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Verses of Exodus 10

3

Exodus 10:3 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

DISCOURSE: 73
ON DELAYING OUR REPENTANCE

Exo 10:3. Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?

IT cannot be denied that Pharaoh was a remarkable character, raised up by God himself to be a monument of God’s power throughout all generations [Note: Exo 9:16.]. Yet we mistake if we think that the dispositions which he exercised were peculiar to him: the occasions that called them forth into exercise, were peculiar; but the dispositions themselves were the common fruits of our corrupt nature, visible in all the human race. The command given to Pharaoh to permit all the Hebrews to go into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to their God, he chose not to comply with: and all the judgments inflicted on him, and the mercies vouchsafed to him, were ineffectual for the subduing of his rebellious spirit, and for the reducing of him to a willing obedience. And every one who reads the history of these events stands amazed at the pride and obduracy of his heart. But if we would look inward, and see how we have withstood the commands of God, and how little effect either his judgments or his mercies have produced on us, we should find little occasion to exult over Pharaoh: we should see, that, however circumstances then elicited and rendered more conspicuous the evils of his heart, the very same corruptions, which he manifested, are in us also, and that every individual amongst us has the same need as he of the expostulation in the text; “How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me?” And it is remarkable that this very account of Pharaoh was ordered to be transmitted to the latest posterity, in order that the children of all succeeding generations might see in it what his enemies are to expect at His hands, and what his friends [Note:, 2.].

That we may render this subject the more generally useful, we will,

I.

Shew wherein true humiliation consists—

A full and abstract investigation of this point would lead us too far: we shall therefore confine ourselves to such particulars as the context more immediately suggests. True humiliation then consists in,

1.

A deep and ingenuous sorrow for sin, as contrasted with forced acknowledgments—

[If confessions extorted by sufferings or by fear were sufficient evidences of humility, Pharaoh would never have received the reproof in our text: for on the plague of hail being inflicted, he sent for Moses and said, “I have sinned this time. The Lord is righteous; and I and my people are wicked [Note: Exo 9:27.].” But notwithstanding this, in God’s estimation he still, as the text expresses it, “refused to humble himself before God.” Yet is this the only humiliation which many amongst ourselves have ever experienced. In a time of sickness perhaps, or under any great and accumulated afflictions, we have been constrained to confess our desert of God’s judgments. We have seen, that He has been contending with us; and that yet heavier judgments awaited us, if we did not humble ourselves before him. We have trembled perhaps at the prospect of approaching dissolution, and at the thought of appearing in an unprepared state at the tribunal of our Judge. Hence have arisen some forced acknowledgments of our sinfulness, whilst yet we neither hated our sins, nor lothed ourselves on account of them: and hence, on our restoration to health, we have returned, like fused metal from the furnace, to our wonted hardness and obduracy.

True humiliation is widely different from this. It implies a deep and ingenuous sorrow for sin, not only on account of the judgments it will bring upon us, but on account of its own intrinsic hatefulness and deformity. It leads us to smite on our breasts with conscious shame; and fills us with self-lothing and self-abhorrence: and this it does not only before we have obtained mercy, but afterwards; yea, and so much the more because God is pacified towards us [Note: Job 42:6 with Eze 16:63.].

We readily acknowledge that tears are no certain sign of penitence; and that the sensibility that produces them depends rather on the constitutional habit, than on the convictions of the mind. Yet whilst we read so much in the Scriptures respecting men sowing in tears, and going on their way weeping, and whilst we behold the Saviour himself weeping over Jerusalem, and pouring out his soul before God with strong crying and tears, we cannot but think, that those who have never yet wept for sin, have never felt its bitterness: and there is just occasion for us to weep over all who have not yet wept for themselves. It is scarcely to be conceived that any man has a truly broken and contrite spirit, whose sighs and groans have not often entered into the ears of the omnipresent God, and whose tears have not been often treasured up in his vials.]

2.

An unreserved obedience to God, as contrasted with partial compliances—

[Pharaoh, under the pressure of his successive calamities, yielded in part to the commands of God: he resisted altogether at the first; but gradually receded from his determinations, and permitted the Hebrews to offer their sacrifices in Egypt; then to go into the wilderness, provided they did not go very far into it: then he would let the men go: then at last the women and children also: but he would net suffer them to take away their cattle: those he was determined to keep, as a pledge of their return. In all this there was nothing but pride and stoutness of heart. He held every thing fast, till it was wrested from him by some fresh judgment, and conceded nothing but from absolute compulsion. And thus it is that many amongst ourselves part with their sins. They would retain them all, and gladly too, if the indulgence of them would consist with their hope from heaven. If they part with any, they do it as a mariner who casts his goods overboard to lighten his ship and keep it from sinking: but it is with reluctance that he parts with them; and he wishes for them all again, the very instant he is safe on shore. From the same motive flows his performance of certain duties: he engages not in them from any delight that he has in them, but from a self-righteous desire of purchasing heaven by these sacrifices.
But in all this there is nothing of true humiliation, nothing of real piety. The sinner, when his heart is right with God, desires to fulfil all the commandments of his God: “not one of them is grievous unto him:” he would not wish to be allowed to violate any one of them; but desires to “stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.” He would not retain a right eye or a right hand, that should be an occasion of offence to his God and Saviour. As it is his prayer that “God’s will may be done by him on earth as it is in heaven,” so is it his daily endeavour to carry it into effect: and, could he but hare the desire of his soul, he would be “pure as Christ himself is pure,” and “perfect as his Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
This union of deep sorrow for the past, and of unreserved obedience for the future, is marked by God himself as constituting that state of mind which alone will prove effectual for our acceptance with him.]
Having explained the nature of true humiliation, we proceed to,

II.

Expostulate with those in whom it is not yet wrought—

There is but too much reason for this expostulation wheresoever we look—
[Their need of humiliation, none, I apprehend, will venture to deny. Let us only look back and see how we have acted towards God, as our Creator, our Governor, our Benefactor — — — Let us mark our past conduct also towards the Lord Jesus Christ, who assumed our nature, and died upon the cross to save us — — — Let us yet further call to mind all the resistance which we hare given to the motions of the Holy Spirit within us — — — and we shall find ground enough for our humiliation before God.
Yet who has humbled himself aright? Who has sought the Lord from day to day “with strong crying and tears?” — — — Who has given up himself wholly and unreservedly to God, determining through grace to have no other will but his?— — —
Does not conscience testify against us in relation to these matters, and warn us that there is yet much, very much wanting, to perfect our humiliation before God? — — —]
We beg leave then, in the name of the Most High God, to expostulate with all whose consciences now testify against them—
[“How long will ye refuse to humble yourselves before God?” Have ye ever fixed a time in your minds? Do ye fix upon old age? What certainty have ye of living to old age? Do ye fix upon a time of sickness and of death? How know ye that ye shall have space then given for repentance, or that the Spirit of God, whom ye now resist, shall be imparted to you for the producing of true repentance? How know ye, that if you do then repent, your repentance will proceed any further, or be more effectual for your salvation than Pharaoh’s was?

Consider, I pray you, the guilt, the folly, and the danger of delaying your humiliation before God. Will you make the very forbearance of God which should lead you to repentance, the ground and occasion of protracting your rebellion against him? — — — Think ye that God will not overcome at the last? Will ye set briers and thorns in battle against the devouring fire? or did ye ever hear of one who hardened himself against God and prospered? — — — Will not sin harden you in proportion as it is indulged? And “will the Spirit strive with you for ever?” Have you not reason to fear, that, if you continue impenitent under your present circumstances, God will give you up to judicial hardness, and a reprobate mind? — — —

Beloved Brethren, I entreat you to fix some time when you will cast down the weapons of your rebellion, and humble yourselves in truth before God— — —]

Two encouragements I would set before you:
1.

It is never too late—

[At “the eleventh hour” those who give themselves up to Him shall be received. Let not the aged, or the sick, say, ‘There is no hope.’ Let not the vilest of the human race indulge despair. A Manasseh holds forth to every child of man the richest encouragement — — — and an assurance that of those who come to Christ in penitence and faith, “not one shall ever be cast out [Note: 2Ch 33:12-13.] ” — — —]

2.

It is never too soon—

[It was not the men only, but the children also, yea, even “the little ones,” whom God required to go forth into the wilderness to offer sacrifice to him [Note:, 10.]: and in the New Testament our blessed Lord says, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” O that young people did but know the blessedness of serving God! Who ever yet regretted that he had begun to repent too soon? Who ever yet made it a matter of sorrow that he “had served the Lord from his youth?” “Remember then, my Brethren, your Creator in the days of your youth.” Let not Satan have the best of your time; and the mere dregs be reserved for God: but “to-day, whilst it is called to-day,” begin that life, which is the truest source of happiness in this world, and the most certain pledge of glory in the world to come.]


Verses of Exodus 10

3

Consult other comments:

Exodus 10:3 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 10:3 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Exodus 10:3 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 10:3 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Exodus 10:3 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Exodus 10:3 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Exodus 10:3 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Exodus 10:3 - Geneva Bible Notes

Exodus 10:3 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 10:3 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:3 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:3 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 10:3 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Exodus 10:3 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Exodus 10:3 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 10:3 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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