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Our Duty to Serve God Truly All the Days of Our Lives.

Our Duty to Serve God Truly All the Days of Our Lives.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


EXODUS viii. 1.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and ear
unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let My people go, that
they may serve Me.
BY REV. HARVEY GOODWIN, M.A.,


EXODUS viii. 1.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and ear
unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let My people go, that
they may serve Me.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 03, 2014
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OUR DUTY TO SERVE GOD TRULY ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES. BY REV. HARVEY GOODWI, M.A., EXODUS viii. 1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and ear unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let My people go, that they may serve Me. IT was not once only, but several times, that Moses was commissioned by God to carry this message to Pharaoh. In fact it was the very burden of all the messages ; sometimes they were couched in precisely the same words, sometimes they were accompanied by threats, but the burden of all that Moses had to say to Pharaoh on the part of God was this, u Let My people go, that they may serve Me." God, you will observe, claimed the people as His; they were His chosen inheritance, and Pharaoh was holding in bondage those who by no right were his slaves ; God said, They are Mine, and He vindicated His title to them as you very well know, shewing signs and wonders upon Pha- 180 SERMO XII. raoh, and at length compelling him by terror to do< that, which he refused to do from a sense of duty. ow in order that I may be able to make that use of the words of God in the text which I pro pose to make, let me call your attention to one point in it, which might perhaps have escaped par ticular notice. The summons to Pharaoh is this, " Let My people go, that they may serve Me"
 
that they may serve Me, not, yon wilt observe, that they may be at liberty, but only that they may change their Master ; it would perhaps have seemed to us more natural, that when the children of Israel were oppressed by an unrighteous king and heavy taskmasters, the summons should have come from God to set them free ; " Thus saith the Lord, Set My people free," would perhaps have seemed to us the most fitting message to have been conveyed by Moses to Pharaoh ; and in one sense of course the actual message sent was equivalent to this, Pharaoh was commanded to let them go, the grinding slavery of Egypt was to cease, the children of Israel were to become a nation, with ordinances and laws and institutions of their own, instead of being a mere rabble of bondsmen ; and to be thus delivered by God, who is represented as coming down from Heaven having heard their cry, ought to have been deemed by those delivered as in the highest sense of the words perfect free- TO SERVE HIM TRULY. 181 dom ; but still, perfect freedom is not the thing demanded of Pharaoh, nor is this the prize of their high calling held out before the eyes of the Israel ites. o to serve God is the perfect freedom held out ; to change masters, to be rid of him who had no claim to their allegiance, and to be per mitted without hinderance to serve Him who was indeed their Lord and their God this was the boon oifered to the children of Israel, and de manded on their account by Moses as the ambas sador of God. You will remember also, that the reason given to Pharaoh why he should let the Israelites go, namely, that they might serve God, was illus
 
trated by their after history, when they were set free from Egypt. They were called upon to serve ; nor was it a nominal service ; on the other hand, it was a service against which the people kicked and struggled quite as earnestly, or rather I should say much more earnestly, than ever they had against the yoke of Pharaoh ; for, strange though it may seem, the people do not seem, while under Pha raoh s yoke, to have shewn that spirit of rebellion, that difficulty in being governed, which was exhi bited so strikingly afterwards; it would seem as though their spirit had been broken by slavery, and they contented themselves with groaning under labours; and the fleshpots of Egypt, the 182 SERMO XII. abundance of the supply of mere animal wants, seem in a measure to have made up to them so degraded had they become for the want of per sonal freedom. You may see this illustrated by that story, which we have of Moses interfering in a quarrel between two of the Israelites ; he would have set them at one again, but they only taunted him with having slain an Egyptian the day before in defense of one his countrymen ; no appearance of any readiness to join with Moses for resistance against the oppressors ; only the quiet submission to a yoke, lest perchance that yoke should be made more intolerable. But look at this people, when the yoke of Pharaoh had been broken and they were privileged to serve God ; no easy sub mission now; every reverse is a signal for rebel lion ; they even taunt Moses with having set them free, and they hanker after the good things of Egypt, with which their wretched carcases had been fed in the days of their slavery, and they who seem not to have kicked against Pharaoh, do

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