“Exposing the Exodus”
The Message Rejected – (Chapter 5 Verses 1-9)
In the first place God speaks in grace, Pharaoh is given the opportunity to obey. Before God speaks in wrath, he speaks in mercy “then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury” (Psalm 2:5). It is ever the way with God, He sent Noah the preacher of righteousness before he sent the flood. He sent one prophet after another to Israel before he sent the Babylonians to take them away. He sent his only Son before utterly destroyed Jerusalem. And so it is with the world today, the day of redemption draws to a close, the Day of the Lord comes swiftly upon us. When the door shall be shut, when time runs out and God’s righteous, vindictive wrath bursts upon the world. Note the arrogance, the contempt, the self-righteousness of Pharaoh. He is the head of a world empire, what need has he of God, of a Saviour? He, is in the place of God. It is market values, it is economics that come first in Egypt. He has over a million immigrant workers whom he has enslaved, that’s money. Give them up, let them go, so they can do their religion, you’re joking Moses, right? The world has not changed since, godliness, holiness, modesty, humility? They are estimated to be of no value whatever.
So the message of judgment is delivered by Moses (v3b). From the human side what is the one thing required regarding sin? Sacrifice. To go celebrate, worship God in the desert or anywhere else is fine, but first and foremost there must be a sacrifice. It is stated here the very grounds upon which sacrifice is needed, “lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with sword” (Exodus 5:3b). In other words, wrath. The plain and simple implications of Israel’s language here is of being confessedly guilty, deserving of punishment. And there is but one escape route, for all are guilty (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Atonement must be made, God’s wrath must be placated, divine justice must needs be propitiated (Romans 3:25). Only then can God be reconciled to them. God punishes sin with sin (Romans 1:28). Surely, the onslaught of the multiplication of sin in all the generations since Adam, and abounding more and more as the Day of the Lord draws near, it is glaringly reveal that God is angry with sin.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)