Old Testament Essay I: The Exodus

Introduction
The book of Exodus is an example of books in the Old Testament with full evidence of how God cares for his people and keeps his promises. The word “Exodus” is a Greek name meaning “Exit.” Traditions indicate that Moses wrote the book from the events that occurred on their way to Canaan. The book summarizes the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt, and God’s plan and preparation to save them, which began with saving Moses. Exodus reveals God’s willingness and ability to save his people from suffering when they call for his help and serves as a motivation to believers to keep praying and doing God’s wish even when in sadness for God will answer their prayers when the time is right.
The Book of Exodus
After years of oppression, God decided to save his people from slavery in Egypt. The reigning Pharaoh refused to let Israelites go as God had ordered through Moses. Therefore, God sent several plagues to Egypt, and the tenth one killed many Egyptians, including the Pharaoh’s son, and thus Israelites could leave. As Moses and the crowd were living, Pharaoh’s Armies pursued Israelites up to the Red Sea. Moses and the group came to what they thought was a dead-end, but God saved them again. He split the waters of the Sea into two paving the way for the Israelites to cross and all the Egyptian army drowned. God led the Israelites through the wilderness, helped them win against the enemies like the Amalekites, led their way using clouds and provided them with light during the night, he also fed them throughout the journey and finally delivered them to the land of Canaan as he had promised Abraham.
Addiction
Today, Christians suffer from various forms of slavery, for example, an addiction that makes the story of Exodus as relevant to Christians today as it was to the Israelites (Rochester, 2018). Like slavery, no one plans to be an addict, and what starts like an excellent plan to make life more comfortable turns tragic and abandoning it becomes a problem. Drug addiction has led to humanity’s struggle within them. Whereas in slavery, the oppressed serve a master, drug addicts are controlled by the drug and thus breaking free requires not only the efforts of the individuals but also an intervention (Myers, 2018). The intervention comes from God, who enters the lives of those suffering and saves from the bondage with sin, death, and the devil (Romans 8: 21). God only requires the oppressed to call unto him and trust that he will save them. The book of John (3:16-19) emphasizes God’s message from Exodus stating that those who put faith in God for salvation will rise to glory and live to eternity with God. God, therefore, calls for the suffering like drug addicts to have faith in him, and he will come to their salvation.
Never Give Up
The story can also apply to students who are in school but are experiencing difficulties in paying for school fees. Students fear to be in school only to miss the final examinations due to financial challenges. Some students are in school, but given the state of corruption in school today, they doubt their ability to secure a job. As a result, many students experiencing such challenges contemplate dropping out of school. The book of Exodus creates a picture of Pharaoh’s army charging after Israelites and the Red Sea ahead of the Israelites, and they all believe they had come to a dead end. But as they come to the Sea, God performs a miracle, and they cross while the enemies drown. The scene teaches believers to pray to God and keep doing their part without giving up, and God will provide the way just when they need it most (Eck, 2018).
Conclusion
The “Exit” from Egypt and the miracles performed as the Israelites passed through the desert can teach Christians various lessons about God. God is just and punishes evil people and exalts the righteous. God also fulfills his promises, and since he already gave a promise to Christians through Jesus, he will keep the promise by protecting them provided they trusted in him. Moreover, when God decides to deliver you from suffering, no human being can stop that. Meanwhile, God requires those in modern slavery to keep praying and worship him, and he will deliver when the time is right.
References
Eck, J. (2018). Divine Strategies against Abuse of Power in the Opening of the Book of Isaiah and the Exodus Story. Some Aspects where Micah is not Similar to Isaiah. Zeitschrift für diesalttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 130(1), 4-25.
Myers, D. N. (2018). The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life. Yale University Press.
Rochester, K. (2018). Reading the Exodus Story Alongside Case Studies of Abuse and Betrayal in Family Relationships. The Expository Times, 129(4), 158-164.

Old Testament Essay II: Abraham
Introduction
Abraham is one of the characters in the bible from whom Christians learn a lot. In the book of James, Abraham is referred to as God’s friend while in the book of Galatians, there are references that elude all generations to be children of Abraham. In the New Testament, he is among the characters of the Old Testament whose names are mentioned severally. His name only comes second, behind that Moses, in the number of mentions in the New Testament to show his significance to Christianity. Personally, Abraham is the symbol of Faith in my life and my education is a living testimony that God used the story of Abraham in communicating to me on how to respond and what to expect.
Abraham’s story
After Noah’s time, the world became sinful again, and God began a second plan to rescue humanity by calling Abraham to abandon his hometown of Ur and travel to a place where God would show him (Genesis 11:1-3). Abraham obeyed and went to God’s Promised Land with his family. He entered a covenant with God, where God promised to bless him with many descendants (Genesis 17). He changed his name from Abram to Abraham, which meant “father of a multitude.” God promised to make Abraham the father of many people even though he was already 99 years and his wife 90 years old, which was beyond the child-bearing age. Nevertheless, Abraham believed that God would deliver his promise that Abraham will have children (Genesis 15:5;22:17). After some time, the couple became impatient, and Sarah allowed Abraham to have a child with her handmaid, and the child was named Ishmael. However, God’s promise involved a son born of Abraham and Sarah, and at 100 years, Sarah gave birth to a son who they named Isaac. When Isaac was a young boy, God instructed Abraham to offer him as a sacrifice, and Abraham obeyed, but before he could kill him, God intervened and provided him with a ram to offer as a sacrifice (Fischer & Friedman, 2019).
My testimony
The story of Abraham is very significant to me. I come from a humble family, and there is a one-year difference in age between my younger brother and me. As a result, we finished college together and were both required to join the University for undergraduate programs. However, my parents could not afford it, and our parents decided to send my brother to school while I was supposed to stay back and help in raising his school. I found it unfair because I was the elder one, but I obeyed. Every time I complained, he would claim that my brother had a higher chance of succeeding academically, and his success would benefit the whole family, including me. He reminded me to have faith and keep praying that things work out (Friedman, 2017). Besides, he thought I was hardworking enough to help raise enough money for the family compared to my brother. I worked 16 hours a day and tried to save some extra money for my schooling, but every time I tried something came up and the schools, I applied for could not admit me. After two years at the university, my brother had performed well. He impressed some Canadian organizationsthat not only agreed to pay for his education but also offered him a job with a good salary. He paid for my undergraduate degree and currently caters to 75 percent of my needs in school. Like in Abraham’s story, I believe God had a plan for my education and the plan involved my brother’s success. I also had to sacrifice my education for some time to help my brother pursue his career.
Moreover, I liken my father’s faith in my brother’s success to that of Abraham in God’s plan. God requires humans to sacrifice and respond to his plan obediently, and even though I complained, I obeyed (Friedman, 2016). In addition, God needed me to be patient, and whenever I was impatient and tried other means, I failed for my success was meant to come through my brother.
Conclusion
Abraham lived a life of faith by leaving his home for an unknown land, believed that he would have children despite being old, and almost sacrificed his only and long-awaitedson at God’s command. God continues to communicate with us today through the scriptures. Individuals might be in suffering or dilemmas to the extent of questioning their faith. But God tells them through the scriptures that he has a plan and that they should respond to the events with trust, obedience, and patience.

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References
Fischer, D., & Friedman, H. H. (2019). Tone-at-the-top Lessons from Abrahamic Justice. Journal of Business Ethics, 156(1), 209-225.
Friedman, H. H. (2016). Can an Omniscient God be Fallible? Several Important Lessons About Leadership from an Extraordinary Midrash. Several Important Lessons about Leadership from an Extraordinary Midrash (September 18, 2016).
Friedman, H. H. (2017). Rabbi Dimi and his figs: Powerful lessons from one Talmudic story. Available at SSRN 2988692.

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