Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt, that the locusts may swarm over it and devour every plant in the land--everything that the hail has left behind."
I. GOD'S JUDGMENT.
1. Though restrained for a time, it will surely fall. It is no argument that the threatening is vain, because, while the servants of God try to persuade, there is no token of the coming judgment.
2. When it does come, it is not less than was foretold (14, 15). God's deed is his comment on his Word, and reveals the terror whose shadow lay in it. The flood was not less than Noah's warnings painted it, nor Jerusalem's judgment than the prophecies which predicted it. Nor shall the woes coming upon the nations, nor the end of sin, be less than God's Word has said.
II. PHARAOH'S CRY. It was sincere, both in confession and entreaty. He saw his folly, he desired relief, he purposed amendment. Good visits him, but it will not abide with him. The self-delusion of repentance born of the visitation of God and the need of heart-searching.
III. PHARAOH'S HEART HARDENED THROUGH DELIVERANCE. With the outward blessing we need inward grace. If we wait upon the Lord he will increase fear, and zeal, and tenderness of heart, but if we still keep far from him we are reserved only for heavier punishment. Instead of forsaking evil we shall build upon God's readiness to forgive, and repentance itself will become impossible through the soul's deep insincerity. Have we received no warnings which have been forgotten? Have we made no vows as yet unfulfilled? God's word says, "Flee from the wrath to come." Sin cries, "Tarry, there is no danger; wait for a more convenient season." - U.
The locusts went up.Joel 1:6-12).
I. THAT SOMETIMES THE RETRIBUTIONS OF GOD LEAVE A RESIDUE OF COMFORT TO THE LIVES OF MEN. It is so in bereavement; if the wife is taken, the child is left. It is so in business; if the capital is lost, it may be the reputation is saved. It is so in personal attributes; if one sense grows dim, another remains yet more active. If the flax and barley are destroyed, the wheat and the rye are left. This is mere than is deserved. It is merciful. But it is the kind way of heaven.
II. THAT UPON CONTINUED SIN THE RESIDUE OF HUMAN COMFORT MAY BE ENTIRELY REMOVED BY THE RETRIBUTIVE ANGER OF GOD.
III. THAT UPON CONTINUED SIN THE REMAINING COMFORTS OF MAN MAY BE DESTROYED BY THE COOPERATION OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY CAUSES. "And the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts." The sceptic may say that the east wind alone brought the locusts upon his green things; but this is unreasonable and atheistical. Men in these days have too much Scripture knowledge to regard nature as the origin of their trouble. God commissions the wind that works desolation upon the hope of the wicked.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
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