Matters are now coming to a crisis, and a dreadful crisis it is in this eventful history and it will soon be seen to whom the sovereign power belongs. This chapter prepares the way for the account of the tenth and last plague of Egypt in the destruction of the first-born. Moses denounceth this punishment, and all the conference between him and Pharaoh is ended forever.
This verse spiritually considered is very awful. After all the plagues of Egypt, there yet remained one more, in the death of the first-born, to finish. Thus after all the sorrows of the ungodly and hardened in this world, there remaineth one more in their final destruction in the world to come. Psalms 9:17-18.
By borrowing we may understand, without straining the expression, accepting those presents to which their long servitude had justly entitled them. Psalms 105:37; Psa_106:46.
This had been threatened before: Exodus 4:23. And, Reader! doth not this serve to teach how true that scripture is, the Lord is slow to anger: see Leviticus 26:44. in proof. And observe the expression in this plague. Moses and Aaron are not now to be the instruments of inflicting: I will go out, saith God. Read that scripture: Hebrews 10:31.
Is there not somewhat very striking in the destruction of the first-born? Through the whole Levitical dispensation what a perpetual reference is there made to this! It should seem that even in the destruction of enemies as well as in the salvation of the Lord's people, an allusion is unceasingly made to the sacrifice of Jesus.
Matthew 25:6. The midnight cry in the soul is a spiritual illustration of this.
Reader! again remark the striking tokens of distinguishing grace. Oh! did you, my brother, but always keep this view of things alive in the soul, of the present distinctions which the Lord makes, and the everlasting distinctions which will one day be made, between the precious and the vile, you would taste a thousand mercies, which are lost to the unobserving. Job 5:11-15.
See Numbers 12:3. The anger of Moses was like that of Phinehas, see Numbers 15:7-8; Num_15:11-13. The prophet Ezekiel's bitterness of spirit was of the same kind: Ezekiel 3:14.
How graciously God confirms his word. He had prepared the mind of Moses to expect this inattention on the part of Pharaoh several times before: Exodus 3:19; Exo_7:4 etc. And thus the issue proved. But what awful scriptures are these which explain the cause of such obduracy! John 12:37-40; Romans 11:8.
Before I leave this Chapter to enter upon the sequel of the wonderful history which follows, and behold the arm of God executing his threatenings upon the incurable obstinacy of Pharaoh and his subjects; I would pause once more over what I have read, to admire and adore the distinguishing grace of God to my soul. Oh! thou dear Redeemer, thou that art the hope of Israel and the Saviour thereof, how is it, why is it, that thou hast manifested thyself to me, and not unto the world? Ponder, my soul, I charge thee, the wondrous distinguishing love which passeth knowledge. Reader! in the contemplation of Pharaoh's character, learn the cause also why many now like him reject the counsel of God against their own souls; slight the gospel of Jesus, and refuse both him that spake on earth, and him that now speaks from heaven. Lord! write by thy blessed Spirit that solemn question on every heart, and accompany the word by thy power, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 11". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany