Notes on the Exodus (95)

“Exposing the Exodus”

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The way, the truth and the life!

The Mad Cow Disease   (Chapter 9 Verses 1-7)

The demand is repeated (v1). God has struck their faith, their health, their wealth, now that which they hate, animal sacrifices (8:26). The sacrifice of humans they don’t mind, but don’t touch the animals. For again they were objects of worship. In our own Western societies, it is no different. Touch an animal and there is uproar, but you can murder millions of defenceless, unborn children in the name of abortion, that’s okay. Do you see here the cursed stream of atheism, the suppression of the knowledge of the true and living God (Romans 1:18ff). The idolatry of these Egyptians and of man in general even today is proof. They are unable to obliterate completely the knowledge of God (Romans 2:15). The disease, something similar to the outbreak of anthrax which struck Europe a few years ago. It is severe, very. The miracle lies in its severity. In the timing because God decrees when it will fall. And the limitation of the disease because it will affect only Egyptian cattle and not Israel’s. The cause? “The hand of the Lord” (3). It is the hand of the king that affects the people of God, still (v2). Now the hand of God will affect the people of Egypt (v3). “Behold,” says Moses, this is not a disease of natural causes, it is judgment and directly from the Almighty. The hand of the Lord, of course, is very much a reality. Unlike the hand of power that Egypt would attribute to its gods so-called. Their idols that they expected to protect them from such events as cattle disease and would punish evil doers. So here God nullifies their supposed gods and punishes them for their idolatry. Notice also will you that the magicians have left the scene, they can longer stand before Moses (v11). We know from the New Testament who the two primary magicians were in this affair, “Jannes and Jambres” (2Timothy 3:8). “Men of corrupt minds, reprobate” (2 Timothy 3:8 AV). Notice in that passage in second Timothy that Paul tells us this kind of opposition, seducement is what we shall be faced with in the last days. “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men” (2 Timothy 3:1-9). But for the hand of the Lord upholding, protecting and fighting for God’s people, we would be seduced by such enchanters. The hand of the Lord is for us.

The hand of the Lord is also a hand of patience. Remember back at the beginning of Exodus the murder of the Hebrew infants? Well, eighty years have lapsed since then during which this society has been degenerating. More and more they are given over to their ungodly desires (Romans 1:24-25). Even now as God comes to them in his acts of judgment, it is a series of afflictions. He does not just wipe them off the face of the board as with Sodom and Gomorrah. Doubtless as a result of God’s patience some of the Egyptians began to see what was happening here. And so some of them left with Israel at the time of the exodus, departure (Exodus 12:38). Perhaps when some of you get to heaven you’ll find yourself in someone’s company. And you ask them how they came to be saved. They tell you it was back in Egypt. I was brought up in our traditional paganism, I just went along with all the rest. Then this guy Moses came along he was a Hebrew. We all thought he was a bit of a nutter at first. Then things started happening, our nation began to crumble, one disaster after another fell on us. Then the most unimaginable events took place. It was the number five for me. The cattle that we used to worship, they were falling down like flies. That’s when I started to take this man Moses seriously and what he was saying. I believed, and when the Jews left, I went with them. The patience of the Lord. “Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4)?

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

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