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Fear Not, Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord

Fear Not, Stand Still and See the Salvation of the Lord

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Published by glennpease
BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

Exodus xiv. 13.
BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

Exodus xiv. 13.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 15, 2013
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FEAR OT, STAD STILL AD SEE THE SALVATIO OF THELORDBEJAMI JOWETT, M.A.Exodus xiv. 13.There are many allusions both in the Old andew Testament to the deliverance of the Israelitesout of Egypt. It was the beginning of Jewishhistory in which God was first revealed to them.The nation in after ages dehghted to think of thesea opening a way to their fathers and returningto overwhelm the Egyptian host. The passoverpreserved among them the tradition of that nightin which they were suddenly waked up and sentforth from the land. They pictured to themselvesthe waters standing as a wall upon the right handand upon the left, while the pillar of light wasturned towards them and the cloud rested on theiropponents. In the ironical language of the Psalmist,'What ailed thee, thou sea, that thou fleddest, andthou, Jordan, that thou wast driven back ? ' By faith,as the author of the Hebrews says, they passedthrough the Red Sea, as on dry land, which the^ Preached at Balliol, ovember 10, 1878.£|i. VI.] WHE ISRAEL CAME OUT OF EGYPT 8iEgyptians essaying to do perished. Like somewild animal they had escaped into the desert outof the toils of the hunter ; they were now beyondhis reach and could no more be detained by him.In the exultation of freedom there bursts from them
 
that remarkable hymn, of which the burden is,'I will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphedgloriously ; the horse and his rider hath He throwninto the sea.* The blow was struck at the oppressornot by their own arm but by the power of God.And with the deliverance from the house of bondagewas inseparably connected in the mind of theIsraelite another event in which the majesty of Jehovah was also revealed to him : — the giving of the Law! With liberty came order, with the ex-istence of the Israelites as a nation was firstproclaimed to them their rule of life, or TenCommandments. And these Ten Commandmentswere transformed into a higher law, which everand anon passed before the eyes of psalmists andprophets, the law of God written not on tables of stone, but on the heart of man. These were thetwo leading ideas or types of Jewish history:the coming up out of Egypt, and the revelationof the law on Mount Sinai. They were to theIsraelite what the heroic struggle of Marathonand Salamis, what the laws of their ancient law-givers were to the Greek. The memories of themappeared to the prophet in the past or in the future82 COLLEGE SERMOS [vi.to be always in process of being forgotten andbeing recovered. The God whom the people of Israel worshipped was the God who brought themout of a strange land and who gave them the law.When they forsook it, He forsook them ; whenthey forgot the traditions of their race, the nationalglory departed from them. And still they wereconfident that when they returned to Him He would
 
receive them like a father pitying his children — so near is the relation of God to them as a nationthat through them we seem to learn more thanthe world knew before of His relation to the indi-vidual soul.The narratives in which the early history of theIsraelites is recorded, like all other early histories,are partly of a poetical character. The poetry inthem is a kind of prophecy, that is to say, it is notmerely the work of the imagination but is inspiredby a moral purpose. They were not written downor put into form for many hundred years afterthe times which they are supposed to describe.Yet they are not wholly unhistorical : of a connexionbetween Judea and Egypt many traces are foundin the Egyptian monuments, as well as in the sacredbooks of the Israelites. It would be childish tomaintain that great events like those recorded inthe books of Moses did not take place, becausethey were attended by signs and wonders in anage when all great events were believed to be moreVI.] OLD TESTAMET CRITICISM 83or less miraculous. The narrative from which thetext is taken has been explained by saying that^ Moses, well acquainted with the tides of the RedSea, took advantage of the ebb and passed overhis army, while the incautious Egyptians attemptingto follow were surprised by the flood and perished.'These words are taken from a well-known historyof the Jews, written by a great and good man notnow living, the late Dean Milman, and they breathethe spirit of the older school of German rationalistswho were also good men and lovers of truth intheir day. But I need hardly stop to point out theerrors and inconsistencies which are involved in

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