Exodus 1

** The Book of Exodus relates the forming of the children of

Israel into a church and a nation. We have hitherto seen true

religion shown in domestic life, now, we begin to trace its

effects upon the concerns of kingdoms and nations. Exodus

signifies "the departure;" the chief event therein recorded is

the departure of Israel from Egypt and Egyptian bondage; it

plainly points out the fulfilling of several promises and

prophecies to Abraham respecting his seed, and shadows forth the

state of the church, in the wilderness of this world, until her

arrival at the heavenly Canaan, an eternal rest.

* The children of Israel increase in Egypt after the death of

Joseph. (8-14) They are oppressed, but multiply exceedingly.

(1-7) The men-children destroyed. (15-22)

1-7 During more than 200 years, while Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

lived at liberty, the Hebrews increased slowly; only about

seventy persons went down into Egypt. There, in about the same

number of years, though under cruel bondage, they became a large

nation. This wonderful increase was according to the promise

long before made unto the fathers. Though the performance of

God's promises is sometimes slow, it is always sure.
8-14 The land of Egypt became to Israel a house of bondage. The

place where we have been happy, may soon become the place of our

affliction; and that may prove the greatest cross to us, of

which we said, This same shall comfort us. Cease from man, and

say not of any place on this side heaven, This is my rest. All

that knew Joseph, loved him, and were kind to his brethren for

his sake; but the best and most useful services a man does to

others, are soon forgotten after his death. Our great care

should be, to serve God, and to please him who is not

unrighteous, whatever men are, to forget our work and labour of

love. The offence of Israel is, that he prospers. There is no

sight more hateful to a wicked man than the prosperity of the

righteous. The Egyptians feared lest the children of Israel

should join their enemies, and get them up out of the land.

Wickedness is ever cowardly and unjust; it makes a man fear,

where no fear is, and flee, when no one pursues him. And human

wisdom often is foolishness, and very sinful. God's people had

task-masters set over them, not only to burden them, but to

afflict them with their burdens. They not only made them serve

for Pharaoh's profit, but so that their lives became bitter. The

Israelites wonderfully increased. Christianity spread most when

it was persecuted: the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the

church. They that take counsel against the Lord and his Israel,

do but imagine a vain thing, and create greater vexation to

themselves.
15-22 The Egyptians tried to destroy Israel by the murder of

their children. The enmity that is in the seed of the serpent,

against the Seed of the woman, makes men forget all pity. It is

plain that the Hebrews were now under an uncommon blessing. And

we see that the services done for God's Israel are often repaid

in kind. Pharaoh gave orders to drown all the male children of

the Hebrews. The enemy who, by Pharaoh, attempted to destroy the

church in this its infant state, is busy to stifle the rise of

serious reflections in the heart of man. Let those who would

escape, be afraid of sinning, and cry directly and fervently to

the Lord for assistance.
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