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Bible Commentaries

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker
Exodus 8

 

 


Verse 3

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"If thou refuse... I will smite."Exodus 8:3.

Thus the parts of life are linked together.—Disobedience is not a self-contained act—Man must not imagine that he has no correspondence in heaven.—what man does is important as bearing moral consequences.—Man has undoubtedly the liberty to refuse, but he has no liberty in the region of law. Law follows in its own consequences whatever man may do.—This is not to be regarded as an arbitrary infliction. The law tells equally in both ways: obedience is blessed as certainly as disobedience is punished.—Man must not therefore excuse himself on account of the supposed arbitrariness of the Divine law. It is not arbitrary: it is rational in its foundations and equal in its operations.—This is no mere threatening: it is simply the announcement of a settled ordinance of nature. It belongs as much to the physical world in degree as to the spiritual world.—If a man refuse to sow seed he will reap no harvest; if a man refuse to open his windows he will receive no sunlight into his house; if a man refuse to take proper food and exercise his health will be smitten.—All this is not severe: it is really the active and protective side of beneficence.


Verse 19

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"And he hearkened not unto them."Exodus 8:19.

The man spoken of is Pharaoh, and the men to whom reference is made were his own magicians.—There came a time in the spiritual history of Pharaoh when he declined the teaching of his own monitors in this matter.—Paganism has its difficulties as well as Christianity. It must not be supposed that the Christian is the only religion which is disbelieved: Pharaoh gave up his own magicians.—Men sometimes give the lie to nature, disobeying every one of her laws, and seeking to invent universes of their own.—It is not uncommon also for experience to be dismissed by men who have imagined that its lessons are narrow and insufficient or hesitating in their moral deductions.—Not only have nature and experience been thus deposed, but history itself has been treated as an idle tale.—When nature, experience, and history have had to suffer these things at the hands of their supposed followers, what wonder if the men who have treated such teachers so should have treated the Gospel message with contempt and spurning?—When a man treats all teachers in so high-handed a manner, he assumes practical godhead.—We are not at liberty to conduct our own education without hint or service from others.—If we take to this course, we shall conduct ourselves towards exhaustion.—The wise learner looks outward, upward, Godward, insisting that his earth shall be warmed by no meaner fire than the sun.


Verse 20

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"And the Lord said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh."Exodus 8:20.

God is always before men. However early we rise, God is waiting for us.—The Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world.—We never can surprise God by a new necessity, or baffle him by the agony of an unexpected pain.—The Church should take a lesson from this consideration. It should watch the movements of men, and always be ahead of them and waiting for them, and surprise them by Christian appeals where such appeals are least expected.—The Church cannot begin its labours too early in the day.—The message from Heaven is always in time and in place.—Every engagement of life may be legitimately interrupted by the direct messages of Heaven.—The Church has been too particular in studying the convenience of the persons to whom it has been sent in the name of Heaven.—Interrupt everything, that the Gospel may be delivered.—Have no fear of the greatest; whatever his importance in life it is transcended by the importance of messages that are sent by God himself.


Verse 28

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Only ye shall not go very far away."Exodus 8:28.

This was a stipulation made by Pharaoh.—He had been plagued into some concession.—This is the language of compromise—the common language of all time.—Men are generous with a reservation. This was Pharaoh"s policy.—In many cases religion is to be respected, but is not to cost anything.—Some people use this language when they are giving a kind of permission to faith; they say, "It may go so far, but no farther." It is not to go very far away from what can be seen and handled; it is to be as a tethered bird unable to fly beyond its check.—Some people use the same language to the spirit of Consecration. It must not go very far away from the marketplace and from the common courses of society; it must never become a passion, a heroism, a burning sacrifice.—People keep themselves very much within themselves, not knowing that self-control reaches its highest discipline in the absolute giving away of the whole life to the care and service of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 8:4". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/exodus-8.html. 1885-95.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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