“Exposing the Exodus”
The Persecution – (Chapter 5 Verses 10-19)
There is also psychological pressure here also. Pharaoh derides the message from God, he deems God’s words to be vain. The intent, of course, is to undermine the faith, the trust of God’s people. The response is much the same today, when men are told that the Scriptures are God’s authoritative revelation, or of man’s total depravity and unpreparedness to die. That natural man is unfit for the presence of God, of the solemn and serious issues at stake, or the consequences of neglecting such (Hebrews 2:3), and the answer? The same, vain words. Through the media, a major false prophet of the modern age, an anti-Christian instrument, the world is always seeking to undermine the faith and trust of God’s people. It is the same antagonism towards the gospel as see here in Pharaoh. The result sadly, in many instances, is that many turn to ideas and ways that actually subvert the claims of Christ. No, they don’t deny him outright, or the authenticity of his word. But they place on an equal par other ideas and philosophies, worldly concepts, Egypt’s humanism. Thus, paganism enters the church regarding how people should live, how people should be changed, what man’s real needs are. The sinfulness of sin, man’s depravity and fallen nature are seldom preached. The law of God is not heard. Little wonder there is little conviction of sin amongst us while there is pressure to conform to these other ideologies. The Bible clearly warns against other systems of morality (Isaiah 5:20). The change is a devious one, the word for sin is exchanging for shortcomings, mistakes. I spoke with a Christian Pastor just the other day, he has been warned never to use the word sin in the context of his ministry. They contrive ways of explaining man’s condition other than the fall, of needing salvation other than through the cross, the saving work of Christ. Succumbing to the psychological pressures of the day. It is claimed that God is still in it, but help is sought from other sources than God. They seek to amalgamate God’s ways with Pharaoh’s, the world’s. Scripture is God’s very own word, and alone set the parameters for the Christian faith. Their divine status more than implies that to disbelieve, dislike, or disobey is akin to disbelieving, disliking, and disobeying God himself. It must all be believed (Luke 24:25; Acts 24;14).
But that’s not all, there is the physical pressure (vv12-14), it is brutal. It is easy to see the forces at the back of all this, demonic. Keep the people pre-occupied with the physical and they will have less or no time to think about the spiritual. Persecution comes in different ways, sometimes it is psychological, sometimes it is physical, sometimes it is quite subtle. For decades now in the West we have been persecuted with material prosperity, it is as much a killer as any physical persecution. The god of materialism has been worshiped for so long, we are now trapped in a spiritual emptiness, faithless, godless. Our society is as humanistic, pagan as ever was Pharaoh’s Egypt. A bankrupt humanism. We are the grandchildren of Pharaoh. We have turned to vanity (1Samuel 12:21). Now? No answers, no sensible diagnosis as to our own condition. We have developed a culture of death, we are evolution’s children, stuck in a primordial mud of our own making. Because like Pharaoh we have refused to bow in humble submission to the Almighty, we have exchanged the truth for a lie. This and more is why the church must fulfil its true calling, for the only answer to this hopelessness is the gospel that addresses the human enslavement, and brings the amazing prospect of freedom, rescue, even an exodus.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)