St. James Power Station Food Republic Beer Garden and Exodus
Open until 5am or 6am (depending on the day of the week), the Food Republic Beer Garden at St. James Power Station provides the oily hawker food clubbers might crave to line their alcohol-irritated tummies before stumbling home at dawn. The former carpark is another exercise in simulacra by the Breadtalk Group whose shops and food courts are all drapped with the now-popular retro accoutrements, though tourists and Singapore kids raised on iDevices may not get all the references.
The food wasn’t half bad – more decent than the Food Republic in Vivocity and cheaper:
Similarly, as we started in on Exodus, it was clear that the narrative could be grossly misinterpreted if not read in the context of what had already happened in Genesis.
Q: Why were the sons of Israel (Jacob) in Egypt?
Because there was famine in the land they were living in, and Joseph their brother whom they had enviously sold off, had, in God’s plan, been sent to Egypt before them so that he would have the opportunity to keep them alive (Genesis 50:20).
Q: Before he died, what did Joseph make his brothers swear?
That they would carry his bones from Egypt when God visited them (Genesis 50:25). This would have made no sense to them then since there was no reason then to leave a land that had food while the land around was in famine. But this demonstrated Joseph’s faith that God would keep his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob some time in the future.
Q: The author of Exodus compares the number of people who came to Egypt with Jacob with the number in the next generation. What is the significance of that? (Which promise of God does this fulfil?)
Genesis 12:1-2, 7 – what does God promise Abraham?
Genesis 26:3-4 – what does God promise Isaac (Abraham’s son)?
Genesis 28:3-4 – what does God promise Jacob (Abraham’s grandson)?
Q: What were the Egyptians afraid of?
There are too many people of Israel and if war breaks out, they might join the enemies of the Egyptians and fight against them, and escape from Egypt (Exodus 1:10)
Q: So what the Egyptians do to the people of Israel?
They dealt shrewdly with them (Exodus 1:10), enslaved them and put them to hard labour (Exodus 1:11,13-14), commanded Hebrew midwives to kill male children (Exodus 1:15).
Q: But were the Egyptian birth control policies effective?
No, the more the people of Israel were oppressed, the more they multiplied, the more they spread abroad (Exodus 1:12). Multiplied and grew very strong (Exodus 1:20).
Q: In light of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, what is so significant about this?
God is fulfilling his promises to them, despite human opposition in the form of Pharaoh and his oppressive foreign slave policies.
Q: But what else has yet to be fulfilled?
Q: What would you have expected to be God’s plan when Moses was inserted into the Egyptian royal household?
Q: What happened to Moses instead?
Q: What are we meant to think of this?
Always useful to look to New Testament for interpretation. Hebrews 11:24-25
Q: Fast forward a bit. Moses encounters a burning bush at Mount Horeb. How does God introduce himself to Moses?
“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6).
[A historical event. It would be a nonsense to allegorise this and ask “what is your burning bush experience?”]
Q: Why does God name those three ancestors specifically?
Because Moses is meant to recall the promises God gave to them – people, land, blessings.
Q: What does he intend to do about his people the descendants of Jacob?
Save them from the affliction of Egypt, bring them to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (Exodus 3:17) ie. start fulfilling the rest of his promises.
Exodus 3 – 4
Q: What does God reveal about himself?
Q: Who will do the saving?
Q: How was Moses himself saved?
Moses is not the hero here (as some Sunday school teachers might have us believe); God is.
Q: What does Pharaoh think about God?
Q: How is his ignorance of God demonstrated in how he now treats the people of Israel?
Q: What do the people of Israel think about God?
Q: What does Moses think about God?
Q: How will God reveal his own character so that the people of Israel and Moses will know him?
By what he is about to do – to fulfil his promises (trustworthy, does what he says he will do), caring, merciful despite rejection by his people and Moses, awesomely powerful.