P. 1
God's Condescension to His People's Weakness.

God's Condescension to His People's Weakness.

|Views: 2|Likes:

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.

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.

More info:

Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 15, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





God's condescension to his people's weakness.

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
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
«= 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
the strength of their fortresses, that they proposed even there to
appoint a captain over them, to conduct them back again to the
land of Egypt^. This principle of unbelief is so deeply rooted
in our hearts, that even the most eminent saints have yielded to
its influence under severe trials : David, notwithstanding God
had promised him the throne of Israel, thought he should one
day perish by the hands of SauF; Elijah, who had so boldly
withstood Ahab, fled from his post through fear of Jezebel^; and
the Apostles, who had seen on numberless occasions the al-
mighty power of Jesus, expected nothing but death, even while
he was in the vessel together with them''. o wonder then if
we find " our spirits fail" in seasons of extraordinary difficulty or
danger. Indeed, who amongst us is so firm, that he can " enter
into a cloud, and not be afraid '?" Who, when a cloud is ready
to burst over his head, can say at all times, '^ I know whom I
have believed, and that He is able to keep that which I have
committed to him''," and will overrule these troubles for my
eternal good'? Under great temptations more especially, and
under the hidings of God's face, it is not uncommon for truly
upright persons to doubt, whether they shall ever get safe to
Canaan ; and almost to regret, that they have ever turned their
backs on Egypt.]
ot that we shall be really and finally deserted: for,
III. God, in condescension to his people's weakness,
proportions their trials to their strength —
[What he did to the Israelites on this occasion, he did to
the Christian Church in its infancy : the Apostles were screened
from persecution till " they had received more power from on
high:" and, for a considerable time after the day of Pentecost,
they alone were noticed by the ruling powers: opposition, till
the death of Stephen, was limited almost exclusively to them;
and very little affected the Church at large. In the experience
of individuals, the tender mercy of God is often very conspicuous
at this day. Whilst they are yet young and feeble, he is pleased
to screen them from that fierce opposition, which, at a more
advanced period, they will have to encounter: and oftentimes
their very corruptions appear to be almost extinct, when, in fact,
* Exod. xiv. n, 12. Tv- xvi. 3. * umb. xiv. 2 — i.
^ 1 Sam.xxvii. 1. ^ 1 Kin. xix. 1 — 3. "^ Mark iv.38.
* Luke ix. 34. '' 2 Tim, i. 12. ' Rom. viii, 28,
56.] god's condescension to his people. 301
they are only dormant : their joys also in the Lord are made to
abound in such a manner, that they are ready to think thcv shall
never more be called to conflict with sin or sorrow. These are
mercies to them from the Lord, to strengthen their resolution,
and animate their exertions. God is graciously pleased to hide
from them at the present the trials which ihev will hereafter sus-
tain, well knowing that they would be too nmch discouraged by
a sight of them, and perhaps be tempted to despair. " He does
not put nevv wine into old Ijottles," but only into vessels capable
of enduring the expansive efforts of fermentation"". He will not
over-drive the lambs, lest they die of fatigue". In the mean
time he expressly assures us, that he will not suffer us to be
tempted above that we are able, but will, with the temptation,
also make a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it";
*'and that as our day of temptation is, so shall also our strength
On these truths we would ground a word of ex-
hortation —
1 . Fear nothing in the way of duty —
[Had the Israelites considered what God had already done
for them, they would not have been afraid of any armies that
could be brought against them : for, could not the angel that
destroyed the Egvptian first-born destroy them also? And what
have we to fear when once we are enlisted under the banners of
Christ ? Is not '' the Captain of our salvation " at hand to fight
for US'! ? and " if he be for us, who can be against us'' ?" Let us
not then be afraid, even though earth and hell should combine
against us : " let us not cry 'A confederacy, a confederacy,' or fear
like other people; but sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself; and
let him be our fear, and let him be our dread^" " The waves
of the sea may rage horribly ; but He that sitteth on high is
mightier* :" " therefore we should not fear, though the earth were
removed, and the moiuitains cast into the depths of the sea"." It
is a fixed unalterable truth, sanctioned and confirmed by the expe-
rience of millions, that " none can harm us if we be followers of
that which is good''." If we be weak as "worms, yet shall we
thresh the mountains, and make them as the dust of the summer
threshing-floor y."]
1. Commit yourselves to the divine guidance and
direction —
[God is the same now that he was in the days of old. What
he did for Israel in a visible and external manner, he will do invi-
¦"Markii. 22, " Gen, xxxiii. 13, 14. MCor. x. 13.
P Deut. xxxiii, 25. '^ Josh. v. 14. ¦¦ Rom. viii. 31.
• Isai. viii. 12, 13, ' Ps. xciii. 3, 4. " Ps. xlvi. 2, 3.
'' 1 Pet, iii, 13, ^ Isai. xli. 10 — 16,
302 EXODUS, xiii. 21, 22. [57.
sibly and internally for his Church at this time. Only " acknow-
ledge him in all yonr ways, and he will direct your paths ^." We
say not that he will guide you by visions, or voices, or revelations;
but he will by his word and Spirit : in reference to them we may
say, ^' You shall hear a voice behind you saying, *This is the way,
Walk ye in it,' when ye turn to the right hand or turn to the
left V If your situation be painful at the present, or even con-
trary to what you have expected, do not hastily conclude that God
has forsaken you. The way in which the Israelites were led was
circuitous; but it was *^ the 77^A^ way''." Commit yourselves
then to Him, and he shall accomplish for you that which shall
ultimately be best for you*^. " He will lead you by a way that
you know not;" He will make darkness light before you, and
crooked things straight. These things will he do unto you, and
not forsake you*. He will guide you by his counsel; *' even to
hoar hairs he will carry you";" and after that receive you to
glory ^••] /
* Prov. iii, 6. * Isai. xxx. 21. '' Ps. cvii, 7.
* Ps. xxxvii. 5. ** Isai. xlii.[l6. * Isai. xlvi. 4.
' Vs. Ixxiii. 24.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->