“Exposing the Exodus”
Pray for me! – (Chapter 8 Verses 1-15)
The Lord’s servant, Moses, is growing in wisdom. He asks when the king would like this request to be fulfilled. When people ask us to pray for them it is a wise thing to do to ask them what it is exactly they want God to do for them? Moses does not doubt God’s ability to perform this request. But what he is doing is making the king aware of who it is he is dealing with here, God. And not just Moses himself. Moses asks the question when because God will answer and will remove the frogs at the specified time. The result being that Pharaoh by experience will know that God is God. With each hit, he becomes more and more culpable, in the words of the New Testament; “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:5). For Pharaoh has no intention of doing business with God. Many in a time of trouble call upon God for help, he hears, he delivers, he preserves their lives. But they do not walk in the way of repentance, they do not give thanks to God, they put no trust in his Son Jesus. They receive of his goodness, but, “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead…to repentance” (Romans 2:4)? Notice will you that Moses does not proceed to mumble a few light words in his petition to God, but cries to the Lord (v12). He knew instinctively what he had to do, take the matter to the Lord in prayer. You see what I mean about he and Aaron growing in wisdom, in spiritual stature. But this growth has about as a result of all the trials and difficulties that they have already come through. As they serve the Lord together they learn, it’s called on-the-job training.
They are becoming more and more aware in this developing situation that they are indeed the Lord’s servants. It is the Lord’s work of salvation and judgment that they are involved in, no small matter. And so they become more and more aware of the need to be in prayer to God. It is something the church needs to be keenly aware of today also. That in prayer, both personally and corporately we are participating in the Lord’s activity. I mean this is a phenomenal thing, that God has given to us a part to play in his work. If we were more aware of this how much more we would all pray. Sadly, this is a generation of Christians today who are poverty stricken when it comes to prayer. Surely this is nothing but unbelief? The prayer of Moses is answered immediately (v13). No, I know it is not always like that. That is the reason why we need to learn to cry, persistently, without ceasing. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). But here it is answered immediately as specified in order that Pharaoh would know that it was God’s doing. No one has any excuse for not submitting to God in repentance and faith, none at all. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20). But Pharaoh, least of all. Relieved of his crisis, his affliction, his unhappiness and now he reverts to his original and obvious unbelief. Pray for me, yes. We need to be clear not all men will be saved, not even all who hear the blessed good news of salvation. “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). But God’s elect will be, every single one of them. Understanding this will save us from a lot of anguish and disappointment in our service to the Lord.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)