“Exposing the Exodus”
A Spectacle to the World – (Chapter 5 Verses 20-21)
This must have been a big disappointment to Moses. I guess like the most of God’s servants today, they expect opposition. But from without, from Pharaoh and his court, from the world, from the devil himself. But the last place they expect it is from within. As a Minister once said we forget that on the inside of the church there is a self-destruct button. And we are so prone to hitting that button. Moses, this is a real test for him too. These men turn on Moses with a blind grief, a mixed rage, an insanity really that’s brutalised by their sorrows, the oppression, the ruthless treatment they are receiving. And so they lose all sense of justice. But as from Moses perspective, it’s really quite unfair. I mean against these two men who would be their deliverers, liberators? We do need to learn from this. In times of grief and disappointment, to control ourselves, not allow ourselves to part company with our reason, even Christian kindness. If these had just stopped for a moment and thought it through? Were Moses and Aaron responsible for the tyranny of Pharaoh? Of course not. When we in our grief turn on those who seek to minister to us, venting the same fury, we don’t do well at all. It’s certainly not pleasing to God. Of course, their faith needs educating. They’re measuring the grace of God by immediate results, but our standing with God is not dependent upon results, of any kind. Whether the wind blows ill or good, God is still God, and immovably so (Psalm 46). His grace is irreversible, inviolable towards his elect. It’s rooted in his eternal, unchangeable decree.
You, Moses, have made us ‘abhorred’ a stench, a foul smell in the nostrils of the Egyptians, is what is meant. In the eyes of the world, they’ve been given a bad name. This one of these occasions when Moses call is so very important. When it goes wrong, and everybody’s gunning for him. He reassures himself, with, God sent me. For Moses, all this serves to send him back to the Lord (v22). With a searching, but perplexed heart (Psalm 50:15). But for God’s people to viewed as a stench to the world, there is nothing new there, is there (1Corinthians 4:9)? Are we told to expect such (John 15:19)? I mean we’ve got brethren in different parts of the world to us who are being devoured (1Peter 5:8). Is there not believers today who are getting fired from their jobs, or can’t get jobs, because they belong to Jesus? Are there not people who can’t get an education for their kids, or feed them because they’re God’s people? There are some facing prison and death for Christ’s sake. A stench in the nostrils of the world? Things are going well for you brother, sister. But woe is you if the world is smiling upon you, woe, “ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). So what does it matter what the world thinks of us? Stand up! Stand out! Dare to be different.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)