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God's Condescension to His People's Weakness.

God's Condescension to His People's Weakness.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Exod. xiii. 17, 18. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let
the people go, that God led them not through the way of the
Philistines, although that was near ; for God said, Lest per-
adventnre the people repent when they see war, and they
return to Egypt : hit God led the people about j through the
way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M.A.


Exod. xiii. 17, 18. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let
the people go, that God led them not through the way of the
Philistines, although that was near ; for God said, Lest per-
adventnre the people repent when they see war, and they
return to Egypt : hit God led the people about j through the
way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 15, 2014
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God's condescension to his people's weakness. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A. Exod. xiii. 17, 18. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the Philistines, although that was near ; for God said, Lest per- adventnre the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt : hit God led the people about j through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. I whatever light we view God, whether as a God of power or of love, we are constrained to say, " Who is like unto thee, O Lord !" Behold the issue of his contest with the haughty Pharaoh ; the very instant that the full time is arrived, the time predicted 430 years before, the proud monarch not only consents to the departure of Israel, but urges them to go with all possible expedition : and the whole land of Egypt is become so anxious for their departure, that every per- son is glad to give his most valuable raiment, together with his jewels or vessels, of silver or of gold, to any Israelitish woman that asks them of him \ Yet, though thrust out by the inhabitants, the Israelites do not go out as by flight, but, in an orderly manner, " har- nessed," that is, arranged as an arniy, in five different divisions'"; yea in a triumphant manner also, laden with the spoils of their vanquished enemies : " nor was there one feeble person among their tribes ;" not one was left behind ; nor was one single person unfit to undertake the journey. Thus was the power of Jehovah magnified in the completest victory that can possibly be imagined ; a victory, not over their arms merely, but over their proud, obstinate, rebellious hearts. ^^^ » Exod. iii. 21, 22. & xi. 2, 3. & xii. 35, 36. The Israelites did not borrow them with any promise of returning them ; but asked for them, and required them : and the people, partly through fear, and
 
partly through a temporary willingness to compensate for the injuries they had sustained, hastily gave them whatever they desired. *' The marginal reading in the Bible says, ^five in a rank: but ihis, allowing three feet between each rank, and two thousand ranks in a mile, would make the van and rear to be sixty miles apart : for there were no less than six hundred thousand men, besides women ^nd children. 56.] god's condescension to his people. 299 But we are no less called to admire the kindness of God to his people, than his power ovef his enemies. He knew, that his people were dispirited through their long and cruel bondage ; and that, if he led them the near way to Canaan through the land of the Philistines, (which was at most only a journey of eight or ten day^'',) they would be intimidated by the hostile ap- pearance of the Philistines, and be ready to return to Egypt, rather than enter on a warfare for which they were unprepared. He therefore condescended to their weakness, and led them another way. This may ap- pear an unimportant circumstance in this astonishing history ; but we think it will afford us some useful hints, while we call your attention to the following observations : I. As long as we are in this world, successive trials must be expected — [The trials of tlie Israelites did not cease when they came out of Egypt : whichever way they had proceeded, they would have met with difficulties. Thus it is with those who are redeemed from spiritual hondage : they come not into a state of rest, but of conflict. The fluctuating state of the world cannot but place many difficulties in their way And Satan, even if he knew
 
that he could not finally prevail against them, would not cease to harass them to the utmost of his power And their own hearts, if they had no other enemy to encounter, would afford them many occasions for labour and sorrow To every person that is desirous of reaching the promised land, this life is a state of warfiire : and if he would gain the victory, he must '^ put on the whole armour of God," and " endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ," and " fight the good fight of faith."] For these conflicts God fits his people : but, II. Whatever deliverances we may have experienced in past times, we are ever liable to faint under future trials — [One would have thought that persons who had so recently seen the irresistible power of Jehovah engaged for them, would not have feared any enemies they might be called to encounter. But God knew that the appearance of new difficulties would soon, iefface from their minds the remembrance of past deliverances. How just his estimate of them was, appeared, as soon as ever they «= Gen. xliii. 2, 10. 300 EXODUS, XIII. 17, 18. 15Q. they knew that they were pursued by the Egyptian armies. They instantly murmured against Moses and against God for bringing them out of Egypt ; and regretted that they had ever left the land of their captivity''. And when they had actually reached the borders of the promised land, so terrified were they at the report of their spies respecting the stature of the Canaanites, and

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