Exodus 11

* God's last instructions to Moses respecting Pharaoh and the

Egyptians. (1-3) The death of the first-born threatened. (4-10)

1-3 A secret revelation was made to Moses while in the presence

of Pharaoh, that he might give warning of the last dreadful

judgment, before he went out. This was the last day of the

servitude of Israel; they were about to go away. Their masters,

who had abused them in their work, would have sent them away

empty; but God provided that the labourers should not lose their

hire, and ordered them to demand it now, at their departure, and

it was given to them. God will right the injured, who in humble

silence commit their cause to him; and none are losers at last

by patient suffering. The Lord gave them favour in the sight of

the Egyptians, by making it appear how much he favoured them. He

also changed the spirit of the Egyptians toward them, and made

them to be pitied of their oppressors. Those that honour God, he

will honour.
4-10 The death of all the first-born in Egypt at once: this

plague had been the first threatened, but is last executed. See

how slow God is to wrath. The plague is foretold, the time is

fixed; all their first-born should sleep the sleep of death, not

silently, but so as to rouse the families at midnight. The

prince was not too high to be reached by it, nor the slaves at

the mill too low to be noticed. While angels slew the Egyptians,

not so much as a dog should bark at any of the children of

Israel. It is an earnest of the difference there shall be in the

great day, between God's people and his enemies. Did men know

what a difference God puts, and will put to eternity, between

those that serve him and those that serve him not, religion

would not seem to them an indifferent thing; nor would they act

in it with so much carelessness as they do. When Moses had thus

delivered his message, he went out from Pharaoh in great anger

at his obstinacy; though he was the meekest of the men of the

earth. The Scripture has foretold the unbelief of many who hear

the gospel, that it might not be a surprise or stumbling-block

to us, #Ro 10:16|. Let us never think the worse of the gospel of

Christ for the slights men put upon it. Pharaoh was hardened,

yet he was compelled to abate his stern and haughty demands,

till the Israelites got full freedom. In like manner the people

of God will find that every struggle against their spiritual

adversary, made in the might of Jesus Christ, every attempt to

overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and every desire to

attain increasing likeness and love to that Lamb, will be

rewarded by increasing freedom from the enemy of souls.
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