Countering scholarly tendencies to fragment the text due to theological problems, Ross Blackburn contends that Exodus can be read as a unified whole, and that an appreciation of this missionary theme in its canonical context is of great help in dealing with difficult issues that the book poses. For example, how is Exodus 6:3 best understood? Is there a tension between law and gospel, or mercy and judgment? How should we understand the painstaking detail of the tabernacle chapters?
From a careful examination of Exodus, Blackburn demonstrates that:
- the Lord humbles Pharaoh so that the world would know that only God can save;
- the Lord gives Israel the law so that she might display his goodness to the world, and live in a state of order and blessing;
- the Lord deals with Israel's idolatry severely, yet mercifully, for his goodness cannot be known if his glory is compromised.
In the end, Exodus not only sheds important light on the church's mission, but also reveals what kind of God the Lord is, one who pursues his glory and our good, ultimately realizing both as he makes himself known in Christ Jesus.