“Exposing the Exodus”
The Sword of the World – (Chapter 5 Verses 20-21)
The accusation deepens, “To put a sword in their hand to slay us” (v21b). This continues the charge against Moses, obviously, they expect things to get worse. Do you see that back of all this, they are really blaming God? Isn’t it amazing how he gets the blame for all that goes wrong? Are Things going well? Then there is no God. Two things about atheists, one they don’t believe God is, and two, they hate him. They bring every argument to bear, scientific, philosophical and political, that there be no God. But let there be a tsunami, or an earthquake, some disaster that takes human lives, then suddenly there is a God. And guess what it’s his fault. And of course, he has absolutely no right to take human lives. They kill babies in the millions, by means of abortion. They do euthanasia, on the terminally ill, on the aged and infirm. But that’s okay. The Bible actually has news for them. The average human being breathes sixteen times a minute, and one of those breaths comes from God. His to give and his to withholds, just as he pleases. But of course, they are right in this, that it is God who does it, he is the first cause of everything. Nobody, but nobody just dies. Death is the judgment of God on human sin (Romans 6:23). They don’t die, God takes them. But the accusation these unregenerate Hebrews make is intemperate blasphemy. It is bad enough they should rail against God’s servants but when they do so against God, they are on dangerous ground. The fact is that God is about delivering them, he has seen their misery, he has set things in motion, in spite of what they see and think in their unbelief.
God always carries on to fulfilment what he begins, “being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). If it were not for the patience, the kindness of God none of them, or us, would finish the course. But if there is grace in us, surely that will indeed awaken the wrath in the ungodly, or if God has or is beginning a work in us as with these Hebrews, the world’s hatred will manifest itself. But that’s a good sign, that’s a hallmark that a genuine work is being begun. It’s how Jesus said it would be, “Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23). But, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26). Shall we abandon our gospel hope in God’s promises because the ungodly are upset with us, against us, flashing their swords in our face? Shall we not draw every ounce of marrow from those promises, suck every last bit of juice from them, and find the strength to go, trusting ourselves to him who is faithful to the utmost? It is enough for us to know that he knows, he cares for us in all our afflictions. When he is ready he will come, he will not fail us, he will make every word he has promised good. Only believe, trust him. It is this Israel must learn to do in all these trials.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)