“Exposing the Exodus”
The Disturbing Truth – (Chapter 9 Verses 8-12)
When a crisis such as Egypt faces here it makes a society begin to think (v21). You would, perhaps think that such would think about and look to God? However, experience and Scripture tells a different story. Even when the final cataclysms of judgment arrive we are told the story will be the same (Revelation 9:2-21; 16:9-11). It is such events that bring out the true nature of God-rejecting people. In the face of eternal justice, they would sooner curse God than repent. This is Pharaoh king of Egypt. The storm of hail matches his heart, he is getting what he deserves. It is a warning against the rejection of the word of God (v21). Of daring, sneering, mocking replies to his word, “Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD: thus says the LORD, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.” Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If the LORD himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it” (2 Kings 7:1-2). The next day the unbelieving fool was trodden underfoot by the people. It is same here (v22-25). The devastation promised. There are but two responses to God’s word, either to fear or ignore it. To fear means a believing respect of the Self-revelation of God and reception of his Christ. To ignore, disregard means to do nothing. Here are those two responses, “he came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:11-12). Rejection means you are left facing the storm alone (Luke 6:46-49). “When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:49b). For generations, the church has sung happy songs about this event. Do you think in doing so we have trivialized the judgment of God too much?
Across the track in Goshen, it’s a different story (v26). Surely we think God’s people must have awed by the sight of the storm next door? In this instance God discriminates, he protects his people. Of course, unbelief ascribes this to geography. But the difference is not geographical it’s theological. Israel, not because she was better, more powerful, only because God sovereignly set his affection upon her. Israel is safe not because of anything in or of herself. It is simply only God himself who makes the difference. “In order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills” (Romans 9:11-18). The elective love of God. Israel also is being educated as to the oneness, the otherness, the uniqueness of God (v14). “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). The only place of safety is in taking what God says seriously. Believe God’s word he cannot lie.
(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)