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God Leads

"Pack up. Move. Now, stay put where you are. Okay, move again. Go where I show you. Follow me." As the people of Israel depart from Sinai, God leads them out onto the open road. Some days God asks them to pick up and move. Other days he has them stay where they are...but the result is still the obvious truth that God is the one leading. Like a shepherd leading his flock...like a great light leading forward through the darkness, God draws his people forward toward the future he has in store for them...and now the Church also embraces this calling. In the words of Hans Kung: "The Church is essentially en route, on a journey, a pilgrimage. A Church which pitches its tents without looking out constantly for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calling."

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God Draws Near

In the ancient world, you never knew where you stood with the gods. So you would make sacrifice after sacrifice, trying to earn or keep their favor. Within that context, God invites Israel to "draw near." In a revolutionary step forward in the history of the world, this God gives his people specific instructions so that they may know exactly where they stand with him...because the time was coming (and indeed is now here!) when God would reveal his true intentions - to do away with religious systems of sacrifice in order to dwell forever with and within human beings in a loving relationship.

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God Covenants

The desert road leads to the mountain of Sinai...the place where God will ratify his covenant with his people. God has rescued Israel and brought them out of Egypt for this singular purpose: that they might become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The God who desires the salvation and reconciliation of all things sets before Israel a way of life that will shape them into their role as the "called out ones," a peculiar people of justice and mercy...a light to the nations.

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God Provides

In an epic series of events, God rescues the people of Israel and brings them out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. God is leading his people into a new life, and toward the land he has promised for them. But as the people emerge out of the crossing of the Red Sea, as the echoes fade of their triumphant celebration on the shore, the reality of the desert road emerges: What will they eat? What will they drink? How will millions of people survive in the wilderness? Faced with thirst and starvation, the people are invited to decide: "Do we want to return to Egypt? Or will we walk on, trusting in the God who provides?"

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