the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“When I am weak, then am I strong.”
Those whom God sends are often slow to go, and yet men whom the Lord never sent push themselves into office eagerly.
Exodus 4:2 , Exodus 4:3
This was a sign to him that though now a humble shepherd he would become so powerful as to terrify Pharaoh. The pastoral staff should be dreadful as a serpent.
Here he learned that the power with which he was endowed while it would be as a terrible serpent towards Egypt, would be for himself and for Israel a harmless shepherd’s crook. Both the signs would encourage Moses.
Exodus 4:7 , Exodus 4:8
This he saw that the Lord can both wither and restore. All who work for the Lord should remember this.
By this reluctance Moses lost much honour, for Aaron became the high priest, and he obtained a helper who also proved to be a hindrance.
It is interesting to note that other eminent prophets besides Moses have shrunk at first from their commission. We will read how Jeremiah did so.
O Lord, grant that all thy ministers may have their mouths touched in the same manner.
Father of mercies, bow thine ear,
Attentive to our earnest prayer;
We plead for those who plead for thee,
Successful pleaders may they be!
Lord, how can sinful lips proclaim
The honours of so great a name!
O for thine altar’s glowing coal,
To touch their lips, and fire their soul.
“Though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion.”
Exodus 5:1-4 , Exodus 5:6-23
Though his proud spirit defied Jehovah, he had before long good reason to know who Jehovah was.
This was by no means a large demand, and was doubtless meant to be a test question. He who would not yield the less would be sure to refuse the greater.
let or hinder
With what impudent scorn he defied the messengers of the Lord, haughtily treating them as slaves, who had better go back to their labour at once.
As the bricks were made of mud mixed with straw, and the straw had hitherto been supplied to them in the brickfields, it was a heavy addition to their toils when they had to collect straw themselves.
Exodus 5:15 , Exodus 5:16
These poor Israelitish officers thought that the Egyptian taskmasters were unwarrantably keeping back the straw, but indeed they were acting under the King’s own orders.
Things are always worst when they are about to mend, but these downcast spirits could not see far before them.
Exodus 5:22 , Exodus 5:23
Moses did well thus to refer the case to the Lord. Let us bring all our troubles to our heavenly Father.
Mighty Redeemer set me free
From my old state of sin,
O break these bonds of slavery,
This iron worn within.
From daily load and daily smart
Thy pleading captive free,
Then shall my liberated heart
Thy willing servant be.