Thursday, October 16, 2008

God works sovereignly

"God works sovereignly. In essence, Exodus challenges the common notion that God is passive." pg 88

"In Midian, Moses marries, settles down, and probably think retirement is upon him as he nears his eightieth much as Exodus is a story about Moses, when I read it again this week, I found that God is really the main character in this story. God appears to the aging Moses in the burning bush. God reveals his name to Moses--Moses was not out there looking for it. God commissions Moses to speak to Pharaoh and bring God's people out of Egypt. Moses was sitting around reading the Federalist Papers, determining that the Hebrews needed to take freedom into their won hands. No, Moses is an eighty-year-old shepherd. God is the actor in this story." pg 89-90

"This is the God presented in the book of Exodus. He is sovereign even over wheels getting stuck in the mud and coming off!" (ref. Ex. 14:23-28) pg 91

"Just as God raises up Moses to lead the people, he places Pharaoh in his position of power. God purposed to install a pharaoh, as it says in the book's opening verses, "who did not know about Joseph" (1:8). And a little later he explicitly tells Pharaoh, "I have raised you up" (9:16). Surely you realize that God was no less sovereign in raising up Pharaoh than in raising up Moses." pg 91

"Then comes the part of the story that troubles people the most, but is undeniably crucial to the great escape from Egypt. God works sovereignly in Pharaoh [by] hardening his heart...God warns Moses ahead of time that he will do this (Ex. 4:21)...I don't claim to understand everything about how God hardened Pharaoh's heart, or all of its implications. But the verse certainly says that God had a purpose in hardening Pharaoh's heart." pg 92

"But that is not all of what we are supposed to observe. We are also supposed to observe that God works sovereignly (now let's add a little bit to the sentence to make our second point to save a special people...Exodus challenges the common notion that God treats all people in the same way, or that God is a committed egalitarian. No, that is not the story in Exodus. God is certainly fair; he is the standard of justice. But God does mysteriously and graciously choose to extend mercy to some. And no one can require mercy from him. It is his mercy. From a foundation of utter fairness, God chooses to extend mercy." pg 93

"The nations will hear and tremble...(Ex. 15:14-16)
This, of course, is why the Lord sovereignly placed his people in Egypt...Because Egypt was a great power. Because Egypt provided the perfect stage on which God could display his glory." pg 102

from Mark Dever's The Message of the Old Testament


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