Notes on the Exodus (4)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

God’s People & the World-Power (Chapter 1 Verse 1)

The exodus events are also about the fulfilling of prophecy. The slave labour here v11. The murdering midwives v12. The drowning of Israel’s sons v22. These threefold persecutions designed to destroy Israel (which is always the intent of the world-power), is also a realisation of revelation (Genesis 15:13). It is the revelation of God’s ways of dealing with his own elect. He often takes them through the deep, through the crucible, the floods roll over them, almost though not quite, overwhelming them (Isaiah 43:2). His ways may be enigmatic to us, but he is not afraid to put his work into the furnace. This is true of his people individually and corporately. But it is always with a wise purpose in view. One reason, I perceive why we are facing mounting persecution in the West today is because we, God’s people, for decades now, have become way too comfortable with the world. And far too much like it. If we won’t separate ourselves from it, maintain the antithesis, he will do it for us. We belong to him.
Israel here now constitute a nation. They are the posterity of Jacob. In the original Hebrew the first word is and v1. Other Old Testament books begin with this word too, it speaks of continuation. It also signifies cohesion, as one book follows another, it forms one entity, the Old Testament scriptures. The sons of Israel v1, literally Jacob’s sons, following this they are referred to as the Israelites. But here they are referred to as the direct, immediate children of Jacob. They arrived in Egypt (Genesis 46:18), with a hearty welcome (Genesis 47:6), though separated from the Egyptians (Genesis 46:34). But the welcome didn’t last long. They were God’s people, that’s the ultimate reason. It’s no different today, people like the goodness, the blessings God’s people bring with them. But when they realise that they actually do believe, trust in God, and it is actually the God of the Bible. That’s too much.

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)Facebook
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Notes on Romans (68)

“Wrestling With Romans”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

God’s Abundant Supplies (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)

The things God has already accomplished guarantees what God will yet do in the future (v32). The thought, that God after having commenced this work at such a cost, should balk at giving what’s necessary to finish it, as being preposterous. What Abraham was ‘prepared’ to do with his own son, but didn’t actually have to do (Genesis 22.16), God actually did with his own Son (v32). Can you imagine giving one of your own children up to die, an ordinary death, let alone the cross of Calvary, for someone who was nice, good-living and kind, let alone someone who was despicable, violent and deceitful (Romans 5.6-8)? And if that despicable person, were, in ingratitude to what you had given for them, simply, and totally disregarded your action? Would you wait in patience and silence for those people to change their minds? Hoping, wishing, longing that they would (Matthew 21.37)? Well that’s what God did for us (v32). Again it’s God’s doing, he spared him not. By an deliberate act his own will, God gave his Son into the hands of wicked and sinful men in order to crucify him (Acts 2.23), and what for? For us. He took our place, our condemnation (v1), our sin, our shame, our guilt, our hell (John 1.29; 1Peter 1.18-19).

In grace he gave us Jesus, in grace he will give us all things (v32b). That is everything that we need for comfort in this life, for that’s the context of these verses (vv26-30). He won’t hold back, he won’t stint now, not after Golgotha. We may have to suffer for a variety of reasons in this world, whether our fault or through the persecution of others, but God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4.19). If we need the strength to stand in any given situation (Ephesians 6.11; Philippians 1.27; James 5.8; 1Peter 5.10), he will give it. If we need wisdom, ask says James (James 1.5). If we need gifts to serve God in the building of his Church (1Corinthians 12.7; Acts 6.3-6; Romans 12.6-8; 1Corinthians 12.8-11; vv27-31 Ephesians 4.7; vv11-12), he will provide them. God will supply all those needs, all of them. Or if we need love, both for God and others, well, he’ll supply that too (Romans 5.5; 1Corinthians 13.13-14.1a). It’s an appropriate place to finish, because if such a rescue plan doesn’t produce love, what in the world we ask will (John 3.16)? Love is the motivating factor in God’s mind. He doesn’t need but he wants our love, the very best of it, the cream, a deep and remaining passion for him.

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)

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Notes on the Exodus (3)

“Exposing Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Development of the Covenant (Chapter 1 Verse 1)

The story of the exodus is also about a new and significant stage in the redemptive work and purpose of God. There is development here. For these events follow on from Genesis. Joseph, you recall, testified to the overruling providence of God(Genesis 50:20-21), with the assurance that God would bring them into the promised land (Genesis 50:24). But it goes back even further, to Abraham and the promise given to him (Genesis 15:12-16).Notice also the reason for the delay, the lawlessness of the Amorites has not yet come to full measure. This is the reason for God’s long-suffering today, the iniquity of the world is not yet filled up. But when it is, judgment will come. For mingled with God’s purposes of salvation are his purposes of judgment. It is by judgment he here delivers Israel from the hands of Egypt. It will be the same at the end of the age. We ned to learn from these events that God is at work, not just in the exciting times, but also in the slow watches of the night. He is always working, he has been preparing for these events for a long, long time. Dealing with and putting people in place, setting things in motion, preparing for future developments. But it takes the eye of faith to see God working in the slow watches.
The story of the exodus is also about prophecy. Concerning Jesus Christ that is. You must note the remarkable similarities between Christ and Moses. At the burning bush, the passover lamb, crossing the Red Sea, and then the smitten rock. Not to mention all the details of the tabernacle later on. It speaks in symbolic, typical, shadow-like language, but unmistakably Christ is there and glorified. He is in all the scriptures. There lies before us a rich feast, but as you read and study these notes you must ask the help of the Holy Spirit to open it up to you and feed your soul. To nourish your soul and enlarge your scanty faith (Psalm 119:162).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)Facebook
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Notes On Romans (67)

“Wrestling With Romans”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

GOD – IS – FOR – YOU  (Chapter 8 Verses 28-39)

So how do ‘we’ respond to all this (v31)? How does it apply to us? In all this concentration of magnificent Christian theology that Paul has taken us through, Paul has reached a climactic point (v30), but even now in his application of it he is still soaring in his expression of it (v31). With regard to what has gone before, whatever the Christian may have to face, he or she can’t call their lot a sad one, these things must banish forever all complaining and doubting. I mean ‘if’ God is for us? And hasn’t Paul beyond all shadow of doubt proved to us that God is indeed for us. Now ‘if’ that’s the case, what are we going to say, how do we respond to it? It’s not that there’s nothing against us, we have a whole lot of things against us, the world, the flesh, and of course the devil, and a thousand other things in between. But even so, with God on your side, even all that opposition slides into insignificance. Think about it, one word at a time? God – is – for – you. God! The one who made the heavens and the earth, the Almighty, He, is for you. Is! He ‘is’. Not might be, not tomorrow, but ‘today’ he ‘is’ for you. For! God is ‘for’ you, that means he’s on your team, you can’t lose with God on your side. You! ‘You’ are the apple of his eye (Zechariah 2.8), he has a tattoo, and guess whose name is on it (Isaiah 49.16)?

With all that has gone before this verse how can we possibly question God’s love for us? All three Persons of the divine Trinity. The Father, who foreknew us in love from the beginning (2Thessalonians 2.13), God the Son who chose to come into the world in order to perform the rescue operation at great cost to himself (Ephesians 5.2), and God the Holy Spirit who powerfully captivated our hearts with his wise and loving counsel (John 16.13-15). Now that surely is security. There surely is stability for our emotions. There surely is grounds for a proper balance of self-worth, self esteem, if you are loved, respected, valued by God, then how oughtn’t you in a right and wholesome sense, value yourself, the life God has given you? O yes we are sinners, no question, the Bible teaches total depravity (Romans 3.9-18). But it also teaches us we were made in God’s glorious image (Genesis 1.26), it also teaches us about the lengths God was prepared to go in order to rescue us (v32). That means you are valued by God, so therefore ought to be valued by you yourself, within a God-centred relationship with him. That is what you were made for, and to enjoy – eternal life (John 17.3).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)

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Notes on the Exodus (2)

“Exposing Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Unfolding Mystery (Chapter 1 Verse 1)

The organic development of the covenant is clearly seen as it unfolds in the line of the generations. It continues on from the Patriarchs in Genesis into the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people. The title ‘deliverance’ would be better than ‘Exodus’ for the term is an active one, it is the story of God at work. And it is his people who are the object of that work. So deliverance is essentially what Exodus is about and an important part of the revelation of God (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44). It is part of the unfolding mystery of redemption. We are reading about things that actually took place, it is history. And God was in these historical events as they took place. He was dynamically present with his people. This is the very heart of the Exodus, God with and delivering Israel from their bondage.

It is the revelation of God delivering his people out from, and into. Bringing them into the new land of promise, into new life. And it was an event that Israel was commanded to recall constantly (Exodus 13:3). It was when Israel failed to remember that they owed their existence and destiny to this gracious deliverance they began to fall away, spiritually and morally. Likewise in the New Testament believers are commanded to remember God’s gracious deliverance (1 Peter 1:18-20). It is also partly, the reason for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, remembrance. Notice too the ethos and attitude of the world-power then, it has not changed in the least, always the same, “And Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do know not the LORD, and moreover, neither will I let Israel go” (Exodus 5:2).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

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Notes On Romans (66)

“Wrestling With Romans”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!


Three steps to Heaven
(Chapter 8: 28-39)

The three steps to heaven, called, justified, and glorified (v30). Step one, God calls. Have you heard his voice? If not, why not (John 8.47)? If there is something essential lacking, I mean pertaining to an experience of God, well we won’t hear his voice, will we? A person who is tone deaf can’t experience the thrill of music. The person who is colour blind can’t experience the beauty of a coloured picture, can they? Unless a person is ‘of God’, that is, born of God, has the Holy Spirit within them they can’t recognise, understand, or hear the voice of God (1Corinthians 2.14; John 8.47). So God not only lovingly knew us in eternity past, but affectionately, and effectively drew us, called us to himself in time (2Thessalonians 2.14; 1Timothy 6.12). There we were going through life minding our own business so to speak, we may have heard God’s message of salvation many times before, and to no effect, but God the Holy Spirit came to us and this time caused us to hear in a different way, inwardly. Now all of a sudden it made sense, we could see the truth of it, we could see how it was relevant to us, we could see how absolutely ‘imperative’ it was that we repented and believed the gospel.

The same grace that charmed and won us, and lit the fire of holy faith in the hearth of our innermost beings (Ephesians 2.5-8), the very second faith began to burn, God dawned the Judge’s cap, down came his gavel along with his declaration ‘righteous’ (Romans 3.24). Did you get it? Not simply ‘not guilty’, no, more than that, ‘righteous’, utterly righteous, no more or less than God the Son is! Free from guilt, and credited to our account is the righteousness of Jesus. Now then you see how God begun the whole process? With his foreknowing us (v29), then calling us (v30a), then still in the same verse, justifying us. And because it was God who begun it all, you can guarantee he’ll finish it (Philippians 1.6). Where? In glory (v30b). But again notice the tense used by Paul, ‘he glorified’. It’s done! The New Testament sees God’s work as being completed, from one end of eternity to the other, from the very first believer called to the last child in through the door. In God’s mind it has already been done, therefore, nothing will stand in the way, his kingdom moves forward, inexorably growing and growing (Mark 4.30-32), and we who are part of it, cannot be loved anymore now than when he foreknew, called, justified and glorified us (John 13.1).

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)

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Notes on the Exodus (1)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!


The World-power
(Chapter 1 Verses 1-7)

Each book of the Bible has its own theme. In the book of Genesis we see the forming and establishing of God’s covenant of grace. Here, in Exodus we see the outworking, the performing of the covenant. God’s method of saving, redeeming his people. In Leviticus the theme is worship, how to, the Divine prescription for worship.  “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4 ESV). The need for redemption is clearly seen in Israel’s bondage, slavery under the Egyptians. We are presented with the mighty power of Israel’s Redeemer in action amidst the plagues, and the final deliverance. We see also the character of redemption, the purchase price, i.e., blood. Finally our minds are exposed to the duty of the redeemed, evangelical obedience. We are looking at one of the darkest eras of Old Testament history, God’s people, sojourners in Egypt, under the power of the world-power of the day. This heathen world-power typifies the rule and power of sin.
With the demise of Joseph, began the suffering of God’s people. It was unremitting, severe persecution. Therefore the decline in the condition of the people, even their very existence, their future is threatened. God separates his people from the world by means of persecution and purifies them by fire. This is the backdrop to Jehovah’s mighty acts of deliverance. He saves his people by judgment, the destruction of Egypt spells salvation for Israel, the Israel of God. The beginnings of persecution we see today in the West will continue to increase at the hands of the present world-power. Now, whether as I believe we are, facing the last of the last days, Satan’s little season, God will finally in judgment of that world-power deliver his people, in like fashion. He saves his people by judgment.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

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