2631. Israel’s Cry And God’s Answer

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No. 2631-45:337. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, April 23, 1882, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 1/19/2016*1/19/2016

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, July 16, 1899.

And it came to pass in the process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked on the children of Israel, and God had respect for them. …… “Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come to me: and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” {Ex 2:23-25 3:9,10}

1. God had chosen the children of Israel, and he had determined to make them into a great nation and a special people, to whom he could communicate the law and the testimony, so that they might keep the heavenly lamp burning until Christ should come. Jacob and his family had gone down into Egypt, and for a long time they and their descendants were very happy there. The land of Goshen was very fruitful, and the Israelites were greatly favoured by the Egyptian king. The majority of them, therefore, had little thought of ever leaving that country; they resolved that they would settle there permanently. In fact, though God would not have it so, they became Egyptians as far as they could. They were a part of the Egyptian nation, they began to forget their separate origin; and, in all probability, if they had been left to themselves, they would have been melted and absorbed into the Egyptian nation, and lost their identity as God’s special people. They were content to be in Egypt, and they were quite willing to be Egyptianized. To a large degree, they began to adopt the superstitions, and idolatries, and iniquities of Egypt; and these things clung to them, in later years, to such a terrible extent that we can easily imagine that their heart must have turned aside very much towards the sins of Egypt. Yet, all the while, God was resolved to bring them out of those evil associations. They must be a separated people; they could not be Egyptians, nor yet live permanently like Egyptians, for Jehovah had chosen them for himself, and he meant to make an enduring difference between Israel and Egypt.

2. Now see the parallel. God still has a people whom he has chosen to be his own in a very special sense, but they are at present mixed up with the world. They are in the world, and they are, at least in appearance, of the world; they are as fond of sin, and as much slaves to sin, as others are. They even love the world, and its things, and many of them are quite happy where they are, and have no wish whatever to become a part of the separated people, set apart for the Lord. They would rather remain still in the world; but God will bring his redeemed out from the rest of mankind. He who bought them with blood will deliver them by power. Christ did not offer his atonement in vain, but “he shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied.” God will yet call every one of his sons and daughters out of Egypt, even as he called his Firstborn; and he will bring his chosen out of the midst of the people among whom they are sojourning until the time appointed for their emancipation.

3. The first thing to be done with the Israelites was to cause them to be anxious to come out of Egypt, for it is not God’s way to make men his servants, except so far as they willingly yield themselves to him. He never violates the human will, though he constantly and effectively influences it. Jehovah does not want slaves to grace his throne; and, therefore, God would not have the people dragged out of Egypt, or driven out in fetters, against their own glad consent. He must bring them out in such a way that they would be willing to come out, so that they would march out with joy and delight, being thoroughly weary and sick of old Egypt, and therefore rejoicing to get away from it. How was this to be done? It was accomplished by a new king coming up, who did not know Joseph and his eminent services, and this Pharaoh began to be jealous of the people, fearing that, some day, when Egypt was at war, Israel might turn and side with the enemies of Egypt. He looked on the people, therefore, as being a great danger, and determined, if he could, to thin their ranks. Hence, he issued the barbarous edict to kill all the male children; and, to effectively break their spirit, he put them to hard labour in making bricks, and erecting vast structures, so that the treasure cities of Egypt and perhaps some of her huge pyramids were built by the unpaid labours of Israelite slaves. The whip fell often and heavily on their backs, for they were put under brutal taskmasters, who beat them most shamefully. They had no rest, they had to toil on and on and on, and scarcely had bread enough to eat to keep body and soul together. At last, the yoke of bondage became altogether intolerable; and then, as we have it in the first part of our text, “The children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked on the children of Israel, and God had respect for them.”

4. I want to use this subject in showing to any here, who are in soul-trouble, and do not understand why they have such sorrows and distress, that God is seeking to make them sick of the world, and sick of sin, and therefore he is putting them into a condition of spiritual bondage so that they may be willing to come out of Egypt; yes, that they may, eventually, with the utmost joy and gladness, leave the land of their captivity.

5. I. The first thing I have to speak about is, THE CRY OF MISERY; “The children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning.”

6. Notice, first, that they began to sigh, and to cry, because their time of prosperity had passed. The land of Goshen might still be very fruitful, but their taskmasters devoured their substance. The country might be fair to look at, but they had no time to enjoy the prospect. They were worked almost to death, and they could no longer find any rest in Egypt. All their prosperity and happiness had departed. Am I addressing any who were once very well content and satisfied to live as ordinary worldlings do? And has everything changed with you? Is there no joy now in what was once such a pleasure to you? Does it seem very dull and dreary if you go where you used to find so much merriment? Those haunts which were once the scene of your greatest delight, — are they now avoided by you because you cannot endure them? Do you feel that, now, you would gladly give up all those things which once you doted on? I am thankful to hear that it is so, for when God is about to give a man a drink from the cup of salvation, he often first puts his taste right by washing out his mouth with a draught of bitters to take away the flavour of the accursed sweets of sin. I always regard it as a good and hopeful sign when a man becomes tired of the world, altogether weary of its sins, and says, “I find no pleasure in them.” This happens to some while they are still young, and their passions are strong, — while their substance is undiminished, while their health is vigorous, — while their friends are numerous. In the very middle of the day, their sun of enjoyment seems to go down. There is the honey, but it is no longer sweet. There is the wine cup, but it has no further fascination for them. Their joy has departed just when one would have thought that it would have been most permanent with them. Do I speak to any in this condition? If so, I think that I bring a message from the Lord to them.

7. But, next, the Israelites had not only lost their former prosperity, but they began to feel that they were in bondage. An Israelite in Egypt was at first a gentleman, — in fact, a nobleman, — for was he not related to the great prime minister, Joseph, who was second only to Pharaoh himself? Every Jew walked through Goshen as an aristocrat, for he was intimately connected with almost the highest in the realm. But now, all that was changed with them, and they felt that they were slaves, they were in bitter bondage; they must act and move at the will of others. There were harsh laws and regulations made for them, and cruel taskmasters to put those laws into action. They must rise, not when they chose, but when they were told; and they might get to their beds only when they were allowed to do so at the slave-driver’s will; and they felt that they could not bear it any longer. This was God’s way of bringing them out of bondage, by first making them feel that they were in slavery. Do I have any here who believe that they are also in slavery? Am I addressing a man who feels that he is in bondage to bad habits, which he cannot break off, although he wishes that he could, and considers himself degraded by the fact that to will, is present with him, but he cannot find out how to perform what he wishes, because he is a slave? His passions rule him, his companions control him, he dares not do what his conscience tells him is right, for there is a fear of someone or other that makes him into a coward, and so into a slave. I am always glad when the fetters begin to gall. Those who are content to be in bondage will never be freed; but when they feel that they cannot and that they will not endure their captivity any longer, then the hour of freedom has struck. It is an untold blessing when the grace of God makes a man feel that what was once a pleasure has now become a servitude, and what he formerly found to be liberty has now become utter slavery for him.

8. The Israelites went further than that. They now felt that their burdens were too heavy to be borne. They had worked and toiled very hard, yet they had lived through the work; but now they were made to serve with rigour, and their bondage was too heavy to be endured. They could not bear it; and it is just so spiritually. As long as a man can carry his sins, he will continue to carry them; and as long as a man can be content with the pleasures of this world, rest assured that he will revel in them. It is a blessed thing when sin becomes an awful load, so that it crushes a man, until he seems to sink utterly hopeless beneath it. It is well with him, for now he will welcome the Deliverer. He will be glad of pardon from him who alone can forgive sins; he will rejoice to accept the word of absolution from the lips of the great High Priest; and, therefore, although it is often a severe sorrow, it is also a very great mercy, to be made to feel the intolerable load and burden of sin. If I am speaking to any who are in such a condition, and I hope that I am, I congratulate them on what is yet to come to them. Oh! well do I remember when I was such a slave, — when, as I rose in the morning, I resolved to live better than I had previously done, yet, long before noon, I had made a worse mess of the day than ever. Then I thought that, perhaps, by increasing my prayers, or reading more of the Scriptures, I might get relief from my burden; but I found that, the more I prayed, and the more I read, the heavier my burden became. If I tried to forget my sorrow, and so to shake off my gloom, I found that it would not forget me, and I had to cry to the Lord, with David, “Day and night your hand was heavy on me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” I remember all that painful time so vividly that I can speak to some of you like an experienced friend who is well acquainted with the dark and stony road on which you are walking. I know all about your painful pathway of grief, and I long to help you to get over it quickly, and to come to a better and happier place. But this trial is God’s way of bringing you out of Egypt. He is making the house of bondage too hot for you. He does not intend to let you stay there, so he is permitting all this to happen to you so that you may cry to him to deliver you. He will bring you out, and you shall march out with joy and gladness, thankful and happy to do what now seems like a hardship, and like self-denial to you.

9. These Israelites also felt one more thing, namely, their powerlessness to escape out of Pharaoh’s hand, and they thought that there was no one to help them. When the young man of forty came forward, who had been educated in Pharaoh’s court, and was considered to be the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, and when, like a true hero, he threw his lot in with the despised people, and struck one of their adversaries, he thought, perhaps, that it would be the signal for a general revolt, and that the banner of Israel would wave defiantly in the face of Pharaoh, and that the people would boldly march to liberty; but they were too enslaved, they had been ground down and oppressed for too long, to act like that; they had lost all spirit, and they did not hope ever to be free, they were a nation of hopeless slaves.

10. Am I speaking to any here who have lost all heart and hope, — who have come to this place of worship with a kind of feeble wish for salvation, but with no expectation of receiving it? Are you so locked up in the prison of sin that you cannot come out? Are your chains clanking in your ears? Do you feel yourself to be in the low dark dungeon out of which you will never get out alive? It is to you I have to say that I bless God that you are where you are. Self-despair is a blessed preparation for faith in Jesus. The end of the creature is the beginning of the Creator. Your extremity is God’s opportunity. Now that you are helpless and hopeless, God will come to your rescue.

11. You notice that, in my text, there is a progression, and such a progression as some of us have felt in spiritual things. “The children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage.” “Ah! miserable wretch! Woe is me! Alas! Alas!” That is how they sighed when they were at their labour; that is how they sighed when they went home at night, or lay down among the pots by the kiln side; and that is how they sighed when they woke up in the morning. When a boy was born, they sighed as they looked at him, for they knew that he must be killed. “The children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage.” And, then, as their misery grew, a sigh was not enough, “and they cried.” Ah! I cannot imitate the expressive language of their grief. There were tears many and often, and there was the voice of grief which made itself audible in piercing cries. “Oh God, how long shall this bondage last?” They sat down and begged for death, and sought it as if they were seeking for hidden treasure, for the life of a slave in Egypt was intolerable for them; and, often, the sigh and the cry were merged into a groan, for we read, “God heard their groaning.”

12. Is that how it has been going on with you, my brother? You used to sigh a good deal, sometimes; people noticed that you were very absent-minded, and that you seemed to have some sorrow on your spirit which you could not express. Now you have gone further than that, for you have begun to cry, and in prayer to God you pour out your very soul. Perhaps, — and that is the worst plight of all, — you feel that you cannot pray; you do not seem to be able to offer what you regard as a real prayer. You can only weep; — indeed, and perhaps you cannot even weep, and so you sigh and groan because you cannot pray. You are troubled because you cannot be troubled enough; and that is the worst kind of trouble that there is in the world, after all. There are none so broken-hearted as those who are broken-hearted because they are not broken-hearted. I have reminded you that the Israelites groaned, and that “God heard their groaning.” Ah! from the very bottom of their heart, came up their groaning. It was no mere heaving of a sigh, it was no mere utterance of a cry; but all day long it was groaning, groaning, groaning, each breath seemed to be yet another sorrowful groan.

13. I hope that many of you will find the Saviour before you know much about this terrible groaning; but it was not so with me. I became so full of groans that I understood what Job meant when he said, “My soul chooses strangling, and death rather than my life.” It would be better never to live than to live for ever under conviction of sin, for the arrows of God drink up the very fountains of our life, and pour fire into the blood, and make us feel as if a thousand deaths were preferable to living under an awful sense of God’s wrath. Perhaps I am speaking to some who, even when they fall asleep, are startled by dreams concerning the day of judgment, the sound of the archangel’s trumpet, and the setting up of the great white throne. And when they wake up, and go out to their business, they make strange blunders, and all day long they are like men walking as in a dream.

14. Still, dear friends, if that is your experience, I am heartily glad for it, for it is to me a sign of better days coming. Looking down on Egypt, the angels must have been glad when they heard the sighs and cries and groans of Israel. “Why,” you ask, “how is that?” because the angels would say to themselves, “God’s greatest difficulty is overcome; he wanted to incline these people to come out of Egypt; but now they long to come out, so they will be willing to accept the leader whom God will send to them, and with music and dancing they will come out when Moses brings them out of the iron furnace and the house of bondage.” Those of us who were, only a little while ago, in the house of bondage, rejoice that we have been set free from it; and we are praying that you who are still in it, and are beginning to feel what a horrible place it is, may not stay there for long. May tomorrow’s sun not see you there, but may you completely escape at once from that terrible captivity!

15. That, then, is the first point, a cry of misery.

16. II. The second is a very blessed one, THE GOD OF PITY. Let me read part of the text again: “They cried, and their cry came up to God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked on the children of Israel, and God had respect for them.”

17. Here, then, is the poor sinner’s hope, — not at all in himself, but entirely in God. Notice the progression here with regard to God’s pity for these people. First, “their cry came up to God.” When it rose up, sharp, and shrill, and intense, it burst through the gates of heaven, and “came up to God.” Not that he does not really hear everything, but, speaking after the manner of men, when it was a mere sigh, it did not reach him; but when it got to be a cry, and deepened into a groan, then it came up before him, and God himself seemed to stop, and say, “What is that? It is the cry of the seed of Abraham in Egypt.” Oh, poor soul; when your cry comes up from the depths of your very soul, then God will stop, and say, “What is that? It is the cry of a man in misery; it is the voice of a soul that is in bondage under sin.” “Their cry came up to God.”

18. Notice, next, for it is a step further: “and God heard their groaning.” Do you know what that means? There are some people who seem to hear things, but the sounds pass through their ears, and there the matter ends. But if you go to visit a sick woman, and you sit down, and she tells you all about her ailments, and about her poverty, she is cheered because you listen to her kindly, and because you are willing to hear her even if you cannot help her, and it does seem to help her even to hear her tell her sad story. Well now, God heard Israel’s crying and groaning; he heard them, not merely as men hear a sound, and take no notice of it, but he seemed to stand still, and listen to the sighs, and groans, and cries of his people. Sinner, tell God your misery even now, and he will hear your story. He is willing to listen, even to that sad and wretched story of yours about your multiplied transgressions, your hardness of heart, your rejections of Christ. Tell him all, for he will hear it. Tell him what it is you want, — what large mercy, — what great forgiveness; just lay your whole case before him. Do not hesitate for a single moment; he will hear it, he will be attentive to the voice of your cry. Oh, what comfort there is for you in this truth if you can only grasp it! Dear fellow Christians, pray that some poor sinners may grasp it even now; pray that they may lay hold on the sweet thought that God is hearing the sighs and cries of the penitent souls in our midst.

19. God’s pity went further than that, for we read, next, that having heard their groaning, “God remembered his covenant.” I wish I knew how to preach on that 24th verse: “God remembered his covenant.” He looked on the children of Israel, and he did not remember their declensions, — their becoming practically Egyptians, their loving Egypt and Egypt’s idols; but he remembered his friend Abraham, he remembered Isaac, he remembered Jacob whom he loved, and he remembered how he had promised to bless them, and to make them a blessing; and not because of any merit in the Israelites themselves, but for the sake of those whom he had loved and honoured, and for the sake of the covenant which he had made with them, he said, “I will break the power of Pharaoh, and I will bless my people; I will bring them out of bondage, and set them at liberty.” Sinner, if God were to look at you for all eternity, he could not see anything in you except what he is bound to punish; but when he looks on his dear Son whom he loves, and remembers how he lived, and loved, and bled, and died, and made atonement for the guilty; and when he remembers his covenant with his Well-Beloved, he says, “I will bless these people whom I gave to him by an everlasting covenant. I promised that he should see the travail of his soul; and so he shall. I will break the power of sin, and I will set these captives free; to the praise of the glory of my grace, they shall be accepted in the Beloved.” It is a great blessing that, although God cannot see any reason for mercy in us, he can see the best of all reasons for mercy in the covenant of his grace, and in his dear Son with whom he made it. “God remembered his covenant.” Do not forget it, dear friends, but think much on the covenant ordered in all things and sure, and on all the blessings that are to come to you through that covenant.

20. God still did more for his people: “And God looked on the children of Israel.” He had given them his ear; he had given them his memory; now he gives them his eyes. He stood still, and he looked on them, in pity and in love; and it is further said, “And God had respect for them.” The margin renders it, “God knew them,” which is the true meaning of the original. He looked on a man, and he said, “That is one of my children.” He looked on another, and he said, “Yes; Egyptian though he is in dress, he is one of my Israelites.” He looked on others, and he said, “I know them. I know their sorrows, I know their sins, I know their weaknesses; and I will surely deliver them.” Oh, that these lips could utter language in which I might better tell you how God looks on you, my dear broken-hearted fellow sinner, — how he looks on you, my poor troubled friend, who cannot break loose from sin, but feel like a bull in a net, and cannot get free from it! I tell you that he is looking on you in love and pity, and that he knows your condition, and is ready to help you. I will close my discourse by telling you what he has done to help you; and, oh! may he give you grace to lay hold of it, so that you may find liberty this very hour!

21. III. The last point is, THE INSTRUMENT OF DELIVERANCE.

22. God’s power was quite sufficient to bring the people of Israel out of bondage, but he chose to deliver them by means of human instrumentality. God works for men by men, so he raised up Moses, and it was through Moses that the children of Israel were delivered. Now, for you, dear captive, God has raised up a Prophet like Moses. One who is infinitely greater than Moses has come to deliver you.

23. First, remember that Jesus, the Saviour of men, is a man like ourselves. This ought to encourage you to come to him. Full of grief, and broken down under a sense of sin, you dare not approach to an absolute God; it would not be right that you should attempt to come to him without a Mediator; but you may come to the one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, for he can fully sympathize with you, he is able to have compassion on the ignorant, and on those who are out of the way, for he himself, in the days of his flesh, was encompassed with infirmity. Well did Dr. Watts sing, —

    Till God in human flesh I see,
       My thoughts no comfort find;
    The holy, just, and sacred Three
       Are terrors to my mind.
    But if Emmanuel’s face appear,
       My hope, my joy begins;
    His name forbids my slavish fear,
       His grace removes my sins.

24. Jesus Christ is a man; therefore come boldly to him, even as Israel might come to Moses. But Jesus is clothed with divine authority and power, as Moses was; more than that, he is what Moses was not, and could not be, Jesus is actually divine; Jesus is God. Oh, come, poor trembling sinner, and trust your case in his hands, because nothing ever fails that he undertakes! He can break the power of the Pharaoh of your sins, and set you free; indeed, even now, he can bring you out of Egypt with the silver and gold of his abounding grace. Only trust him, and follow him, and be obedient to his commands, and all will be well with you.

25. This Moses, being a man, yet clothed with divine authority, gave himself up to the people entirely. He was such a lover of Israel that he lived entirely for the people, and once, you will remember, he even said, as he pleaded for them, “Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold! Yet now, if you will forgive their sin ——— ; and if not, please blot me out of your book which you have written.” Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom it is our joy to preach, was really made a curse for us; he actually stood in the sinner’s place, and bore the penalty of the sinner’s guilt. Therefore, oh, trust him! Perhaps I may be the means of leading some poor sinner to end his delaying, and now to commit his spirit into the hand of the faithful Creator and Redeemer who died for him; and, dear friend, if you will only trust Jesus with yourself, you shall be saved at once. I hope you are willing to come out of Egypt; if you are, you may do so. Lo! Christ has broken all the power of sin, and he is willing now to set you free if you will only trust him, and give yourself up, once and for all, entirely into his power.

26. Lastly, Moses did bring the people out, every one of them. He did not leave a little babe in Egypt; no, not so much as a sheep or a goat remained there. He said, “There shall not a hoof be left behind.” All that belonged to Israel went marching out when Moses led the way; and God’s elect and Christ’s redeemed shall all come out of the Egypt of sin. Pharaoh’s power — the devil’s power — cannot hold the very least of them in captivity; no, not even a bone of one of God’s children shall be left in the grasp of death and the devil. They shall die, and their bones shall be put into the sepulchre; but not the least atom of one of God’s own chosen ones shall be left in the power of death. They shall come again from the hand of the enemy. Yet remember, oh you sinners, that I do not urge you to trust Christ as though he cringed at your feet, and could not have honour and glory if you did not welcome him as your Saviour. If you will not come to him, if you will turn your backs on him, I shall only say of you, “You do not believe, because you are not one of his sheep, as he said to you.” It is not for Christ’s sake, but for your own sake, that I plead with you. Oh, that you would come to him, and trust him! Weary of self, and weary of sin, and hopeless of self-salvation, come and lay yourselves at Jesus’ feet, even at the feet of him whom God has “exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” he has laid help on One who is mighty, and exalted One chosen out of the people; therefore, come and trust him even now, and you shall be saved. May God grant repentance and faith to this whole congregation, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, His Praise — Redeeming Love” 440}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Gospel, Received by Faith — The Great Sight” 561}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Contrite Cries — Jesus, Save Me” 608}

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ac 7:14-43}

14-17. Then Joseph sent, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, seventy-five people. So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, and were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem. But when the time of the promise drew near, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,

Note those words, “the time of the promise,” and remember that every promise has its due time of fulfilment, and that there is a time of promise, to all the Lord’s chosen people, when he will surely bring them out of bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

18-20. Until another king arose, who did not know Joseph. The man dealt subtilly with our kindred, and treated our forefathers badly, so that they cast out their young children, so that they might not live. At that time Moses was born, and was very fair, and nourished up in his father’s house for three months:

In the darkest night of Israel’s bondage in Egypt, her star of hope arose: “Moses was born, and was very fair”; or, as the margin has it, “was fair to God,” — with a beauty something more than human.

21, 22, And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him as her own son. And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.

He was well qualified for the work to which God had called him, but how much more fully qualified is that great Prophet, like Moses, whom God has raised up, in these latter days, for the salvation of men, even Jesus Christ his Son! He knows more than all the learning and wisdom of the Egyptians, he knows more than the cleverness of the devil, so he can deliver us from all his crafty wiles.

23-25. And when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck the Egyptian: for he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they did not understand.

Alas! it is just the same with Israel now. The Lord Jesus came to his own, and, according to one of his parables, the Father said of him, “They will reverence my Son”; but they did nothing of the kind; they said, “This is the Heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.” And, alas! how many, nowadays, are imitating their bad example! They say, “We will not have this man to reign over us”; they refuse to yield themselves to the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

26-30. And the next day he appeared to them as they fought, and would have reconciled them again, saying, “Sirs, you are brethren; why do you do wrong to each other?” But he who did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Will you kill me, as you did to the Egyptian yesterday?” Then Moses fled at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

So that he was eighty years of age when he really began his great life-work. Perhaps, as a rule, the greater part of our time is occupied in getting ready to work. Yet, if we are able to perform a work as good as what Moses did, it will well repay us for a long time of preparation.

31-34. When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came to him, saying, “I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses trembled, and did not dare look. Then the Lord said to him, “Take off your sandals from your feet: for the place where you stand is holy ground. I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down, to deliver them.

All this must have been very pleasant to the ear of Moses; it was solemn, yet it was extremely sweet; but notice what comes next:

34. And now come, I will send you into Egypt.”

Oh, dear! what a falling off there seems to be in these words! God first says, “I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them”; and then he adds, “I will send you into Egypt.” Yes, truly, from the grandeur of the divine working down to the insignificance of our instrumentality, is a tremendous stoop; yet the God who says, “I will save sinners by my grace; no one but myself can save them”; also says to me, “Go, and preach the gospel to them.” The same Lord who says, “I will change the heart of stone into a heart of flesh, and work a miracle of mercy in renewing those who are dead in trespasses and sins,” also says to you, “Speak to the people sitting with you in the pew, and seek to point them to the Saviour.” It is a wonderful stoop, but it is the condescension of almighty grace, and it brings great honour to the poor, trembling, unworthy person to whom the message is addressed. Moses thought himself very unfit for the task of delivering Israel, and he would, if he had dared to do so, have refrained from that task; but God said to him, “Now come, I will send you into Egypt.” Ah, brethren! how different a man did Moses then become! When he went out by himself, without any commission, he was impatient to get to his work, and he killed an Egyptian, and so had to flee away out of the country; but when he was sent in God’s name, when the Lord said to him, “Now come, I will send you,” then the work was accomplished. Oh my brethren, in your service for the Saviour, always seek for power from on high! Ask to be sent by God, and pray your Master to go with you; then you will succeed in the task which he entrusts to you.

35. This Moses whom they refused, saying, “Who made you a ruler and a judge?” God sent the same one to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.

Is that not a shadow of that grander truth, “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner”?

36, 37. He brought them out, after that he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years. This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, “A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up for you like me from your brethren; you shall hear him.”

So now you see that Moses was a type of Christ. May God grant that we may not reject Christ, as the Israelites rejected Moses; but may we be willing that he should be for us our Judge and our Deliverer!

38, 39. This is he, who was in the church in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him on the Mount Sinai, and with our forefathers: who received the living oracles to give to us: to whom our forefathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

Though Moses had brought them out of Egypt, they were not obedient to him, and they wanted to go back to the land of bondage. And, ah! brethren, this is the great crime of the present day, the crime of mankind in general, that, after all Jesus has done, there is still within so many the evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

40, 41. Saying to Aaron, “Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what is become of him.” And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

This again is another of the ways by which men attempt to make an idol-god out of something which they can see, and to rejoice in what they themselves do instead of trusting in what the Lord Jesus has done.

42, 43. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, “Oh you house of Israel, have you offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness? Yes, you took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, images which you made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.”

There was still idolatry in their hearts, and Moses was rejected by them. May God grant that we may not be idolaters, and so reject the Prophet, like Moses, whom the Lord has sent to us! Amen!

The Standard Life Of Mr. Spurgeon.

Just Published. Price 10s. 6d. 384 pages Demy 4to. 114 Illustrations, including colour facsimiles of pictures sent home from Rome by Mr. Spurgeon.

Also issued in monthly shilling parts.

C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Compiled from his Dairy, Letters, and Records, by his Wife and his Private Secretary.

Vol. III. 1856-1878

Press Notice: —

“Volume III. of this Standard Life of the great and well-beloved preacher, C. H. Spurgeon, opens with a splendid frontispiece that brings him vividly back to our memory in the happiest of smiles, as it was our privilege to see him from time to time. To the writer, those interesting occasions live vividly, as we look on the congenial face and form; but what shall we say of the rest of the multitudinous illustrations and graphic letterpress records of his life-work and correspondence in this volume? It is simply all that could be desired as a worthy biography of this great and good man, during the years under review (1856-1878). The whole volume will be read with intense interest by all lovers of the gospel and its messengers. Though we were previously personally acquainted with many of its facts, the far greater majority come to us with fresh and deepening interest. When complete, this splendid biography will form one of the richest additions to our historical Christian literature. We increasingly thank God for his great gift to this generation of such a splendid witness as Charles H. Spurgeon.” — Footsteps of Truth.

London: Passmore and Alabaster, Paternoster Buildings; and from all Booksellers.



Jesus Christ, His Praise
440 — Redeeming Love <7s.>
1 Now begin the heavenly theme,
   Sing aloud in Jesus’ name!
   Ye, who his salvation prove,
   Triumph in redeeming love.
2 Ye, who see the Father’s grace
   Beaming in the Saviour’s face,
   As to Canaan on ye move,
   Praise and bless redeeming love.
3 Mourning souls, dry up your tears,
   Banish all your guilty fears;
   See your guilt and curse remove,
   Cancell’d by redeeming love.
4 Ye, alas! who long have been
   Willing slaves to death and sin,
   Now from bliss no longer rove;
   Stop and taste redeeming love.
5 Welcome all by sin oppress’d,
   Welcome to his sacred rest,
   Nothing brought him from above,
   Nothing but redeeming love.
6 When his Spirit leads us home,
   When we to his glory come,
   We shall all the fulness prove
   Of our Lord’s redeeming love.
7 He subdued the infernal powers,
   His tremendous foes and ours,
   From their cursed empire drove,
   Mighty in redeeming love.
8 Hither then your music bring,
   Strike aloud each cheerful string:
   Mortals, join the host above,
   Join to praise redeeming love.
                  Madan’s Collection, 1763.


Gospel, Received by Faith
561 — The Great Sight
1 In evil long I took delight,
      Unawed by shame or fear,
   Till a new object struck my sight,
      And stopp’d my wild career.
2 I saw One hanging on a tree,
      In agonies and blood,
   Who fix’d his languid eyes on me,
      As near his cross I stood.
3 Sure never till my latest breath
      Can I forget that look;
   It seem’d to charge me with his death,
      Though not a word he spoke.
4 My conscience felt and own’d the guilt,
      And plunged me in despair;
   I saw my sins his blood had spilt,
      And help’d to nail him there.
5 Alas! I knew not what I did;
      But now my tears are vain;
   Where shall my trembling soul be hid?
      For I the Lord have slain.
6 A second look he gave, which said,
      “I freely all forgive;
   This blood is for thy ransom paid,
      I die, that thou mayest live.”
7 Thus while his death my sin displays
      In all its blackest hue
   (Such is the mystery of grace),
      It seals my pardon too.
8 With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
      My spirit now is fill’d
   That I should such a life destroy,
      Yet live by him I killed.
                        John Newton, 1779.


The Christian, Contrite Cries
608 — Jesus, Save Me
1 Jesus, thy power I fain would feel,
      For thy sweet love I faint:
   Oh let thine ears consider will
      The voice of my complaint.
2 Thou see’st me yet a slave to sin,
      And destitute of God;
   Oh purify my soul within
      By thine all cleansing blood.
3 Oh Jesus, undertake for me,
      Thy peace to me be given;
   For while I stand away from thee,
      I stand away from heaven.
4 Reject not, Lord, my humble prayers,
      Nor yet my soul destroy:
   Thine only Son hath sown in tears
      That I might reap in joy.
            Augustus M. Toplady, 1759, a.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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