9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that Yahweh's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath Yahweh brought thee out of Egypt.
The Passover was established as an annual feast, not to commemorate the achievement of national independence, but to keep in the national view the part performed by divine power in the matter...
The exodus of Israel from Egypt was the great historic exhibition of the visible hand of God in the earth that God might be known and recognised, and that the foundation might be laid among men for the great purpose He has contemplated for the earth from the beginning: the purpose to make the earth at last the habitation of His praise, and gladness for all mankind.
Visible Hand of God Ch 13 *
13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.
The sex feature is prominent in all the appointments of the law...As all these things have an allegorical significance, we naturally desire to penetrate the meaning. Where shall we find it? We are probably not far away from it when we read "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection . . . for Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (1 Tim. 2:11-14). "The man is the image and the glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman (taken out) of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man" (1 Cor. 11:7-9).
Here are historical facts and moral responsibilities at the beginning of human history that in-weave themselves with the whole work of God with the race. Of course, the modern school, with their "new woman" racing hither and thither and posing in attitudes and relations for which she is unfitted by nature, will rebel against these divine appointments, Mosaically recorded. They might as well fight against gravitation.
Woman was secondary in the purpose for which she was formed, and she was influential in deflecting man from the path of obedience which he probably would have observed if left to himself. If God has chosen to preserve the memorial of these facts in the constitution of things He has established among men, who can make demur?
Man has the first place all the way through, especially in the one great institution that brings man back to God in reconciliation. It was to be in a man and not in a woman that the righteousness of God was to be declared for the putting away of sin by forgiveness. It was to be by the obedience of one man that justification was to be provided for believing and obedient sinners, and not by the obedience of one man and woman, although it was by the disobedience of one man and woman that death entered the world --not that the law was laid down to Eve: it was to Adam the command was addressed: "Thou shalt not eat": but Eve considered herself included (Gen. 3:2), and was, in fact, included as one flesh with Adam (2:23).
So in the case of the last Adam--the remover of sin: his bride, the Lamb's wife, shares the victory achieved by him when it has been decided at the judgment-seat who constitute such.
In both cases, it is the male that is the subject of direct operation. Though there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, it is by a man and not by a woman that life has come, though she is instrumentally contributory: for as she was the beguiler of Adam, to the death and ruin of both of them, so she is made his rescuer, in being made use of in a virgin descendant of the House of David to bring the Saviour into the world.
Male and female are thus coordinate in the scheme without interfering with the headship appointed in the beginning. As Paul beautifully expresses it in his letter to the Corinthians:
"Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God" (11:11).
There is congruity in all the ways of God when the relations established by His law are observed. Man is the head, but only for nurture and protection and honour of the woman. Woman is man's equal fellow-heir of the salvation that is offered in Christ, but not to usurp the position that belongs to man both by natural constitution and divine appointment.
Man is for strength, judgment, and achievement. Woman is for grace, sympathy, and ministration. Between them, they form a beautiful unit--"heirs together of the grace of life"
Modern theories are the mere thoughts of a naturalism that rejects the law of God, and as such can find no sympathy with those who stand in the faith of Christ. Though inspired by naturalism, they are contrary to nature--which is an intelligible anomaly. Naturalism is the system of sentiment and opinion formulated by the brain of man unenlightened by the knowledge of divine ways.
Nature is the constitution imparted to creation by divine wisdom and power in the beginning. Divine law is in harmony with the latter, but is at the antipodes of the other. We have to realize that there is such a thing as folly in the thoughts of man--due to the fact that man is by nature ignorant of all things and has to learn. Wisdom belongs to the mind of God alone. Recognizing this, we are prepared to look round and ask --which is which?
Human folly on the subject of sex has extended even to the subject of God. It has recently revived the idea of "the divine feminine" (Scientific Religion, Laurence Oliphant). The idea is that there is in God a female element of which woman is the expression; and that as this element is in God fused with the masculine element and forming a harmonious unity, so it ought to be and was originally with man before woman was "taken out of" him: the thought is that he was man and woman in one person, and the he became harsh as the result of abstraction of the feminine, and she became effeminate through the abstraction of the masculine!
What shall we say? That such an idea is the offspring of speculative presumption. There are things quite too high for the human intellect; and the constitution of the God-head is certainly one of them, and for the matter of that, so is the constitutional differentiation of the sexes, or of species. What in the abstract constitutes the difference between one creature and another? Facts only we can note. Their origin or subsistence in the metaphysical sense is beyond the human intellect.
Law of Moses Ch 23
19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, Elohim will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.
'...the friends of God, who had all their pilgrimage been the honoured subjects of his fatherly care... exacted oaths of their survivors expressive of their love for Canaan, and of their concern that their bodies should moulder there...The last thoughts of these holy men were on
"the exceeding great and precious promises"
which are to be manifested in the land of Canaan; where their posterity will yet become
"a great and mighty nation"
under Shiloh and His saints as the lords of Israel and the Gentiles.
Seeing this, then, though afar off, they gave expression to their faith by giving commandment concerning their bodies; as it is written,
"by faith Joseph, when be died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel and gave commandment concerning his bones" (Heb.11:22).
He was, therefore, embalmed, and put into a coffin; and at the end of one hundred and fifty-four years his bones were carried out of Egypt by Moses; they accompanied Israel in all their journeyings through the wilderness; and were finally deposited by Joshua in the cave of Machpelah, where his fathers slept (Gen. 50:24; Exod. 13:19; Josh. 24:32).
When professors believe the truth, they will have as much interest in Canaan, and the disposition of their bodies, expressive of their faith, as we find testified of Israel and Joseph by those who are high in the favour of their God. We must believe the promises concerning Canaan, if we would be immortal of body in the kingdom of God.
Elpis Israel 2.3.
21 And Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:
In a certain sense, there is nothing to marvel at in such a prodigy. If God was bringing this nation out of Egypt by power miraculously shown (for the manifestation of His name), it was according to the fitness of things that He should do it well and completely: and what better mode could be conceived of guiding a host on the march through an unknown country, than by suspending in their sight in front an object visible to all - as a cloud in the day and fire at night.
It was an admirable arrangement of wisdom. It was a miracle - this pillar cloud changed to fire at night; and so was its sailing progress through the air, as the assembly marched; but what difficulty about that? The whole affair of the exodus was a miraculous transaction, or it did not happen at all: and as to which of these alternatives is admissible, we have already seen it is not an open question. The exodus did happen, and it was God's doing throughout, and therefore all difficulty is absent.
Any cloud is a wonder, and any fire is a piece of inscrutability if we will but consider it. Intrinsically, there was nothing more wonderful in the pillar of day and night than in the formless masses of cloud in the sky; only this cloud was shaped and guided by a direct application of intelligent power, and the others are allowed to shape and adjust themselves on mechanical principles fixed in them when they were originally established for the purpose which they serve.
Men talk about this cloudy pillar as "the symbol of the divine presence!" This is a vague and cloudy way of talking altogether. It was not hung out in front of the assembly as a symbol at all, but as a practically useful thing. By it, God went before them to guide. Doubtless it was a token that God was with them, but there were many things beside this that betokened that wonderful guidance. The cloud was not a token in particular, but a means of leadership which the circumstances made necessary.
It is well to notice that while the first account of the cloudy pillar tells us that "YAHWEH went before them in it," the second says it was "the angel of God that went before the camp of Israel."
No plainer intimation could we receive - than what we read of as the doings and sayings of Yahweh are often in actual form the doings and sayings of the angels whom He employs,
"who excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word"
(Psalm 103: 20).
Visible Hand of God