Notes on the Exodus (102)

“Exposing the Exodus”

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The way, the truth and the life!

The Invasion of Egypt   (Chapter 10 Verses 10-20)

This is the penultimate strike. In the Bible locusts are often described as an army, hence the above title, the invasion of Egypt. Both righteousness and the necessity of judgment are seen here, also evil and its deliberate nature. There is a concern here I think concerning a phrase here in verse two. In one version it reads, “how I have made Sport with the Egyptians” (v2 RSV). Does that not give you the impression that God is dealing in a rather capricious manner to say the least? That he is simply playing a game with the Egyptian people? Then another version says,“how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians” (v2 ESV). But in the older version, “things I have wrought in Egypt” (v2 AV). I am no textual expert but it seems to me the first two could be in danger of casting aspersions upon the character of God. Here again we see the power of God set against the puny self-assertive pretensions of a man. “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:1-4). Then we are told this is also for a witness to future generations. Yes, even us today. The first eleven verses here deal with the destruction of Egypt. Moses is told that God has hardened Phaaoh’s heart, we assume this for the comfort and encouragement of God’s own people. For it would perhaps seem them that this man Pharaoh was just never going to yield. Are they thinking that each time Moses and Aaron go back to him he gets harder, angrier, more vicious. He will never break, he will never let Israel go. But God assures them it is he who has hardened his heart, and he will let Israel go. But it will be when all of God’s signs have been shown among them. And please don’t miss the positive in this. Israel are to tell, to teach their children and their children all these things, why? That they may know the Lord. God, by means of this judgment upon Egypt is saving, rescuing his people, that they may know and serve him.

Later on we learn that Moses faithfully reminded Israel of this duty to educate their children (Deuteronomy 6:20-25). This history was to be told and retold to the seed of Israel. Think of how many times you read in the Old Testament that God delivered Israel from the hands of Egypt. No, not to form a national identity for them, or provide a good education for them. But to shape their theology, their spirituality. It gave their children and grandchildren a biblical worldview. It gave them a God consciousness, it reminded them and taught them who God was. That they lived in a world created and maintained by God. That they themselves were not the produce of happenstance, evolutionary accidents. Isn’t this needed today, isn’t this an area where we lose many of the children that come through the church? Just giving them nice stories about Jesus, is that enough? We need to give them a worldview, teach them biblical principles. I spoke with a Minister some time ago now, but he was facing a revolt among his church members. He wanted the children’s workers in the church to read the Bible to them. From the teens downwards. Just for someone to stand in front of the kids and read a portion of the Bible to them. As well of course as teaching them. He was faced with a massive revolt. The kids won’t listen to that! I know that kids have a problem with sitting listening today, it’s not encouraged, out there in the world at least. But our covenant children must be trained to do so. We do them a great service in doing so. And a great disservice in doing so. It is commanded of us to teach our children still (Deuteronomy 6:20-25).

(© James R Hamilton, written Spring, 2015)
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