So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey, and headed back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.
God assures Moses that he has no longer any cause to fear on account of the Egyptian slain forty years before. This last piece of information casts a flood of light on all the hesitation, reluctance, and perplexity which Moses has hitherto shown in his intercourse with Jehovah. It might have made a great deal of difference, if he had only known at the beginning that the men were dead who sought his life. Not but that Moses was honest enough in all the pleas he had started in order to escape from this mission and responsibility; but, deep under all other considerations, and very potent, even though he had been ashamed to confess it, lay his fear because of the slain Egyptian. He might even have got as far as the expressing of the fear, if God had not brought him sharply up by the kindling of his anger, and made him feel that of two perils it was wise to choose the lesser. Better run the risk from some Egyptian breathing vengeance than from the visitations of an angry God; and yet, though checked from speaking, he would be saying very earnestly in his heart, "Oh that I only knew myself to be safe in this matter." Remember the terror with which, after so long a time, Jacob approached his injured brother Esau. Certainly Jacob had the bitter consciousness of wrong-doing to heighten his fears, but Moses would have equally the consciousness of danger. Nor can it be too often impressed upon us, in considering this opening stage of Moses' acquaintance with God, that while he had a profound impression as to the real and awful Being with whom he had come in contact, the extent of his knowledge was not correspondent to the depth of his feeling. He had come into a real acquaintance with God; but it was at first, of necessity, a very imperfect and blundering one. The defective notions of Moses, with respect to God, find their New Testament parallel in the earth-born and earth-limited questions which the disciples so often addressed to Jesus. Hence, even though Moses has seen so much of God's power and promptitude in dealing with every difficulty he has raised, he still remains uncertain whether God has taken into account this peril from the slain Egyptian. It is no easy thing to get to a real and operative conviction that God knows even the smallest transaction in the past life of every one of us. - Y.
Returned to the land of Egypt. I.
THAT A GOOD MAN JOURNEYING ON THE SERVICE OF GOD SHOULD TAKE HIS FAMILY WITH HIM. Never go on any good errand without your family; teach the youthful feet to walk in obedience to God.
II. THAT A GOOD MAN JOURNEYING ON THE SERVICE OF GOD SHOULD TAKE HIS ROD WITH HIM. Never go on a journey of moral service without God. Especially if you are a minister of the gospel, take the rod on your journey to Egypt.
1. It will keep you humble. It will remind you of your humble occupation in the desert, when you are tempted to pride, in the great service to which God has called you. Every Christian worker needs to have something within his soul to inspire humility.
2. It will make you happy. When you are desponding and sad, when the work does not open up to your effort as you would wish, the rod will remind you of the vision at the bush, and of the miracles wrought at the commencement of the mission. The reason why there are so many unhappy workers in the Church, is because they have left the rod at home.
3. It will make you powerful. With this rod Moses was to work miracles. So if Christian workers had the rod of God in their hand, they would be able to show to the world much more effectively than they do, the holy tokens of their mission.
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