January 20 Today’s Reading: Exodus 7-9
God’s Work and the Means He Uses to Perform It
Ten times God sent Moses to Pharaoh with this message. Why do you suppose the Lord did not speak to Pharaoh himself? Why did He send Moses to declare His message? He made the work all the more glorious and all the more glorifying to Him by using a man to do it. And in the salvation of His elect, in calling chosen, redeemed sinners from death to life in Christ by His Spirit God has chosen to make His wondrous work of grace all the more glorifying to Himself by using men to preach the Word of life to them (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).
Why doesn’t God speak to every sinner directly and save His chosen without the use of men? Certainly, He could do so. But when He condescends to use poor mortals, who have tasted His grace, He uses weak things to confound the mighty and foolish things to confound the wise, making His wonders of grace all the more admirable.
Every believer recognizes and rejoices in the fact that “Salvation is of the Lord.” It is God’s work and God’s work alone. It is in no way dependent upon, conditioned upon, or determined by anything in man or done by man. We contribute nothing to the salvation of our souls; and we contribute nothing to the salvation of others. It is entirely God’s work. — “Salvation is of the Lord!” That cannot be stated too strongly, too often, or too fully. — None “can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him” (Psalm 49:7). And “none can keep alive his own soul” (Psalm 22:29). Salvation is God’s work (John 1:12-13; Romans 9:16).
Every believer understands that salvation is God’s work alone, but many fail to realize that, in His infinite sovereignty, the God of heaven condescends to use saved sinners to save lost sinners, to use the preaching of the Gospel as the instrument by which He saves His elect, though this is clearly taught in Holy Scripture (Romans 1:14-17; 10:13-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25). — “It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).
All the works of God redound to is glory; but when the instruments he uses appear to be totally inadequate to do the work He performs by them, our reverence is excited, while our reason is awed, and we marvel at the power we cannot understand. It was by Moses alone that God brought Israel out of Egypt. It was by Moses alone that God led and instructed Israel.
Every time they imagined that God spoke to them by another, they got into trouble. When they thought God spoke to them by Aaron, they found themselves dancing naked around a golden calf, while pretending to worship Jehovah! When many of them looked upon Korah as God’s prophet, the Lord killed them and their self-appointed prophet!
So it is today. God saves His people, instructs them, guides them, edifies them, and feeds them by His Spirit by the preaching of the Gospel. He puts the treasure of His grace in earthen vessels of flesh, to make the treasure shine more gloriously (Ephesians 4:7-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Once Moses was convinced that he was sent of God, sent to carry God’s Word to men, he was fearless before Pharaoh, Egypt, and Israel. Insignificant as he was in and of himself, the very fact that God sent him to speak for Him silenced his fears. Being sent of God, he was absolutely assured of success. — “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land” (Exodus 6:1).
With that sweet assurance, Moses steadily kept at his work, until he saw God’s salvation accomplished. He persevered with diligence in the work God sent him to perform, until his work was done. And in the end, he led the people of God out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, triumphing over Pharaoh and Egypt.
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