“Exposing the Exodus”
New Contracts of Employment ( Chapter 1 Verses 13-14)
Doubtless this new administration think that they act in wisdom, with no shortage of philosophers, spin-doctors, and political gurus (1Corinthians 3:19; 1:19). Alas, the more we, God’s people are afflicted, the more we grow (Psalm 119:67). The fire simply serves to refine us. The cruelty unleashed upon Israel is unlimited (v13). But to fight against the purposes of God has been shown again and again to be utterly useless (Isaiah 46:9). That principle is also illustrated here. The times of the severest trials have been the times of the most blessing to the church, not always, but mostly. The fiercer the fire burns the stronger the faith of God’s folk becomes. The opposition throws us back upon God, it separates us from the world which we get too fond of, it restores the antithesis. Are Israel ready to leave Egypt at this point? No way! They are well established in Egypt (the world), married to it. And remember not all of them are truly Israel that are of Israel. Many of them had turned to worship the idols of Egypt (Ezekiel 20:5-8). But there was a remnant according to the election of grace, who would be mindful of the promise of God, and ready to leave at his behest. God promised to deliver a nation, so a nation must be made ready to leave.
So Israel must be made be seen as utterly disgusting in the eyes of Egypt, so the purpose of God can be fulfilled. But then the true people of God have always been a disgust in the eyes of the world, what’s new? The extended duties are designed to reduce and to crush Israel. Also at the same time to provide Egypt with a source of very cheap labour. The repressive policies make life unbearable for Israel. But behind this remember that God is working, compelling them to desire and to seek a better country. Do you see how we grovel here for such trifling toys, how slow our hearts are to turn and go and to seek eternal joys? Some would argue, this can’t be God’s way for his folk, the old prosperity gospel mantra. No sickness, no suffering. But that’s not and never has been the reality. Affliction, poverty, sickness have ever been a part of the lot of a pilgrim in this world. We are given security not immunity. And one reason for it is to remove our hearts from this world, so we look to God and for better (Hebrews 11:10). The bitter afflictions of this world cause us to yearn for, desire to be home with the Lord. Only then will the perfection come, healing be a reality, poverty banished, our unremitting toil at and end.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)