Exposing the Exodus”
The Sin of Compromise – (Chapter 8 Verses 20-32)
The king, Pharaoh, bypasses his magicians and calls for Moses (v25). He suggests a halfway house, a compromise. But there is no bargaining with God, the terms and conditions are his, it’s all or nothing. The king is a politician also. This is perhaps the kind of compromise that today’s church would settle for. You can make your sacrifice, make atonement, but don’t go away, stay here in Egypt. You know the thinking, it’s the best deal we’re going to get, at least he is making concessions. But this is not in the Lord’s thinking. Overall these plagues have spread over about six months. With all the comings and goings to and from Pharaoh’s court, the temptation would be very real, to compromise. Maybe there was the odd suggestion from Aaron and the elders to Moses, you’re not going to get a better deal, go for it. But God did not ask for concessions. Moses raises a pragmatic issue (v26). What would be the reaction of the Egyptians to Israel sacrificing their sacred animals? There are two civilisations here in Egypt and they are on a collision course, the end would be civil war. Plus if Israel stayed in Egypt they would eventually have compromised. God’s demand upon his people then and now is a complete break from Egypt, i.e., the world. No concessions, no compromises. Israel as a nation are young, they are not strong enough to make a stand remaining in Egypt. With the huge influx of Muslims into Europe today a like situation is not beyond the realms of possibility. The development of two civilisations and ideologies, on a collision course I mean. It is no time for a weak, compromising church that’s for sure. The politics of the situation aside the church needs to stand firm uncompromisingly upon the truth of the gospel. And proclaim it loud and clear, whatever the cost or consequence to ourselves. This is Moses response to Pharaoh (v27-29). Full obedience to the revealed will of God, nothing less.
There are some who are willing to be Christian in name only, to be religious. But to make a complete break with the world, to come out clearly for Christ is too much. “Christ did not come to make us less sinful, but to make us leave sin altogether” (Chas. Spurgeon). O many are only too willing to offer a partial obedience. As long as it doesn’t interfere with their prosperity, as long as they don’t have to confront others with the truth. To be religious outside of the four walls of a church building is seen to be extreme, fanatical even. Sir Winston Churchill led our country to victory over Nazi Germany in the second world war as a result of two great qualities he had. He was obstinate and unyielding. We, the church today, need these qualities too but sanctified. A holy obstinacy and a holy unyieldedness in the cause of Jesus Christ. Churchill used four words over and again that stirred our nation, “we shall never surrender.” There is no change with Pharaoh (30-32). But neither is there with Moses. Moses does not budge because he is under God’s authority. That’s why we have no right to shift our ground either. The removal of the flies was as miraculous as the sending of them. But again it is a revelation of God, that demands faith. But Moses faithfully and bravely warns Pharaoh of his deceitfulness (v29). “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)