Exodus 5* Pharaoh's displeasure, He increases the tasks of theIsraelites. (1-9) The sufferings of the Israelites, Moses'complaint to God. (10-23)1-9 God will own his people, though poor and despised, and willfind a time to plead their cause. Pharaoh treated all he hadheard with contempt. He had no knowledge of Jehovah, no fear ofhim, no love to him, and therefore refused to obey him. ThusPharaoh's pride, ambition, covetousness, and politicalknowledge, hardened him to his own destruction. What Moses andAaron ask is very reasonable, only to go three days' journeyinto the desert, and that on a good errand. We will sacrificeunto the Lord our God. Pharaoh was very unreasonable, in sayingthat the people were idle, and therefore talked of going tosacrifice. He thus misrepresents them, that he might have apretence to add to their burdens. To this day we find many whoare more disposed to find fault with their neighbours, forspending in the service of God a few hours spared from theirwordly business, than to blame others, who give twice the timeto sinful pleasures. Pharaoh's command was barbarous. Moses andAaron themselves must get to the burdens. Persecutors takepleasure in putting contempt and hardship upon ministers. Theusual tale of bricks must be made, without the usual allowanceof straw to mix with the clay. Thus more work was to be laidupon the men, which, if they performed, they would be brokenwith labour; and if not, they would be punished. 10-23 The Egyptian task-masters were very severe. See what needwe have to pray that we may be delivered from wicked men. Thehead-workmen justly complained to Pharaoh: but he taunted them.The malice of Satan has often represented the service andworship of God, as fit employment only for those who havenothing else to do, and the business only of the idle; whereas,it is the duty of those who are most busy in the world. Thosewho are diligent in doing sacrifice to the Lord, will, beforeGod, escape the doom of the slothful servant, though with menthey do not. The Israelites should have humbled themselvesbefore God, and have taken to themselves the shame of their sin;but instead of that, they quarrel with those who were to betheir deliverers. Moses returned to the Lord. He knew that whathe had said and done, was by God's direction; and thereforeappeals to him. When we find ourselves at any time perplexed inthe way of our duty, we ought to go to God, and lay open ourcase before him by fervent prayer. Disappointments in our workmust not drive us from our God, but still we must ponder whythey are sent.
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