Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, June 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Exodus 5

Parker's The People's BibleParker's The People's Bible

Verse 2

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"I know not the Lord." Exodus 5:2 .

A kind of agnosticism more prevalent than agnosticism of a scientific kind. There is an agnosticism of the heart; there is an agnosticism of the will. Men reason foolishly about this not-knowing. Men imagine that because they know not the Lord, the Lord knows not them. This is a vital distinction. We do not extinguish the sun by closing our eyes. If men will not inquire for God in a spirit worthy of such an inquiry they can never know God. Pharaoh's no-knowledge was avowed in a tone of defiance. It was not an intellectual ignorance, but a spirit of moral denial. Pharaoh practically made himself God by denying the true God. This is the natural result of all atheism. Atheism cannot be a mere negative; if it pretend to intelligence it must, in some degree, involve the godhead of the being who presumes to deny God; the greatest difficulty is with people who know the Lord and do not obey him. If they who professedly know the Lord would carry out his will in daily obedience and sacrifice of the heart, their lives would constitute the most powerful of all arguments.

Verse 17

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the Lord." Exodus 5:17 .

A religious sentiment foolishly accounted for. Men judge others by themselves. When religion is of no consequence to them, they cannot imagine its being of any importance to others. Religious exercises are supposed to be associated with idleness. This is a sophism; this is also a vulgarity. The popular delusion is that engagement in religious exercises takes nothing out of the strength and vigour of the worshipper. The truth is, that an exercise of a religious kind, if it be of the true quality, leaves a man wholly prostrate inflicting upon him the greatest spiritual and physical loss. The reaction is of an edifying and inspiring kind; but so far as the man himself is concerned, if he has truly worshipped, he has gone out of himself, and to that extent has exhausted himself. We must not take other people's account of our religious inspirations. We must not be laughed out of our enthusiasm. Nothing is easier than to divert the mind from the right cause or motive of action, and to trouble the soul with suspicions of its own integrity. It is useless to attempt to disprove such accusations by mere words. Words are accounted as idle as religious exercises by the people who live a worldly and shallow life. Such people attach no moral value to words. They themselves are false in every fibre of their nature. There are not wanting to-day journalists, critics, sneerers, who account for all religious sentiment, emotion, and activity on some narrow and frivolous ground. Churches must not be deterred by what mockers say.

Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 5". Parker's The People's Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jpb/exodus-5.html. 1885-95.
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