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thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 10 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. 18 "I And Moses went and returned to * Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. 19 And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt; and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the Lord said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand; but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LoRD, Israel is my son, eren my firstborn : 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. 24 || And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LoRD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp "stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and 7 cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the Clreunucle10n. 27 *[ And the LoRD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LoRD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him. 29 || And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LoRD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LoRD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked

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It is much the same with the heart of a teacher, or minister of the gospel, in preparing for his important work, as it is with the heart of a sinner in bringing him to the faith of Christ. In both cases there is much to be censured, as there is much to be encouraged. There is much false humility lurking under a specious guise, and much sinful unbelief when called to the exercise of steady faith; and these must be detected and overcome, in order to make way for full acquiescence in the Lord's word and will. The case of Moses gives a practical illustration of this remark. We noticed his humility in the last chapter, when he said, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh f" Now he apprehends difficulties from another quarter. The people “will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee" (v. 1). And when the Lord assured him, that he would empower him to deliver his message, accompanied with such signs that there could not be the least room for objection to any word he might speak in his name, another apprehension was started. “O my Lord, I am not eloquent; but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” (v. 10). But where was Moses's reflection ? Who made man's mouth; or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Had not the Lord made all these things Could not that Almighty Being put a word into his tongue, and open his mouth, and enable him faithfully to deliver all that he commanded him : Could Moses doubt, if he only considered : Could he hesitate, if he only believed Go therefore, says God, “and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (v. 12). Alas! how little do we know ourselves! How prone are we to distrust the Lord, and to recoil from arduous duties, when all ground for apprehension has clearly been removed Look at Moses. Does he still draw back * Does he still hesitate He does. After all the Lord's wonderful condescension and kindmess in obviating his fears, he now desires to withdraw altogether from the office, and to cast the whole burden upon another. “And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send” (v. 13). Ah! let us learn to take care. God may be as certainly provoked by our shrinking from the path of duty, when he evidently calls us to it, under a false humility or unreasonable unbelief, as by daring sin or avowed disobedience to his will. There is no duty, station, office, or work, to which, in the order of providence, any one may be called, but He can enable him for its faithful discharge. To think or act otherwise than upon this full persuasion, is to dishonour the Lord and to provoke his displeasure. And who has not been far more ready to decline his appointed work, than to set himself about its faithful performance in dependance on the divine blessing? The danger is, not in obeying the Lord's revealed Word and will, but in thrusting ourselves forward uncalled and unprepared; or in withdrawing from our work after we have been evidently called to it. Cast not, then, the stone of condemnation at Moses; but pray for divine grace; learn to repent of your own disobedience, and cry for mercy and forgiveness. Was it not wonderful, that, after all these things, the Lord should be still pleased to pardon this sin in Moses; to condescend to his weakness; and to raise him up a helper ? And in what a wonderful way was this done * Moses appeals to Jethro, and asks permission to return into Egypt. The Lord again reminds him of what he was to do when he came to Pharaoh. By the way he is further instructed, that a real and renewed consecration to God was requisite for serving him with acceptance. As he was journeying on his way in the wilderness, it came into the heart of Aaron to go forth and meet him. Moses told him of his appointed commission, and the heart of both became at once united together for the prosecution of the work. Was not this the Lord's doing Are not these things marvellous in our eyes? Cannot the Lord thus dispose the hearts of one and another to join with us in fulfilling his will Oh! how delightful is this consideration Whoever need to doubt or fear Unworthy

as you are ; unfit as you are ; unbelieving and disobedient as you are ; the Lord can remove all impediments, pardon all sin, and make the way plain and prosperous before you. Go forth in the Lord's name, and make mention of his righteousness only. Then difficulties will vanish ; mountains will become plains; you will feel astonished at your success; and the Lord alone will be exalted.

CHAPTER V.

1 Pharaoh chideth Moses and Aaron for their message. 5 He increaseth the Israelites’ task. I 5 He checketh their complaints. 20 They cry out upon Moses and Aaron. 22 Moses complaineth to God. ND afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lon D, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. 3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. 4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works get you unto your burdens. 5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. 6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9 'Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. 10 || And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished. 12 So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, *your daily tasks, as when there was straw. 14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore ? 15 *| Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. 17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord. 18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. 19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task. 20 " And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21 And they said unto them, The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour "to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. 22 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people why is it that thou hast sent me * 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; “neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.

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will not forsake his sins; will not hearken to the voice of God. Like the haughty tyrant in the chapter before us, the feeling of his heart is, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice " (v. 2.) Sometimes this stubbornness of heart is evinced under peculiar aggravations. Pharaoh instantly set the Lord at defiance. There was no time given for consideration; no pondering over what he had been told ; no inquiry into the subject, to see whether it demanded his attention or not. How often is this the case with the stubborn sinner He treats the word of God exactly in the same manner; he casts aside the message of the gospel just in the same way; he knows neither who has sent it, nor what it is, nor how much he is concerned in attending to its merciful voice; but all at once he sets himself against it, and neither will he forsake his sins, nor seek the Lord. In all such cases there is no difficulty in foretelling what the end will be, unless the Lord mercifully interpose. In vain did Moses attempt to enforce his authority for acting as he did. Though Pharaoh did not know the Lord, Moses knew him. Though Pharaoh would not hearken to his voice, Moses and Aaron wished to obey and serve him. But this only exasperated the haughty prince yet the more ; and to shew how utterly he disregarded the command, he

instantly added to the burdens of the people,

and increased the severity of their bondage, as if he would utterly crush them with his iron hand rather than grant their release, and set God at defiance by shewing what he dared to do. Is it not thus the great enemy of souls tries to keep those under his power whom the Lord intends to save In this respect Pharaoh may be regarded as a lively type of Satan. Rebellion against the authority of heaven is the very element of his existence; and the ruin and destruction of souls constitute the essence of his infernal delight. Every stratagem and device will he employ for that murderous purpose ! Never mind, will he whisper in the heart; never mind what your minister or friend may tell you. How do you know it is true What certainty have you that it ever will come to pass : Why should you hearken to such idle tales Who

is the Lord You do not know who or what he is, and why, them, should you hearken to his voice 3

If at any time the sinner should begin to think, or feel disposed to reflect on his ways, that evil spirit will increase his bondage, and seek to rivet him in his chains more and more. The poor infatuated creature is urged on in his sins with a keener relish. The enmity of his heart is roused up more than ever. The fetters of his bondage are fastened around his soul more closely than before. Every day his case wears a more gloomy aspect in every respect; and what the end may be, who can say *

How cruel was this conduct of Pharaoh ! How unreasonable and unjust were these additional exactions ! It seemed more the action of a madman, than the law of a wise and merciful prince, as he ought to have been. In vain did the people cry for redress; they were not heard. In vain did Moses and Aaron plead on their behalf; they were not attended to. It appeared to all parties that their miseries would never cease, and that there was no prospect of their deliverance. Thus it is also not unfrequently in the concerns of the soul. There are times and seasons when all hope of mercy seems to be gone; but difficulties, which appear insurmountable to us, only make way for the more signal display of the omnipotent power of the Lord's holy arm.

CHAPTER VI. 1 God reneweth his promise by his name JEHOPAH. 14

The genealogy of Reuben, 15 of Simeon, 16 of Levi, of

whom came Moses and Aaron.

HEN the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am "the LORD : 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.

5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the logyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. G Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did “swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LoRd. 9 || And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for “anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. 10 And the LoRD spake unto Moses, saying, 11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 12 And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips ? 13 And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. 14 "I These be the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon. 16 || And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath ; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. 19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations. 20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and Sewell Wears. 21 *| And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zithri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri. 23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkamah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites. 25 And Eleazar Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families. 26 These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LoRD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. 27 These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron. 28's And it came to pass on the day when the LoRD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 That the LoRD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LoRD : speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. 30 And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me *

(1) Or, JEHOVAH. (2) Heb. lift up my hand. (3) Heb. shortness, or, straitness.

IN the last chapter, Moses and Aaron were greatly discouraged on account of Pharaoh's refusal to let the people go, and by the additional severities which he inflicted on them. Judging more by their own fears than from what the Lord had promised to perform, they were ready to conclude, that it would have been much better if the Lord had not sent them (ch. v. 22, 23). This arose from losing sight of the promise. Unbelief begets fear; and fear weakens the mind, and unfits it for arduous duties. The more you are endued with the Spirit of faith, the more courageous will you be in the service of God. In this chapter the Lord encourages his fearful servant with the assurance of what he would do unto Pharaoh, and tells him that when the time came the cruel tyrant would be as anxious to rid himself of the burden of

that people, as he was now determined to keep them in bondage. “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land” (v. 1). Would not that be a wonderful event? Would it not declare the mighty

power of the Almighty God? When the Lord works, who shall hinder it? When he

stretches forth his arm, who shall draw it back In vain, therefore, shall Pharaoh harden his heart. In vain shall he refuse to let the people go. In vain shall he say, “Who is the Lord? I know not the Lord,” neither will I obey his voice (ch. v. 2). By constraint, if not willingly, he shall know who the Lord is. He shall know him by the judgments which shall be executed upon him. Whether he will or mo, he shall let the people go; yea, he shall even drive them out of his land, though sorely against his wishes. Thus the Lord will confound his enemies, and cause their enmity and wrath to turn to his praise. Let Moses, then, go to his work; and he shall see, in due time, how the Lord will accomplish his own purpose in the deliverance of his people. To fortify his mind for the promised event, God was pleased to reveal himself anew to his chosen servant. “I am the Lord” (v. 2); that is sufficient to assure him of the certainty of all he had promised to do. By the name of “God Almighty” was he known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ; and they believed and obeyed him. (Gen. xvii. 1; xxviii. 3; xxxv. 11.) How much more should Moses do so, under the additional title of the glorious Jehovah' With them he had established his covenant to give them the promised land. These were their seed, who were now groaning under their bondage in Egypt. Would that glorious Jehovah leave them in that misery Would he not bring them out from the burdens of Egypt? Would he not redeem them from their bondage, and rescue them with a stretched out arm and great judgments? Would he not take them for a people, and be their God, and cause them to know him as the Lord their God Let Moses then arise, shake off his fears, and gird up his loins; for though there would be a great conflict, Jehovah will prevail, and the victory shall be glorious.

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