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put it into the mind of his mother to form such a wish of saving him? Why is it suggested to her to make an ark of bulrushes, and put her child into it on the Nile? How many things, in such a situation, were more likely to destroy him than to save him ?
Why did Pharaoh's daughter come down so seasonably to the river to bathe ? Why did she think of mercy, contrary to her father's orders ? Why did she think of mercy to this child more than to the thousands that were perishing ? And if compassion now touched her heart, why is she not contented with simply saving the child ? Why does she adopt it as her own ? Must compas. sion make her a mother? This might be whim or fancy, but it was the Lord's doing, and it is wondrous in our eyes. Moses must be educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians : he must be brought up in the house of Pharaoh. The daughter of Pharaoh, then, must not only save the life of the child, but must adopt him as her own son.
But it is not enough that Moses should be adopted by the daughter of Pharaoh. It must be in circumstances that will preserve to Moses the knowledge of his descent. The child, then, was by Providence put into the hands of his own mother as his nurse.
Moses must be put to his work as the deliverer of Israel. The people of God must be delivered, not by interest at court, but by the strong hand of the Almighty. Moses, then, must be first brought out of the house of Pharaoh. Behold the circum
stance which led to this event. " And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens : and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together": and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow ? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us ? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.”—Exod. ii. 11-15. What a happy chance! What a wise Providence! Moses is providentially excited to visit his brethren. Why at that time more than any other time? At that time an Egyptian was smiting an Israelite. Moses chanced to see it: Providence placed it before him. He slew the Egyptian. Why did he act so imprudently? It was of God. He was a wise, and a meek man, yet he here acted rashly, and in
He took every precaution to conceal the matter, yet it was known. Man cannot hide what God would reveal.
But Moses must find out that this affair is not secret. Providence, then, ordered it that he went out a second time, and that, on that occasion, two Hebrews should be contending, and that he should behold them. He reproves the injurious person, and, instead of thankful submission, he is reminded of the death of the Egyptian. Pharaoh is in wrath : Moses flies, and remains in Midian, till the time that the Lord should call him to his work. How wonderfully does Providence overrule in all the accidents, and in all the occurrences in the lives of his people!
PLAGUES OF EGYPT.
The plagues brought on Egypt by the hand of Moses were a miraculous interposition of Almighty power. But from the nature of them, we may learn to see Providence in similar punishments of the world. The things brought by God on the Egyptians are things that occur providentially in other countries in all times. When, then, any nation or district is visited with similar calamities, it should be taken as a punishment inflicted by God on account of sin. Pestilential diseases, with respect to men or cattle, are not without Providence. Even when they are most successfully traced to natural causes, they should still be received as from God; for God is the author of nature, as well as he is the moral ruler of the world. He can make what are called the works of nature execute his judgments on account of sin. Now, if this is the case, even where calamities can be traced to certain causes, how much
more so, when all the ingenuity, when all the philo. sophy of the wise, cannot satisfactorily account for the occurrence! Cases frequently occur that baffle every effort to account for them, without reference to the invisible hand of God. Whatever the children of this world may do in the time of calamity, it becomes the people of God to recognise his hand, and cast themselves in the dust before him. Let them acknowledge him in the time of judgment; and he who kept the Israelites safe, when he brought mourning on the Egyptians, can show that he is able to preserve in the midst of ruin.
QUALIFICATION OF BEZALEEL AND AHOLIAB FOR
MAKING THE TABERNACLE.Exodus xxxi.
In Egypt the children of Israel were the most degraded slaves, and employed in the most laborious occupations. Their minds were not cultivated by education, nor were they instructed even in the useful or ornamental arts of life. The making of the tabernacle and its furniture required the most perfect skill in different arts and trades. How, then, were persons to be found for the execution of the work? God provided in this emergency, and gave the qualifications which were necessary for his own work. “ See, I have called Bezaleel by name, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cun
ning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of work. manship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan : and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee."
These endowments, it is true, were immediately from the Lord, without any use of ordinary means, but they are such as are often witnessed in men of rare genius, whom Providence raises up to make discoveries and improvements even in arts and sciences. And in the qualifications conferred on those who made the typical house of God, we see that God provides the qualifications in those of his people whom he employs to do his work, in building up the spiritual house, his church. Whether these qualifications are the immediate gifts of God in their constitution of mind and body, or are the result of education, they are equally of God. But, in one way or other, the Lord will always qualify men for doing the work which he has appointed them to do. His work will never remain undone for want of qualified instruments. At the time he needs workmen, his Providence will supply them. The harvest may be plenteous, and the labourers may be few ; but it is only the Lord of the harvest who can send labourers to reap. And when he intends to reap, labourers he will qualify, labourers he will send into his field, and the work will be done. When