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by Editor - Theodore Beza
The Argument - After Jacob by God’s commandment in Genesis 46:3 had brought his family into Egypt, where they remained for four hundred years, and from seventy people grew to an infinite number so that the king and the country endeavoured both by tyranny and cruel slavery to suppress them: the Lord according to his promise in Genesis 15:14 had compassion on his Church, and delivered them, but plagued their enemies in most strange and varied ways. The more the tyranny of the wicked raged against his Church, the more his heavy judgments increased against them, till Pharaoh and his army were drowned in the sea, which gave an entry and passage to the children of God. As the ingratitude of man is great, so they immediately forgot God’s wonderful benefits and although he had given them the Passover as a sign and memorial of the same, yet they fell to distrust, and tempted God with various complaining and grudging against him and his ministers: sometimes out of ambition, sometimes lack of drink or meat to satisfy their lusts, sometimes idolatry, or such like. For this reason, God punished them with severe rods and plagues, that by his correction they might turn to him for help against his scourges, and earnestly repent for their rebellion and wickedness. Because God loves them to the end, whom he has once begun to love, he punished them not as they deserved, but dealt with them mercifully, and with new benefits laboured to overcome their malice: for he still governed them and gave them his word and Law, both concerning the way to serve him, and also the form of judgments and civil policy: with the intent that they would not serve God after as they pleased, but according to the order, that his heavenly wisdom had appointed.
the First Week of Advent