Yahweh has a special interest in telling salvation stories. When all of humanity had fallen into total corruption and Noah was the only person left that God had hope in, God saved him through a “tebah”—the Hebrew word we translate as “ark.” This tebah would carry Noah safely through the flood waters, sparing him from judgment.
Unfortunately, on the other side of the flood, humanity quickly fell back into corruption and Yahweh’s very people became slaves, oppressed by the power of Egypt. Yet in the midst of their pain, Yahweh provided a new “tebah” for them (this time translated “basket”), which carried baby Moses across his own waters to safety. In due time, Moses would grow up to become the man that God would work through to liberate His enslaved people from Egypt. Moses was a new tebah of sorts.
Moses would eventually give way to a new leader named Joshua, whose name means, “Yahweh is salvation.” Joshua would lead God’s people into the Promised Land where they would become a beacon to the world as to what Yahweh looks like as they imaged Him in all matters of life, justice, and so on. But sadly, when God’s people were handed the same kind of power that Egypt had, they quickly forgot they were once slaves, set Yahweh aside, and became oppressors themselves. They had become a new kind of Egypt. And so God turned them over to exile as judgment.
Given humanity’s never-ending corruption, you’d think God would give up on us, but instead, he decided to offer us salvation in the most unimaginable way possible: He put on human flesh and came to us under the name “Jesus”—that is, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name, “Joshua”—which again, means, “Yahweh is salvation.” He then took on the cross and died for us as a sacrifice for our sins.
And now, it’s through our baptismal pledge of loyalty to Jesus-only that He, in His grace, spares us from the ultimate coming judgment, just as God once spared Noah from the flood waters of old (1 Peter 3:18-22). And as God’s newly-freed people, we will be brought into the resurrected Promised Land of the new heavens and new earth, carried and protected by the ultimate tebah called “Jesus,” who is Yahweh Himself, our salvation.
And Jesus now invites everyone and anyone to come and follow Him in exchange for grace; for Yahweh has a special interest in telling salvation stories.