Notes on the Exodus (5)

“Exposing the Exodus”

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

Faith in Egypt’s Brickyard (Chapter 1 Verses 1-5)

In Pharaoh’s motives, purposes and actions, which he is fully responsible for, God is working. Pharaoh is merely a tool in the sovereign Lord’s hands. God has his own agenda, saving the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) and to this end saving his people from which that seed, Christ, will come. Israel must be saved, nothing can stand in the way of that. The agenda, the initiative is always with God, never doubt that. We could say Israel have now outstayed their welcome, it is time to move on, to something better. So the predicted persecution has now commenced, which will close the four hundred and thirty years  in Egypt (Exodus 12:40). That’s about five minutes on God’s clock, on ours it’s a long, long time. It would have tested many, lots would have given up on God a long time ago. Yet many would have clung to his promise. As things grow worse in Western society the love of many will grow cold. What about yours and mine? Revival prayer meetings have begun and been given up on. Weary, disillusioned. God has his own agenda, he knows what he is doing. Our place is to shine in the darkness, to demonstrate an unshakeable faith in the face of this militant atheism. To be ready, equipped and available when God calls for his work to move forward. Meanwhile we learn, we grow in the school of hard knocks. It is in the brickyards of the world he prepares us for the future.

The roll-call of names here are like the list of the twelve apostles. It’s from these, with all their sinful failures, that God’s nation will be formed and will carry the gospel forward to the generations. Is this not encouraging? God takes these twelve ordinary men, who we see in Genesis, shot through with sin, manipulating, and scheming. How could they be any other? They were Jacob’s sons! Who says there is no such thing original sin? How could God build anything from such as these? But he can and does, he buildz his nation from them. He did it again with the twelve apostles, not a university degree among  them. No attendance at a Bible College. But he takes and uses and builds his church. It’s no different today, God takes and uses very ordinary folk. “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1Corinthians 1:26-29). Aren’t we glad, for he made an awful lot of them. The question is will we trust him? Are we open and up for what God wants for our lives, whatever it may be?

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

Sermon Audio


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