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Verses of Exodus 10

23

Exodus 10:23 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 74
DISTINGUISHING PRIVILEGES OF THE LORD’S PEOPLE

Exo 10:23. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

OF all the plagues which in rapid succession were inflicted upon Egypt, not so much as one fell upon the children of Israel: their cattle, and every thing belonging to them, enjoyed the same exemption as themselves. And this distinction was well calculated to convince Pharaoh, that Israel’s God was the only true God, and that the idols of the heathen were vanity [Note: Exo 8:22.]. But, whilst we admit that this was the primary end of all the judgments, and of the plague of darkness amongst the rest, we cannot but think that this particular plague had something in it more than ordinarily instructive; inasmuch as it served to shew, that between the Lord’s people and others there is at all times as great a difference, as there then was between Goshen and the rest of Egypt. We say not, indeed, that this particular application of the subject is anywhere suggested by the inspired writers; but we do say, that it may well be so applied, in a way of accommodation at least, to the elucidation of this most important point.

I will take occasion from it then to shew,

I.

The difference which God has put between his own people and others—

In their state, and nature, in their relation to God and to each other, in their prospects also, and in their end, the two descriptions of persons are widely different from each other: the one are quickened from the dead, and partakers of a divine nature; united to Christ and to each other in one body and by one spirit; with an heavenly inheritance before them, which they are speedily and for ever to possess; whilst the others are yet “children of the wicked one,” with no other prospect than that of a banishment from the divine presence, and an everlasting participation with the fallen angels in their unhappy lot. But without entering into this large view of the subject, I will endeavour to shew what light the children of Israel are privileged to enjoy in,

1.

Things temporal—

[In appearance, “all things come alike to all;” or, if there be any particular difference in relation to temporal things, it is rather in favour of the ungodly. But the godly, whether they possess more or less of this world, have an enjoyment of it, of which the world at large are destitute, and in their present state incapable. They taste God’s love in every thing; and hare a more vivid apprehension of the smallest blessings, than an ungodly man has of the greatest. The “blessings” of the ungodly are, in fact, “cursed to them:” “their table is a snare to them;” and even their bodily health and strength are made occasions of more flagrant transgressions against their God. To God’s Israel, on the contrary, their severest afflictions are made sources of good; insomuch that they can “glory in their tribulations [Note: Rom 5:3.],” and “take pleasure in their sorest infirmities [Note: 2Co 12:10.].” Whatever trials assault them, they “all work together for their good [Note: Rom 8:25.] ;” yea, “light and momentary as they are, they work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory [Note: 2Co 4:17.].” The very best portion of the wicked is lighter than vanity; whilst the worst of a good man’s lot is received by him not only with “patience and long-suffering, but with joy and thankfulness [Note: Col 1:11-12.].” Though he be the poorest of mankind, he does in effect “inherit the earth;” yea, he “inherits all things.”]

2.

Things spiritual—

[The ungodly man is truly in darkness with respect to every thing that is of a spiritual nature. He neither does, nor can, comprehend any thing of that kind, for want of a spiritual discernment. But God’s highly favoured people “have light in their dwellings,” whereby they can discern things invisible to mortal eyes. The evil of sin, the beauty of holiness, the glory of Christ, the blessedness of heaven, are open to their view, and are contemplated by them with a zest which can be conceived by those only who actually experience it in their souls. What shall I say of “the light of God’s countenance lifted up upon them,” or of “the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost?” What shall I say of the Holy Spirit dwelling in them as “a Spirit of adoption,” “witnessing with their spirits that they are God’s children,” and “sealing them unto the day of redemption,” and being “an earnest of heaven itself” in their souls? To attempt to describe these things would be only to “darken counsel by words without knowledge.” If we should in vain attempt to convey to one immured in a dungeon a just conception of the lustre and influence of the meridian sun; much more must we fail, if we would attempt to give to a natural man a just apprehension of “the things of the Spirit:” for neither have we any language whereby adequately to express them, nor have they any faculties whereby duly to apprehend them.]

3.

Things eternal—

[What can an ungodly man see beyond the grave? Truly in relation to the future world he is in darkness, even in “a darkness that may be felt.” If he reflect at all, he can feel nothing but “a certain fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation to consume him,” and have no prospect but that of “the blackness of darkness for ever.” But in reference to eternity, the child of God is seen to the greatest advantage. O, what prospects are open to his view! What crowns, what kingdoms, await him! Truly he stands as on Mount Pisgah, and surveys the Promised Land in all its length and breadth. He joins already with the heavenly hosts in all their songs of praise, and, according to the measure of the grace bestowed upon him, anticipates “the pleasures which are at God’s right hand for evermore.”]
But, that I may not tantalize you with joys which you can never taste, let me proceed to shew you,

II.

How we may secure to ourselves their happy lot—

Can an Egyptian become an Israelite? Yes, he may—
[An Israelite is a descendant of Abraham, in the line of Jacob. But how then can this relation be transferred to a foreigner? After the flesh indeed, an Edomite must remain an Edomite; an Egyptian must continue an Egyptian. But after the Spirit, the transition may be made by all, of whatever nation, provided only they earnestly desire it. Through faith in that blessed Saviour in whom Abraham believed, we may be brought to a participation of all the blessings which were conferred on him. Hear what the Scripture saith: “Know ye, that they who are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham:” the same, too, are “blessed with faithful Abraham;” yea, “the blessing of Abraham comes on them through Jesus Christ:” “if we be Christ’s, then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise [Note: Gal 3:7; Gal 3:9; Gal 3:14; Gal 3:29.].”]

And, under this character, we shall be exempted from all the Egyptian plagues, and entitled to all the distinctions that ever were conferred on God’s chosen people—
[Truly, however gross the darkness which may have covered us in past times, we shall have “light in our dwellings;” yea, we shall be brought out of darkness into God’s marvellous light; and not only “be turned from darkness unto light, but from the power of Satan unto God.” Say, Brethren, whether this does not accord with the experience of some amongst you? Say, whether the brightest hours of your former life are comparable even with your darkest now? I well know that in this present life there will be clouds that will occasionally intercept the full radiance of the Sun of Righteousness, and induce a transient gloom over your horizon: but I ask with confidence, whether at such a season you would exchange your portion for that of the happiest worldling upon earth? No: you well know, that though your “darkness may continue for a night, joy will come in the morning [Note: Psa 30:5.]:” and even in the darkest night some gleams of light are wont to shine into your soul, according to that sure promise, “Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness [Note: Psa 112:4.].” True it is, that sin will bring darkness upon the soul: and true it is, also, that bodily disease may sometimes operate unfavourably in this respect: but, if we be upright before God, “when we walk in darkness, the Lord will be a light unto us [Note: Mic 7:8.] ;” and, in due season, “our light shall shine in obscurity, and our darkness be as the noonday [Note: Isa 58:10.].”]

Address—
1.

Those who are walking in the light of their own carnal enjoyments—

[Truly it is but a taper that ye possess, whilst ye are regardless of the radiance of the noonday sun — — — And what does God say to you? “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled: but this shall ye have of mine hand at last, ye shall lie down in sorrow [Note: Isa 50:11.].” “Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit [Note: Isa 65:13-14.].”]

2.

Those who, though Israelites indeed, are yet walking in somewhat of a gloomy frame—

[We have before said, that such seasons may occur: but the direction given you by God himself is that which must be your consolation and support: “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, and yet walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God [Note: Isa 50:10.].” There may be reasons for the withdrawment of light from your souls, reasons of which you at present have no conception. Peradventure God has seen that you have not duly improved the former manifestations of his love; or he may see that an uninterrupted continuance of them might give advantage to Satan to puff you up with pride. But, whether you can trace these suspensions of the divine favour to any particular cause or not, learn at all events to justify God in them, and to improve them for the deeper humiliation of your souls: and look forward to that blessed period when you shall “dwell in the light as God is in the light,” and enjoy a day that shall never end [Note: 1Jn 1:7; Rev 21:23; Rev 22:5.].]


Verses of Exodus 10

23

Consult other comments:

Exodus 10:23 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Exodus 10:23 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 10:23 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 10:23 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Exodus 10:23 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Exodus 10:23 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:23 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 10:23 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:23 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Exodus 10:23 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:23 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)