THE KING’S BUSINESS
and forces are His, and bless or scourge at His will. It is folly to trust them apart from Him. 3. He Is Righteous. He destroys the wicked; He saves the oppressed (Ps. 9:17; 146:7). 4. Jehovah Is God. The God of Israel is God, the I AM; the covenant keeping God. His chosen cannot sink too low, n6r their oppressors be so strong, that He should forget, or l)e unable to save. VI. O ther L essons . 1. Ten times Pharaoh is said to have hardened his heart; ten times Jehovah is said to have done it. Sinners first harden their hearts against God; by natural law they then tend to grow harder; by judicial infliction God punishes hardening by hard ening. 2. Sinners in trouble or peril promise re form; but graciously delivered they break their vows. “When the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be; When the deVil was well, the devil a monk was he.“ 3. Compromises are inconsistent when duty is in question. Moses refused to com promise with Pharaoh to go with the men only; to go a little ways, instead of a three days’ journey; to leave the cattle behind. He refused to “leave a hoof behind.” - We must quit Egypt altogether, and go all the way with God. We must take our wives and children with u s; and even our cattle, for all our possessions are Jehovah’s.
(2) The miraculous consisted in the timing, the intensity, and rapid succession of the strokes; the actual “blood” ; and the fatal aim at the firstborn. That the phe nomena were common in Egypt proves the writer’s contemporary acquaintance with Egypt; and in part explains Pharaoh’s in corrigibility, for when the stroke was passed he persuaded himself that the catas trophe was natural. So sinners find excuse for infidelity in natural law, and God right ly leaves them occasion for it. Faith fol lows disposition of mind, not demonstra- tion of God. (3) Each stroke was a blow' at the “gods” of Egypt; which must not be over looked, for it is general, not local, in its application. They who “worship the creat ure more than the Creator” (Rom. 1:25), their gods shall turn against them. The gold that Crassus coveted was poured molten down his throat.. Egypt paid Divine honors to the Nile; the frog; the soil (from whence the “lice”) ; the beetle; the cattle (their bull-god Apis); the planets (veiled in darkness); the first born of Pharaoh; all these they worshiped, held sacred, too, the bodies of their priests now loathesome with running sores. Jehovah “executed judgment on all the gods of Egypt” (Exod. 12:12) by using them as scourges to their devotees. V. T he I ssue of the C onflict . 1. God Reigns. Kings and peoples are as dust before Him (Dan. 4:7). 2. Nature Obeys Him. All creatures
LESSON VI.—August 10.— T he P assover .— Exod. 12:1-42. G olden T ext : The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many. —Matt. 20:28. I. T he L ast S troke .
dition and character! He is but the tool of Satan, taken up and used by him, in his malignant efforts to counteract- the pur poses of God. . . . No man is his own master; he is either governed by Christ or governed by Satan . . . Satan was behind the throne; and as the result of Pharaoh’s having set himself to resist the purposes of
“How utterly vain it is for man to harden and exalt himself against God; for, truly, He can grind to powder the hardest heart, and bring down to dust the haught iest spirit.” Those that walk in pride He is able to abase/ (Dan. 4:37) . . . Vain man! how little he knows of his real con
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