and I told you to let My son go so that he may worship Me. But since you have refused to let him go, behold, I will kill your firstborn son!'"
I. Let us endeavour to fix our thoughts upon THE VOICE OF GOD, which was a real power to bring up His people out of Egypt. That voice was threefold; asserting His proprietorship in them, demanding their freedom, and ordaining their destiny.
1. The condescension of God in the establishing of this relationship. A nation of slaves; in the eyes of the Egyptians little better than a nation of lepers; yet Jehovah says of them, "Israel is my son, my firstborn." "Behold what manner of love," etc. (1 John 3:1).
2. The privileges implied in it. On this cf. Deuteronomy 1:31-34; Deuteronomy 8:2-6; Deuteronomy 32:9-15. Reflect how Israel was led, fed, guided, trained, chastened, delivered from enemies, and conducted to a bountiful inheritance. These privileges have all their counterparts in the experience of the "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus'" (Galatians 3:26).
3. The responsibilities it imposed on others. Because Israel was God's son, his firstborn, Pharaoh was to refrain from oppressing his son, and if he did not he would be smitten in his own firstborn.
(1) As men treat God's children so will God treat them. He notes, and he will reward, kindnesses done to his sons, and he will avenge their wrongs.
(2) God's children may safely leave the avenging of their wrongs to God. It is not their work, but his, to avenge them; the rule for them is to avenge not themselves, but rather to give place to wrath; heaping coals of fire on the head of the enemy by returning him good for his evil (Romans 12:19-21). - J.O.
Israel is My son, even My firstborn.I. THAT THE GOOD HAVE A DIVINE FATHER.
1. He is merciful to the children.
2. He vindicates the children from their foes.
II. THAT THE GOOD HAVE HEAVENLY PRIVILEGES. AS the sons of God.
1. They have the privilege of high birth. Only they who are the subjects of this new birth know the privileges it confers upon them. Nor can the meanest ancestry of earth be excluded therefrom.
2. They have the privilege of good moral culture. In God's family all the children are well disciplined. This culture of our moral nature is designed to fit us more thoroughly for the high relationship into which we arc called, that we may be responsive to all its duties, and in harmony with its sacred destinies.
III. THAT THE GOOD HAVE INSPIRING HOPES.
1. The hope of a happy death.
2. The hope of a vast inheritance.
3. The hope of a sublime future.Christians are the sons of God. Lessons:
1. Live worthy of your great Parent.
2. Act worthy of your noble ancestry.
3. Embrace your glorious privileges.
4. Let nothing dim your bright hopes.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Let My son go, that he may serve Me.I. THAT GOD HAS A DEFINITE PURPOSE IN THE MORAL FREEDOM OF MEN. His great aim is to bring men from the tyranny of passion, pride, covetousness and self, into the freedom of a tranquil, humble, and self-denying service. Hence the Divine preparation that is given to the varied agencies that are to achieve this freedom.
II. THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD IN THE MORAL FREEDOM OF MEN IS THAT THEY SHOULD SERVE HIM.
1. That we should serve Him in our business.
2. That we should serve Him in our social life.
3. That we should serve Him with all our energies.Why should we serve Him?
(1) (2) (J. S. Exell, M. A.)
(2) (J. S. Exell, M. A.)
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
II. Now here was THE VOICE OF MAN. What a come-down it seems to be. "Thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Let My son go." Why did not the Lord say it Himself? Why did He need to pick up a Moses and send him to say it? Well, had the Lord said it Himself to Pharaoh, it would have been very startling, and Pharaoh must have yielded ultimately to the Divine fiat: but do you not see the deeper marvel in the milder proceeding, when Jehovah, as it were, hides His power and cloaks it in weakness? Instead of appealing to Pharaoh with that voice which breaks the cedars of Lebanon, and makes the hinds to calve, He speaks to him by one who was slow of speech and of a stammering tongue. Now, if God's voice can vanquish Pharaoh when it masks itself behind the feebleness of a stammering Moses, it will be more glorious than it would have been if it had used no instrumentality whatever. Go on with steady perseverance. Be ye sure of this, ye shall not labour in vain or spend your strength for naught. Are you still slow of speech? Nevertheless, go on. Have you been rebuked and rebuffed? Have you had little else than defeat? This is the way to success. You shall macadamize the road with the rough flints of your failure. Toil on and believe on. Be steadfast in your confidence, for with a high hand and an outstretched arm the Lord will fetch out His own elect, and He will fetch some of them out by you.
III. Our last word is upon THE POWER OF GOD. Without the power of God the voice of man would have been an utter failure. What effect was produced by the voice of Moses? Went there not forth with it a power which plagued Pharaoh? It filled the sinful land of Egypt with plagues. So men that preach God's gospel with God's power fill the world with plagues. What will occur by and by? Why, the oppressor will be glad to part with his bondsmen. It sometimes happens that the ungodly become themselves very glad to get rid of God's chosen people, whom they are prone to persecute. "Their melancholy ill comports with our liveliness," so they say. A lady who joined this Church some years ago, moving in the higher circles of society, said to me, "I was quite willing to continue my acquaintance with my friends, but I found they gave me the cold shoulder, and did not want me." Just so. It is a great mercy when the Egyptians say, "Get ye gone," and when they are ready to give you jewels of silver and jewels of gold to get rid of you. The Lord wants His people to come right out and to be separate; He knows how by the simple utterance of the gospel to put such a division between His people and those who are not His people, that even the ungodly shall begin to say, "Get you gone; we want to have nothing further to do with you." Glory be to God when such a thing as that happens.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)1. Claims attention.
2. Certain of execution.
3. Stern in requirement.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
PeopleAaron, Isaac, Israelites, Jacob, Jethro, Moses, Pharaoh, Zipporah
PlacesEgypt, Horeb, Midian, Nile River
TopicsBehold, Death, Firstborn, First-born, Hast, Kill, Refuse, Refused, Serve, Slay, Slaying, Sons, Worship
Outline1. Moses's rod is turned into a serpent.
6. His hand is leprous.
10. He loathes his calling.
13. Aaron is appointed to assist him.
18. Moses departs from Jethro.
21. God's message to Pharaoh.
24. Zipporah circumcises her son.
27. Aaron is sent to meet Moses.
29. The people believe them.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesExodus 4:23
1235 God, the LORD
LibraryJanuary 13. "Thou Shalt be to Him Instead of God" (Ex. Iv. 16).
"Thou shalt be to him instead of God" (Ex. iv. 16). Such was God's promise to Moses, and such the high character that Moses was to assume toward Aaron, his brother. May it not suggest a high and glorious place that each of us may occupy toward all whom we meet, instead of God? What a dignity and glory it would give our lives, could we uniformly realize this high calling! How it would lead us to act toward our fellow-men! God can always be depended upon. God is without variableness or shadow of turning. …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
May the Eleventh but -- --!
May the Twelfth Mouth and Matter
A Bundle of Myrrh is My Well-Beloved unto Me; He Shall Abide Between My Breasts.
Preaching (I. ).
To the Saddest of the Sad
The Sweet Uses of Adversity
"For if Ye Live after the Flesh, Ye Shall Die; but if Ye through the Spirit do Mortify the Deeds of the Body, Ye Shall Live.
The Hardening in the Sacred Scripture.
The Quotation in Matt. Ii. 6.
Flight into Egypt and Slaughter of the Bethlehem Children.
Appendix xii. The Baptism of Proselytes
A Canticle of Love
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