Notes on the Exodus (64)

“Exposing the Exodus”

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The way, the truth and the life!

Satan Deals in Despair  (Chapter 5 Verses 10-19)

How could the church of today ever get to thinking it should be about any other business but preaching the gospel to lost, bound sinners? Why are we so fearful of what men think of us? Shall we be faithful witnesses, ministers of Christ? As the biblical witnesses before us, the prophets, Christ himself, the apostles, we must preach the word of God. We should be crying against the towns, the cities and villages, against their sin. How we need to pray to get the Holy Spirit back into the church, to light the fire in our bellies again. “It is almost as good to be without preaching, as to be under such preaching as will not warm us. It is part of the word not only to inform but to inflame” (Thomas Watson). Let others do the committees, the repairs to the buildings. It ought to be the burning, crying desire of our souls, it ought to make hearts ache day and night, that souls are perishing and that the gospel is not being preached. Let the lecturers go to universities, but give our pulpits to gospel preachers. It is only as God’s servants lead that the church will follow, and fulfil its God-given mandate. To project the grace of God to a fallen world. We see in this episode also the tyranny of Satan, his malignant work against the souls of men. As God begins a working grace, bringing about the liberation of his people, Satan makes every effort to hold on to his victims, he will stop at nothing to keep them in bondage. Let a soul begin to read their Bible, get on their knees to pray, attend the means of grace, you watch the malignancy begin.

Satan deals in despair (vv15-16). Just as a measure of hope appears it gets worse, the oppression increases. But they cry to Pharaoh for relief, not the Lord. Do they think they can reason with this man? Does the church today think that is can reason with unregenerate men to save and preserve God’s work in the land? What utter folly! Do they think in applying to Satan there would be a way of peace (Luke 14:31)? O yes, they give them terms of peace, but at what cost? No more praying, no more Bible reading, no more sermons, just let your conscience go back to sleep. Then you will be left in peace until you wake up hell. There is a natural tendency for us to lean on the arm of flesh and blood in times of distress, instead of the one who is invisible, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5). Even the convicted sinner turns to the preacher, the pastor or someone else, rather than the Lord himself. God is usually our last resort, sadly. But for the believer it is the difficulties, the trials and afflictions that give an opportunity for our faith to grow, by turning to and trusting in the Lord amidst them. Satan deals in despair, but God has not called us to that, he has given us another Spirit, of power, of love, of a sound mind. But this from the Lord, not the Pharaoh’s of this world, not the arm of flesh, but the Lord himself!

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

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