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GOD PUTS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HIS PEOPLE AND OTHERS
Exodus 11:7. Know, how that the Lord doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.
A PRINCIPAL intent of God in the various dispensations of his providence is, to make himself known unto the world. By some of his works he makes known his natural perfections of wisdom and power; by others, his moral perfections of goodness and truth. In his dealings with Pharaoh in particular, we are expressly told that he had this end in view [Note: Exodus 10:1-2.10.2.]. The exercise of his sovereignty was in that instance intended to be displayed [Note: Romans 9:17-45.9.20.] ; as also in the whole of “the difference which he put between the Israelites and the Egyptians:” but if we consider these two nations as types or representatives of the friends and enemies of God, we shall be rather led to contemplate the equity of all his dispensations towards them. It is in this light that we propose to dwell upon the words before us.
“Know ye then that the Lord doth put a difference between his own people and others”—
He did so from the beginning—
[Go back to the antediluvian world [Note: How different his conduct towards the two first men that were born into the world! Genesis 4:3-1.4.5. What singular honour did he confer on Enoch! Hebrews 11:5. What distinguished mercy did he vouchsafe to Noah! Genesis 6:9-1.6.13.] — — — Consult the patriarchal age [Note: How different his regards to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, from any that he shewed to those amongst whom they dwelt!] — — — Look at the history before us [Note: From the latter plagues, the flies, the murrain, the darkness, and the slaughter of the first-born, the Israelites were exempt. The cloud also was dark to one, but light to the other: and the sea was both a passage and a grave.] — — —Search the records of all succeeding ages [Note: It is impossible to read the history of David or Elijah in the Old Testament, or of the Apostles in the New, and not see this written as with a sunbeam.] — — — The annals of the whole world conspire to establish this important truth.]
He does so at this present hour —
[If we have been attentive observers of what passes around us, or within our own hearts, we shall not need to be told that God does at this time, no less than in former ages, distinguish his people from others. He does so in the dispensations [Note: He not unfrequently interposes to screen them from calamities, (Job 5:19-18.5.24.) and always to sanctify the calamities he sends. Romans 8:28. His very presence with them in trouble is equivalent to a deliverance from it. Psalms 31:20. (The full import of that verse will, when discovered, richly repay our meditations upon it.)] of his providence — — — and in the communications of his grace [Note: Whence is it that the Lord’s people are enabled to triumph, as they do, over the world, the flesh, and the devil? Is it not that they are strengthened by Christ, (Philippians 4:13.) and that “his grace is sufficient for them?”] — — —]
He will do so to all eternity—
[If we would know the full extent of that difference which he will put between his people and others, we must go up to heaven, and taste all the glories of it — — — and go down to hell, and experience all its miseries — — — Never till then shall we be adequate judges of this momentous subject.]
Do you believe this truth?
[Many think that “God will not do good or evil,” and that he will neither reward nor punish. Whether they be conscious of such infidelity or not, their life too plainly proves its dominion over them — — — Beware of such atheistical sentiments; and seek that, whatever becomes of others, ye may be monuments of his love and favour — — —]
Do you live under the influence of it?
[Happy were it for us, if we could always bear in mind this solemn truth! How importunate would be our prayers, how ardent our praises, how indefatigable our exertions! — — —Let us contemplate the separation which God will make in the day of judgment [Note: Malachi 3:18; Matthew 25:33; Matthew 25:46.] ; and labour incessantly, that we may be numbered amongst his most favoured saints [Note: Malachi 3:16-39.3.17.] — — —]
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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Exodus 11". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany