Notes on the Exodus (96)

“Exposing the Exodus”

The way, the truth and the life!

Twenty Four Hours   (Chapter 9 Verses 1-7)

There is in these strikes against Egypt a demolition of the gods so-called that they worshipped. They were fanatical in their worship of cattle, oxen, and cows. I read somewhere that they even had animal cemeteries. This is where Israel’s infection came from that expressed itself in the golden calf incident and why they were warned (Deuteronomy 4:15-18; Exodus 20:4-6). One wonders how they could witness these supernatural acts of judgment against such idolatry and then turn back to the same in the wilderness. But we don’t have to look too far, only to our own hearts. For there we see the remaining corruption that still lurks in every Christian heart. As one theologian put it the human heart is an idol factory. Alas the Lord’s hand (v3) is a hand of power, yet patient, but it is the hand that saves also. Exodus prepares for the coming Lord Jesus, the real exodus. The departure from sin and from Satan’s slavery and oppression. Moses is but a type of Jesus. Who leads his people out of bondage and into the real promised land, the glory of heaven. It is his hand that saves us, and claims us for his own to serve and to worship him. It is wonderfu to hear people testify as to how the Lord has set them free from sin. It may be drugs or alchohol or idolatrous religion, but that’s not the whole issue, only a part. God is not simply about getting Israel out of Egypt, across the border and then saying to them your free off you go and do your own thing. He is setting them free to worship him, and that according to his revealed will. That is, living “lives of holiness and godliness” (2Peter 3:11). And not just in the wilderness, but in the promised land. That is the divine agenda. If you want to useful amongst your fellow man both in and out of the church? One way only, “train yourself for godliness” (1Timothy 4:7); “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1Timothy 6:11). That is not selfishness, that is the best, the only way we can be of service to our fellow creatures in this world.

So this is the hand that saves, by judgment. In judging Egypt he gods so-called, he is liberating Israel. In the pagan idolatry of Egypt, their worship of the animals, Apis was the bull-god. Their idols had heads of animals. Apis had the head of a bull. He was the god of sexual prowess. Then there was Hathor the cow-god, or goddess. She was the god of glamour. So it would be to Hathor you would go if you wished to be a glamorous woman. Laughable you say? But wait a minute, aren’t these the very gods of the Western world today? Sexual prowess and glamour? Think of the millions that are spent by both men and women seeking to make themselves glamourous. The hand of the Lord yet saves his people from the gods of Egypt, sexual prowess and glamour. His hand saves us from lives of self-gratification. The idols of sex and beauty that don’t save but bind us, can bring us back into slavery. The gods of Egypt and the gods of this world in any day are the gods that fail, they leave people empty, lonely and disappointed. Pharaoh is told he has twenty four hours (v5), and God is going to hit you with this mad cow disease. It will slay all Egyption cattle (v4). Your gods will fail you. If God was to give you twenty four hours before his judgment fell upon you, how much would you have to change in that time to be ready. Some people are not even given that much notice. “I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you” (Luke 12:19-20).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)

Sermon Audio

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