows us his awesomeness over and over again thru different stories in the Bible. These stories in ancient times when they happened they showed others the power of God. In today’s society these stories still serve to show people God’s greatness and bring them to Christ.
When it comes to the Exodus experience there are some significant differences in views between that of the Christian and Judaism faith compared to that of the Muslim faith. The Christians, Jews, and the Muslims agree that Pharaoh had enslaved and oppressed the Jews. They also agree that Moses was used to help gain their freedom and led the Jews out of Egypt. It is in the description of these events that these religions share different views on. These differences range from important details about some of the people found in Exodus as well as the omission of some very important events.
Starting with some of the smaller differences for example, one of the first discrepancies is that of the caretaker of Moses. According to the Holy Bible, Moses was placed in a basket and then put into the river. He was later found by Pharaoh’s daughter who in turn paid Moses’ mother to nurse him. He was then later returned to Pharaoh’s daughter to be raised (Exodus 2:5-9). The Qur’an states that Moses was found by Pharaoh’s household and was raised by Pharaoh’s wife (The Exodus, n. d. ).
These small differences continue in the fact that the Qur’an does not mention the city of Ramses when it describes the Jews Exodus from Egypt. Although these differences in views seem minor, they begin to add up when looking at the big picture. Some of the real different in views began with the description of the plagues. While the book of Exodus in the Holy Bible describes in great detail the ten plagues used by God to bring down divine chastisement on Pharaoh and his people, the Qur’an briefly mentions five plagues that can be an exaggeration of natural phenomena: flooding, locusts, lice, frogs and blood (The Exodus, 2010).
The most important difference in views of the plagues would have to be the plague of Death of the Firstborn. While the Qur’an does not mention this, it can be found in (Exodus 11:4-5). It was this plague that the Jews sacrificed a lamb, using its blood to mark the door of their households so that the angel of death would pass over their house, sparing the life of the firstborn. This plague would lead to the celebration of Passover and be a foreshadowing of the Sacrifice that Jesus would make for the sins of man.
While both Judaism and Islam fail to see Jesus Christ as the Son of God, both Judaism and Christians feel it is important to have a personable relationship with God. The religion of Islam is different in the fact that salvation does not come through a personable relationship with Allah and can only be found in abiding by the four pillars. That being said, for Christians and Jews Exodus is more about a God who saved them from slavery because He cares for His people and wants a personable relationship with them.
While for the Muslims, Exodus is more about the persecution of Pharaoh who caused depravity among Allah’s people. The Exodus experience offered a new hope for the people of Israel and a foundation for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Even though several differences are seen between the religions, they all pulled from the same experience. From this we can learn that not everyone views an experience the same but what they take from it is equally important. It was an enlightening experience for all of Israel that can still be seen today.
References The Exodus. (2010) Retreved March 18, 2013, from, http://jews-for-allah. org/israel/archaeology/exodus-moses-bible-quran. htm Ryken, L. , Wilhoit, J. , and Longman III, T. (ed. ’s), (1998), Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, USA:Intervarsity Press. Deem, R. (2008). Evidence for God, retrieved March 16, 2011 from http://www. godandscience. org/apologetics/christianity_is_too_old-fashioned. html Baron, S. (2011). The History of Judaism retrieved March 16, 2011 fromhttp://history-world. org/history_of_judaism. htm.