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Volume 12 - Page 75 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
"Let My people go" (Exod. 5: 1).
The Principle of Separation.
pp. 164 - 167
The demand that Moses made when he entered into the presence of Pharaoh, and
Pharaoh's refusal and attempts at compromise, form a type of the age-abiding feud
between the "Church and the World":--
"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto
Me in the wilderness" (Exod. 5: 1).
No feast to the Lord could be held in Egypt, the type of the world. The wilderness
was the place chosen by the Lord for worship. Pilgrims and strangers may worship
acceptably; slaves to the world and the flesh cannot worship in spirit. In Exod. 5: 3 two
terms are added that are typically suggestive. God is called "The God of the Hebrews",
suggesting the separate character of His people. The journey that the Israelites must take
in order to worship God was to be a "three days' journey". From the Creation week
onwards the third day sets forth resurrection. True worship is not of the world (Egypt), it
is offered by a free people (Let My people go), and a separate people (Hebrews), and is
upon resurrection ground (three days). One sacrifice only was offered in Egypt, the
Passover; all else was reserved for the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
Pharaoh's answers, "Who is the Lord?"; "I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel
go"; "Get you to your burdens", are, in their turn, typical of the world's attitude towards
spiritual service. The "burdens of Egypt" are far more important than the service of the
Lord, and even among the Lord's people Martha finds more imitators than Mary, so
much of Egypt do we all carry with us.
The Judgments of God begin after Pharaoh's refusal, and in chapter 8: Pharaoh
calls for Moses and Aaron and suggests the first compromise, "Go ye, sacrifice to your
God IN THE LAND" (25). God had said "in the wilderness" and a "three days'
journey". Pharaoh's says, in effect, "You can worship your God, I do not ask you to bow
down to any of mine, you can offer your sacrifice, but there is no necessity for making
yourselves so peculiar, sacrifice to your God in the land."
The first great snare set by the god of this age is that of mixing the world with the
church. Moses repudiated the compromise, the first reason being that the very center and
basis of their worship was an abomination to the Egyptians.
The world is quite willing to speak of "Jesus", and especially so if they can refer to
him as the "Galilean" or the "Carpenter", but the center of the faith, the cross, "Christ
crucified", is an "offence". The cross reveals the hopeless and helpless condition of the
flesh, and this is an "abomination to the Egyptians".
The second reason for repudiating the suggestion is just as strong as the first, but one
that we are apt to forget. The suggestion ran counter to God's express statement, and that