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Not a Hoof Left Behind
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD…There shall not an hoof be left behind...But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” (Exodus 10:1-29)
No doctrine of Holy Scripture is more clearly stated than the blessed, soul cheering, gospel doctrine, commonly called limited atonement. Concerning this foundation truth of Holy Scripture, there can be no compromise. No preacher, pastor, missionary, or local church who does not whole-heartedly embrace and faithfully preach limited atonement should be embraced by us as our brethren in Christ. We must align ourselves with no religious organization or ministry that is not of like mind in this matter. Deny limited atonement and you deny the gospel.
All for whom Christ shed his precious blood at Calvary shall be saved by his almighty grace, or none shall be saved by him. Either he is an almighty, omnipotent, effectual Savior, or he is no Savior at all. There is no in between ground. God the Holy Ghost gives us a clear picture of the glorious efficacy of Christ’s salvation in Exodus 10.
The Lord our God said to Pharaoh, “In very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth” (Exodus 9:16). God was determined, in mercy and grace, to deliver his people Israel from the bondage of Egypt and from the tyranny of Pharaoh. Both the time of their bondage and the time of their deliverance were appointed by God in the covenant that he made with Abraham (Genesis 15:13-14). And, as you well know, the whole affair typically represents the redemption, salvation, and complete deliverance of God’s elect from sin and Satan by the Lord Jesus Christ.
By Divine Purpose
Though God ordained Israel’s bondage in Egypt, he did not force Israel to go down into Egypt. — Jacob sent his sons down into Egypt willingly, freely, voluntarily, without any constraint but this: — “Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt” (Genesis 42:1). Even so, God ordained the fall of our father Adam and the fall of the race in him; but God did not force Adam to sin. Adam, with full awareness of what he was doing (1 Timothy 2:14), willingly, freely, voluntarily took the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because his wife gave it to him. Eve was deceived, but not Adam. He willfully chose rebellion against God over strife with his wife. And by his willful act of rebellion against God, our race was plunged into the bondage of sin, Satan, and death (Genesis 3:1-24).
Long before Israel went into Egypt, God provided a savior, by whom he would both preserve and deliver his chosen people. — When Joseph was a young man, his brothers hated him. In their jealousy, they would have killed him; but God prevented it. Instead, they sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites going down to Egypt for twenty pieces of silver (Genesis 37:23-28). And Joseph himself tells us that his being sold into the hands of the Egyptians was the work of God. He said to his brothers, “I am in the place of God. As for you, ye thought evil against me: but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:19-20).
Joseph was a beautiful type of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was sold into the hands of the Jewish priests by his own familiar friend for thirty-pieces of silver. And just as Joseph was provided as a Savior for Israel long before Israel came into bondage, the Lord Jesus Christ was provided by the Triune Jehovah as the Savior of his people long before the fall of our father Adam.
Before there was a sinner, there was a Savior. Before we fell in Adam, we stood in Christ. Before we transgressed, the sacrificial Lamb was provided. Christ is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Before we came under the curse of the law, a ransom was found. Even before the world was made, the Lord God was gracious to his elect, and said, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). Long before we fell in bondage in Adam, our complete deliverance was secured and accomplished by Christ in the covenant of grace (Ephesians 1:3-6; 2 Timothy 1:9).
And at the time appointed, God graciously brought all the children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41). Not one day early, and not one day late, but exactly on the day appointed of God, Israel was delivered from their bondage. They were redeemed by the blood of the paschal lamb and delivered by the power of God’s almighty arm. All who were chosen of God had a lamb. All who had a lamb were redeemed from judgment. And all who were redeemed by blood were delivered across the Red Sea by the power of God. And it was all God’s work. Well did Moses say, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord!”
The picture is clear. Is it not? In precisely the same manner, all of God’s elect are delivered at the appointed time of mercy from the bondage of sin and the curse of the law. At God’s appointed time, Christ died in the place of his people, to deliver us from the curse of the law (Romans 5:6; Galatians 4:4-5; Acts 2:23). And, at the time of mercy, the Spirit of God delivered us from the bondage of sin by his almighty, irresistible grace (Galatians 4:6; Ezekiel 16:6-8). All who were chosen of God in eternity were redeemed by Christ at Calvary. All who were redeemed by Christ are called by the Spirit. And all who are called by the Spirit of God are completely delivered from the bondage of sin and the curse and condemnation of the law (Galatians 3:13-14; Romans 8:29-30).
God appointed the time of Israel’s bondage. God provided for Israel’s deliverance. And God accomplished Israel’s salvation. God’s purpose in all of this was the glory of his own great name, so that all men might know that he alone is God, both sovereign and gracious (Romans 9:15-18; Psalm 106:8).
Had there been no bondage, there would have been no deliverance. Had there been no wicked Pharaoh on the throne, there would have been no mighty conquest at the Red Sea. Had there been no pursuing army and no Red Sea, there would have been no song of redemption. But God ordained all that he might be glorified. The same is true with us.
God wisely and sovereignly ordained the fall of all men in Adam and the redemption of his elect in Christ, “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Ephesians 1:6). As God raised up Pharaoh and hardened his heart, so that he might drown his wicked carcass in the sea for the glory of his own great name, even so he ordained the fall of Lucifer and made him the prince of the power of the air, that he might glorify himself by the overthrow of Satan and the destruction of his kingdom in the sea of his wrath. And in the end, like the overthrow of Pharaoh and his armies, the final overthrow of Satan and his armies shall show forth the praise of our God. Like Pharaoh, the defeated fiend of hell will be an everlasting monument to the greatness and power of our God (Revelation 15:2-4). Then, the words of David will be fulfilled, “All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee” (Psalm 145:10).
Look at this in the context of this 10th chapter. Pharaoh tried repeatedly to conciliate God, and tried repeatedly to get Moses to compromise. At last, he said to Moses, “Go ye, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.” In other words, he said, “Alright, I give in. You may go out of the land. You can even take your wives and children. You’ve got what you wanted. I only require that you leave your sheep and cattle with me.” But he soon found out that man does not bargain with God, and God’s prophets will not be induced to compromise. Hear Moses’ response to Pharaoh in verse 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.”
Pharaoh’s heart has not been changed; and Moses commission has not been changed. Sooner or later, something must give; but it won’t be God or his servant. In this chapter Moses is sent by the Lord God to inflict the eighth and ninth plagues upon Egypt. First, locusts are sent upon the land until it is covered with them, and the vegetation is completely devoured; then, three days of felt darkness.
We will miss the beauty, the purpose, and the message of this passage altogether if we fail to understand it spiritually as a type and allegory of our deliverance from sin and its bondage by the glorious conquests of our Lord Jesus Christ. What great comfort there is here for our souls (Psalm 107:7; Job 23:10). We who have experienced God’s deliverance are to tell in the ears of our children and our children’s children, generation after generation (vv. 1-2).
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him: And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.”
When Moses told Pharaoh what God was about to do, Pharaoh’s servants said, “Let Israel go. Egypt is destroyed.” But Moses refused to compromise with the king of Egypt; and Pharaoh drove Moses and Aaron from his presence in anger. So God brought the locusts and everything in Egypt was devoured by them (vv. 3-20). Pharaoh was hardened the more, and God sent the darkness (vv. 21-23). How horrible it must have been! Yet, that great darkness was nothing compared to the darkness awaiting the damned in hell!
Again, we are reminded of God’s distinguishing grace upon his chosen. — The darkness upon Egypt was so great that it was felt, so thick that one man could not even see another for three days. “But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings” (v. 23, Psalm 97:11). At last, Moses said to Pharaoh, “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” (v. 26). The Lord our God demands complete surrender and he accomplishes complete deliverance.
The Lord Jesus Christ demands total surrender. I know that in this day of easy believism, decisional regeneration, and kneel at the altar salvation, this is strange doctrine, strange to those who are yet strangers to God. But faith in Christ is nothing less than the willing, voluntary surrender and commitment of your heart to Christ as your Lord. Christ will have the whole man, or none of the man. — All or none! There is no middle ground. Christ will reign without a rival in our hearts, or he will not dwell in our hearts. Without the complete reconciliation of the heart, there is no salvation. Spurgeon said, “Christ will not be part-proprietor of any man. He will not have one part of the man, and leave the other part to be devoted to Satan.” Moses said to Pharaoh, “There shall not an hoof be left behind.”
These flocks and herds represented everything the Israelites had. All their property, all their possessions, all their livelihood must be brought out of Egypt and consecrated to the service of God. Our Lord Jesus puts it this way, “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it” (Mark 8:35). If you would have Christ, the Treasure of heaven, you must sell all that you have to get him. If you would have Christ, the Pearl of great price, you must sell all that you have to buy that Pearl (Matthew 13:45-46).
Saving faith is something more than saying a little prayer, believing a few facts, embracing a religious creed, and changing your habits of life. Faith is trusting Christ alone for acceptance with God. His righteousness is all my righteousness. His blood is all my pardon. His grace is all my keeping. I have no hope of anything before God except the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). Faith surrenders to Christ’s righteousness, justice, and sovereignty as Lord (Matthew 8:1-2; 15:21-28). And saving faith consecrates and surrenders everything to Christ. Faith gives up all rights to everything (Luke 14:25-33). Wither you and I will be servants under the dominion of King Jesus, voluntarily giving up all to his claims, or we will go to hell. — “There shall not a hoof be left behind!”
All true believers willingly surrender everything to Christ in the intent and purpose of their hearts. I do not for a moment suggest that it is possible for us to be perfectly consecrated to God while we live in this world. I know, by painful, long, and bitter experience that it is not. Sin is mixed with all we do. Sin mars our best actions and best ambitions. Sin constantly besets us. But with the will and determination of the heart, every believer is entirely devoted to Christ. Our baptism is a public confession of our faith in and allegiance to Christ as Lord (Romans 6:4-6).
From the crown of my head to the soul of my foot, I belong to Christ, or I do not belong to him at all. All my property, all my time, all my talents, all my family, all that I am, and all that I possess, I willingly lay at his feet, or else, I do not know him.
And what is true in our hearts shall soon be true in the reality of heavenly glory. Child of God, in a little while, after a few more struggles against the flesh, after a few more conflicts with sin, after a few more warrings with old Adam, you will put your foot upon the neck of the enemy. Sin and self shall both be slain. And you shall reign triumphantly with Christ forever. One day soon, we shall be made altogether perfect (1 John 3:2). As we have born the image of the earthly, we shall bear the image of the heavenly. Our God will see to it (Jude 24-25). Once we have dropped this robe of flesh, our spirits will be among “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23). And in the resurrection these bodies of ours shall also be glorified (Romans 8:18-23). — “There shall not an hoof be left behind!” — “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly” (Romans 16:20).
Our great, all-glorious Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ accomplishes total deliverance. Moses typically represents Christ. Israel represents God’s elect. Egypt represents the world. And Pharaoh represents the devil. Christ Jesus says, with regard to the deliverance of his people out of this sin cursed world and out from under the power of Satan, “There shall not an hoof be left behind!” What does that mean? Two things:
First, our Lord Jesus Christ will save all his people. — There is a people in this world for whom Jesus Christ is Surety, Substitute, and Representative. Christ is not the Mediator, Redeemer, and Advocate of all men, but of some men. He did not come to save all men from their sins. But he shall save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). All of those given to Christ in the covenant of grace shall be saved at last. All those for whom the Savior died, all who were redeemed by his blood at Calvary shall be with him in heaven (John 6:37-40, 44-45; 10:16).
The notion of universal redemption is as blasphemous as it is heretical. Our Lord Jesus Christ made an infinite satisfaction to God’s justice for us. His intention in dying was the eternal salvation of God’s elect; and his intention can never be frustrated. His intention and his accomplishments are the same (Isaiah 53:8-12). — All for whom he died shall be saved.
The Lord Jesus Christ died for a particular people. And the death of Christ effectually accomplished the eternal redemption of those people (Hebrews 9:12). Three hundred years ago, John Owen presented three statements in defense of the doctrine of Particular Redemption, which no reasonable man can deny. Owen wrote…
1. “Either Christ atoned for all the sins of all men, which means that all men will be saved, for if all sin has been atoned, there is no grounds for punishment, and universalism is true, which is contrary to Scripture.”
2. “Or Christ atoned for some of the sins of all men, which means that there are some sins for which we must make atonement ourselves. If that is received as truth, then we must conclude that salvation is by works and not by grace alone. Such doctrine we know is false.”
3. “Or else, Christ made atonement for all of the sins of some men, which is the doctrine of Holy Scripture.”
All of those who were given to Christ in eternal election and redeemed by Christ’s effectual atonement shall be saved by Christ at last. Not one of Christ’s redeemed ones can be lost. “There shall not an hoof be left behind!” The Good Shepherd will seek his sheep “until he find it.” When he has found it, he will lay it upon his back, holding it in the strong hands of his omnipotent grace, and carry it all the way home. To deny the eternal salvation of all for whom Christ died is to deny the doctrine of Christ altogether.
Universal atonement is a denial of the gospel, because it essentially denies the divine character of Christ. Let me show you how. If any of those for whom Christ died at Calvary perish in hell under the wrath of God, then his grace would be frustrated, his will and purpose would be nullified, his love would not be eternal, his power would be defeated, his justice would be perverted, and his cross would be discovered a miscarriage, his travail meaningless, and his blood would be shed in vain! He could never see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied. He would necessarily undergo some change, which God cannot do. If Christ is not immutable in all things, he is not God (Malachi 3:6). He would suffer shame and failure forever, having failed to finish what he came to do. He would have to give up his claim to his throne. If one for whom he died, if one for whose salvation he reigns were to perish, then the King of Glory would be forced to abdicate his throne in shame!
That man who says he believes in Christ and yet proclaims that some for whom Christ made atonement shall perish at last, blasphemes God, mocks the souls of men, and treads the blood of Christ under the foot of man’s free- will! With every fiber of my being, I stand in stern protest against the heresy of universal atonement. I say with Moses, concerning all the hosts of God’s elect, “There shall not one hoof be left behind!”
Not only is it true that Christ will save all God’s elect, he will also win back for us all that we lost in our Father Adam. When Israel came out of Egypt, they were far better off than they were when they went down into that dark land. And I do not hesitate to declare that we shall gain far, far more in Christ than we lost in Adam. And, as Israel was better off for having been in bondage, God’s elect shall be better off for having fallen in Adam.
In Adam we lost fellowship with God. In Christ we gain union with God. In Adam we lost innocence. In Christ we gain holiness. In Adam we lost acceptance. In Christ we gain adoption. In Adam we lost peace. In Christ we gain pardon. In Adam we lost the right to natural life. In Christ we gain the right to eternal life. In Adam we lost goodness. In Christ we gain grace. In Adam we lost the crown of creation. In Christ we gain the crown of glory. In Adam we lost daily communion with God. In Christ we gain eternal communion with God. In Adam we lost the Garden of Eden. In Christ we gain heaven.
Well may we look upon the ruins of Adam’s fallen race, and weep. “How art thou fallen, O mighty man!” But, child of God, rejoice! The Son of God looks upon us in our barren, fallen, depraved, deprived condition, and says, with regard to all that we lost in the fall, “There shall not an hoof be left behind!”
Abandon yourself now to Christ; and you will never be abandoned by Christ. If you lay yourself down at his feet, he will take you into his arms. I call upon you now to surrender to Christ. Surrender or destruction, which will it be? Not a hoof left behind. Child of God, daily consecrate yourself to Christ (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Not a hoof left behind! Let us labor on in the cause of Christ, with the sweet assurance of success. — “There shall not a hoof be left behind!”
 Israel dwelt in Egypt 430 years, but the time of their affliction was 400 years.