Exodus 1** The Book of Exodus relates the forming of the children ofIsrael into a church and a nation. We have hitherto seen truereligion shown in domestic life, now, we begin to trace itseffects upon the concerns of kingdoms and nations. Exodussignifies "the departure;" the chief event therein recorded isthe departure of Israel from Egypt and Egyptian bondage; itplainly points out the fulfilling of several promises andprophecies to Abraham respecting his seed, and shadows forth thestate of the church, in the wilderness of this world, until herarrival at the heavenly Canaan, an eternal rest. * The children of Israel increase in Egypt after the death ofJoseph. (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 Jacoblived at liberty, the Hebrews increased slowly; only aboutseventy persons went down into Egypt. There, in about the samenumber of years, though under cruel bondage, they became a largenation. This wonderful increase was according to the promiselong before made unto the fathers. Though the performance ofGod's promises is sometimes slow, it is always sure. 8-14 The land of Egypt became to Israel a house of bondage. Theplace where we have been happy, may soon become the place of ouraffliction; and that may prove the greatest cross to us, ofwhich we said, This same shall comfort us. Cease from man, andsay not of any place on this side heaven, This is my rest. Allthat knew Joseph, loved him, and were kind to his brethren forhis sake; but the best and most useful services a man does toothers, are soon forgotten after his death. Our great careshould be, to serve God, and to please him who is notunrighteous, whatever men are, to forget our work and labour oflove. The offence of Israel is, that he prospers. There is nosight more hateful to a wicked man than the prosperity of therighteous. The Egyptians feared lest the children of Israelshould 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 humanwisdom often is foolishness, and very sinful. God's people hadtask-masters set over them, not only to burden them, but toafflict them with their burdens. They not only made them servefor Pharaoh's profit, but so that their lives became bitter. TheIsraelites wonderfully increased. Christianity spread most whenit was persecuted: the blood of the martyrs was the seed of thechurch. They that take counsel against the Lord and his Israel,do but imagine a vain thing, and create greater vexation tothemselves. 15-22 The Egyptians tried to destroy Israel by the murder oftheir children. The enmity that is in the seed of the serpent,against the Seed of the woman, makes men forget all pity. It isplain that the Hebrews were now under an uncommon blessing. Andwe see that the services done for God's Israel are often repaidin kind. Pharaoh gave orders to drown all the male children ofthe Hebrews. The enemy who, by Pharaoh, attempted to destroy thechurch in this its infant state, is busy to stifle the rise ofserious reflections in the heart of man. Let those who wouldescape, be afraid of sinning, and cry directly and fervently tothe Lord for assistance.
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