INTERESTING FACTS :
Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C.[1
DAILY READING : [EXODUS 10 - 12]
TEXT : Exo 10:8 And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? Exo 10:9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. Exo 10:10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Exo 10:11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. Exo 10:24 And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. Exo 10:25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. Exo 10:26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.
THEME : COMPROMISE
As the judgments continue to fall on Egypt, Pharaoh is stubborn and unmoved at God's command through Moses to - "Let my people go that they may serve me." Egypt is suffering such devastating economic and physical disaster even Pharaoh's counselors tell him to let the Israelites go. The fact that Pharaoh's servants implore him this way tells us they had some faith the God of Israel was the source of these catastrophes. We read in chapter 9 - "He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:" [Exo 9:20] This shows us that faith in Almighty God as the cause of the judgments against them was growing among the people of Egypt.
However, Pharaoh when he finally starts to acknowledge, at least in part, the God of Israel, his solution to Moses demands is to get Moses to compromise. That is, he tells Moses the men can go, but not the rest of Israel. Then, he states he will let the people go but not the flocks and herds. Pharaoh wants to concede defeat, but only in part. He is willing to make some concessions to Moses but he will not fully submit. This is a fitting example of the unwillingness of Man to worship God with all the heart, mind, soul, and strength. Man resists God because of the darkness of his heart. Most people would rather say - "My will be done," than mimic Jesus' humble submission when He said - "Thy will be done." It is to Moses credit that he will not concede to Pharaoh's appeal to compromise.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines compromise when used as a noun as -"the expedient acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable." When compromise is used as a verb, it means - "to settle a dispute by mutual concession; and expediently accept standards that are lower than is desirable." G.K. Chesterton once said - "Compromise is never anything but an ignoble truce between the duty of a man and the terror of a coward." Andrew Carnegie also remarked on compromise - "The 'morality of compromise' sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised." In this respect, Moses will make no truce in performing his duty to God. Pharaoh does not terrorize him. By the Spirit of the Lord, Moses is strong, and cannot compromise the principle of God's command.
Sometimes it is desirable to "meet somewhere in the middle" as we say. However, compromise has no place in the life of the Christian concerning the commands of Christ and the Word of the God - the Bible. It is God's Book and no man or woman has the right to amend it. We would not edit Tolstoy's "War and Peace" because we do not care for romance in war novels. Neither would we revise Chaucer's Canterbury Tales because we do not think he should have poked fun at 14th century English society or the Church. Therefore, how much more we should revere the Word of God. With God as its author, we should not compromise its statutes, commandments, testimonies, precepts, etc. Rather, we should defend its honor, and obey its instructions since we have the words of eternal life on its pages. In particular, we have eternal life in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ - the main subject of the Word of God. Moses refusal to compromise with Pharaoh is an example to all of us. We must never be cowards, or feel we need to help God when life or even the Church is not going the way we want.
TRUTH FOR TODAY: Christ is Our Passover!
In chapter twelve we are introduced to the last plague of Egypt as well as the great deliverance performed by God in establishing the Passover for Israel's protection and emancipation from Egypt. As we see, the blood of a lamb is put on the doorposts of each Jewish home, so when the angel of death came through, he would "pass over" the homes with the blood smeared on them. Notice they ate the meal while the Israelites were dressed to leave Egypt at any moment, and they were to stay inside the house while the scourge of death swept through all of Egypt. It is also the beginning of the year for Israel. We should carefully observe the deliverance and salvation of Israel is dependent solely on the death and sprinkling of the blood of the lamb. Israel had to act in faith, and the salvation was completely in God's hands. For us, Christ is our Passover.
When John the Baptist saw his cousin Jesus approaching, the Bible records - "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!" [John 1:29; 36] Commenting on these verses, Albert Barnes wrote -
"A 'lamb,' among the Jews, was killed and eaten at the Passover to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt, Exo_12:3-11. A lamb was offered in the tabernacle, and afterward in the temple, every morning and evening, as a part of the daily worship, Exo_29:38-39. The Messiah was predicted as a lamb led to the slaughter, to show his patience in his sufferings, and readiness to die for man, Isa_53:7. A lamb, among the Jews, was also an emblem of patience, meekness, gentleness. On "all" these accounts, rather than on any one of them alone, Jesus was called "the Lamb." He was innocent 1Pe_2:23-25; he was a sacrifice for sin the substance represented by the daily offering of the lamb, and slain at the usual time of the evening sacrifice Luk_23:44-46; and he was what was represented by the Passover, turning away the anger of God, and saving sinners by his blood from vengeance and eternal death, 1Co_5:7.[2
As God delivered Israel from the grip of the Egyptians, so Christ will redeem us from this world and receive us into His Kingdom. Therefore, we must take our communion supper each Lord's Day [a symbol of Christ's death, and our being part of Him when we "eat His flesh and drink His blood"] with the knowledge that Christ has delivered us from the "Second Death," mentioned in Revelation [2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8]. We also need to "look up," for our redemption is drawing near! Christ our Passover will return to take us to His "promised land" - a world without end, made through the New Covenant in Jesus blood - the Lamb of God!