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MOSES AT THE BUSH..
"Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the backside of the desert,, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.
"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush. And he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed." (Exod. iii. 1, 2.)
NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
We shall enter upon the subject of this great man's history with more advantage for the better apprehension of it, if under divine teaching, we previously attend to what the Holy Ghost hath graciously caused to be recorded, concerning him before the passage here given of holy Scripture. His very name of Moses, which signifies, " drawn out of the water," and which was given to him, not by an Israelite, but by an Egyptian, is not without signification. And although certain it is, that at the eighth day from his birth, according to the rites of the children of Israel, another name must have been given him; yet, throughout the whole Bible, no mention is made of that name; as if the Lord, by this obscurity, would lead his people thereby to the nearer and closer attention to the Lord himself. It is among the precious promises of the Lord to his church, that he will name them himself. "Thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name." (Isaiah lxii. 2.), Yea, it must be so, because from all eternity their persons have been chosen, and "their names written in the book of
life." (Rev. xx. 15. Eph.i.4.) Hence to this very man, Moses, when in the after days of his life, he was in the mount with God, the Lord said unto him: "I know thee
by name; and thou hast also found grace in my sight." (Exod. xxxii. 12.) Oh! who shall calculate the immensity of such a blessing! So infinitely important is it in itself, that the Lord Jesus declared it to be a greater blessing than even the subjection of devils to the Lord's people, in the Lord's name. "In this rejoice not, said Jesus, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven." (Luke x. 20.)
The Holy Ghost, in one verse in his Epistle to the Hebrews, by his servant the apostle, hath given us a most delightful account of the faith which the parents of Moses had in the Lord God of their fathers: "By faith Moses when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment." (Heb. xi. 23.) Thus wonderfully was introduced to the church the history of this great man; and all that followed in his life shewed the corresponding circumstances. It appears that the king of Egypt, jealous of the growing power of Israel, had, about this time, sent forth a decree, that all the sons of the Hebrews should be destroyed on their birth. But this cruel edict gave but the more occasion for, the exercise of the faith of the children of Israel. And in this instance, particularly on the birth of Moses, the means the parents had adopted for the perservation of their child became, in the Lord's hand, the cause, not only of saving their child from the fangs of this inhuman prince, but also of ultimately becoming the overthrow of the tyrant himself, and his whole kingdom.
The relation given in the sacred Scripture of this event is very striking. When the parents of Moses
found that they could no longer conceal their infant, they adopted the singular method for his preservation which nothing but divine wisdom could have directed, and nothing but divine power could have rendered, effectual. They made an ark of bulrushes to float on the water, and put their babe in it; committing him to the mercy and favour of the Lord, while exposing him at the edge of the river; and the sister of Moses standing afar off to see what the Lord would direct, and what, under his blessing, the issue might be.
Here, let me observe, was another evidence of the strength of faith in the parents of Moses. For most certain it was, that unless speedily relieved, the child must have perished from a variety of causes. Hunger would shortly have destroyed him; the river would have proved fatal to him; or more than probable, the crocodiles, which infested this Egyptian sea, would have made him their prey; beside many other dangers which surrounded the helpless child. But, descended from him "who against hope believed in hope," they looked to the Lord for help; and as the history records, they looked not in vain. For the Lord, under whose favour they had adopted this plan for salvation; and from whom, though they knew not how, they hoped an happy issue to their endeavours; soon sent to their deliverance, in answer to faith and prayer, one that should do more for them than their most earnest hopes could have conceived. For thus we read: "The daughter of Pharoah came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side. And when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. And. when she had opened it, she saw the child; and behold the babe wept; and she had compassion on him, and said: This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then said his sister to Pharoah's daughter; shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she
may nurse the child for thee? And Pharoah's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went, and called the child's mother. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her: Take this child away, and nurse it for me; and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son." (Exod. ii. 1. 10.)
Who that reads this history, simply as an history, but must be struck with the wonderful relation! But who that reads it with an enlightened eye, but must pause over every minute circumstance recorded, and cry out, as he ponders the amazing concatenation through the whole, and say, "What hath God wrought!" Who but God could have ordered and arranged such a train of events to operate in a coincidence together; that if one link in the chain had broken, the whole must have given way, and failed of the end! What an apparently hopeless scheme the thing itself was! What human probability could have entertained the hope of deliverance from the placing a babe in such a perilous situation! Who but God could have led the daughter of Pharaoh to the spot at the very moment! And even when there, who but the same Almighty power could have prompted the daughter to act in opposition to the will of her father! Who caused the babe to weep? And who made the heart of Pharaoh's daughter to be touched with pity at the cries of the babe? And who, but the same Almighty God, kept the sister in waiting, to see what the event would be; and led to the astonishing sequel of this wonderful history, to call the very mother of Moses to take her own child again: to her bosom, and with a promise of wages for taking care of him; who was tremblingly alive at what would. become of him, and but an hour before, would have
sacrificed her own life, for the preservation of the life of her child!
What a world of mysteries we are in! How unerring are all the councils of God! How eternally. safe are the Lord's people, amidst all the host of foes which are against them! It is blessedly said, in relation to the church of old; "the Lord led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation." (Psalm cvii. 7.) Every part of their history shews that it was not unfrequently a rough way, and not a velvet path; nevertheless, it was the right way; and the very way to glory. I know not what the reader's path may be; but this I know, until we are brought to study the divine sovereignty, and see the wisdom and love of God in all God's appointments, we shall never come to the same right conclusion.
But when we have formed suitable improvements from the Lord's providence, as manifested in this instance of Moses; let us not turn away, until that we have gathered a spiritual improvement from it, as it speaks to ourselves in a way of grace. The Lord, by his servant the prophet Ezekiel, describes our whole nature as in the Adam fall transgression, under a more alarming state than that of an infant just born, and cast out to perish. "No eye pitied thee (saith the Lord) to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood; I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live." (Ezek. xvi. 1-14.) Let the reader ponder over, and mark well the sovereign ways of God's grace. Here was no ark of bulrushes for our preservation; no friend like Moses's sister to look on; no Pharaoh's daughter to be moved