“Exposing the Exodus”
The Mind of a Reprobate – (Chapter 10 Verses 21-29)
Israel, as God’s chosen people, is called out of Egypt to worship God in God’s way (v25). Not according to Pharaoh’s, Egypt’s, the world’s way. And central to God’s acceptance of us and our worship is that of propitiation (Exodus 20:24). The law has been violated by us all. By all mankind that is, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). If there is no God-provided sacrifice there can be no rightness, no justification and therefore no worship of God. The proposed animal sacrifices (v25) typified God’s coming Lamb (John 1:29). It is God himself who fulfils the laws demands in Christ. All the covenant conditions are met by Jesus. It is by grace God’s people are brought in unconditionally to this covenantal relationship. This covenant of grace is unilateral, it is formed, established and kept by God. For we ourselves cannot fulfil the covenant’s demands, for sin remains, corruption yet eats at the vitals of the soul of the holiest of saints. All the conditions are met by God himself. So there will be no compromises Moses tells Pharaoh (v26).
Is there a momentary pause here as Pharaoh considers the consequences of his response (v27-29)? Whatever, he seals his own judgment. This is the crowning touch of a man given over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). Some of course foolishly think that they can deal with God later on, that there will be another chance. That is not always the case. There are times when the Saviour calls, the message is sent, considered, but he returns that way again. But this is obviously not the case with Pharaoh, God’s purpose for this man has been stated and worked out here. “The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (v27). The predestination purposes of God are inevitably worked out in all men’s lives. The purpose of God in election must stand. “What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth” (Romans 9:14-18). This chapter in the book of Romans is the most neglected and hated chapter in the Bible. There is no doctrine like the doctrine of predestination that declares God to the God, the one who does as he pleases amongst the kingdom of men. The king of Egypt is what he is by nature and choice and God has, again and again, confirmed him in his choice. Here he severs, cuts the line, between him and God’s mediator, Moses. Get out of my face he tells Moses (v28). The words of Saul king of Israel are a fitting epitaph for Pharaoh as well, “I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly” (1Samuel 26:21). To be remonstrated with by God’s servant, to be warned to flee the coming judgments of God is no small thing. Many treat them so lightly, mock and scoff at such in these days. “but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2Chronicles 36:16). Nothing left but sudden destruction. Pharaoh drives from his presence the only source of mediation. Moses seals his words and his fate, “thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more. It brings to mind the words of Jesus on that day, “then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Never to see the lovely face of the Mediator again.