Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand…
In these words we are reminded of an important and infinite disparity between God and man, arising from a great peculiarity in the character of the former, which rendered the Egyptian monarch and his cavalry infinitely inferior to Him in power, and Gall those other qualities which entitle the possessor of them to confidence and trust.
I. The spirituality of the Divine nature is intimately connected with THE POSSESSION OF ALMIGHTY POWER. The vulgar notion which would restrict the exercise of power to what is corporeal, and deny it to that which is spiritual and immaterial, is a mere prejudice, founded on gross inattention or ignorance. If we inquire after the original seat of power, we shall invariably find it in mind, not in body; in spirit, not in flesh. The changes we are able to effect in the state of the objects around us are produced through the instrumentality of the body, which is always previously put in motion by the mind. As we can move certain parts of our bodies at pleasure, and nothing intervenes betwixt the volition and the corresponding movements, so the great original Spirit impresses on the machine of the universe what movements He pleases, and without the intervention of any other cause. "He speaks, and it is done; He commands, and it stands fast."
II. His spirituality is closely connected with His INVISIBILITY. "The King eternal, immortal, invisible," "whom no man hath seen, nor can see." Whatever is the object of sight must be perceived under some determinate shape or figure; it must be, consequently, bounded by an outline, and occupy a determinate portion of space, and no more; attributes utterly incompatible with the conceptions of an infinite being. He was pleased formerly, indeed, to signalise His presence with His worshippers by visible symbols, by an admixture of clouds and fire, of darkness and splendour; but that these were never intended to exhibit His power, but merely to afford a sensible attestation of His special presence, is evident, from the care He took to prevent His worshippers from entertaining degrading conceptions of His character, by the solemn prohibition of attempting to represent Him by an image or picture.
III. That God is spirit, and not flesh, is a view of His character closely connected with His OMNIPRESENCE. Matter is subjected to a local circumscription; God, as a Spirit, is capable of co-existing with every other order of being.
IV. Because God is spirit and not flesh, He is possessed of INFINITE WISDOM AND INTELLIGENCE. Thought and perception are the attributes of mind, not of matter; of spirit, not of flesh; and, for this reason, the original and great Spirit possesses them in an infinite degree.
V. The spirituality of the Divine nature lays A FOUNDATION FOR THE MOST INTIMATE RELATION BETWEEN THE INTELLIGENT PART OF THE CREATION AND HIMSELF. He is emphatically "the Father of spirits."
VI. The spirituality of the Divine nature FITS HIM FOR BECOMING OUR ETERNAL PORTION AND SUPREME GOOD.
(Robert Hall, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
WEB: Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When Yahweh stretches out his hand, both he who helps shall stumble, and he who is helped shall fall, and they all shall be consumed together.