I’m preaching Exodus 3 this coming Wednesday night in the prayer chapel at school. I’ve been spending time in the text and am now at that point where I’m reading some guys who are smarter than me to see if they’ve gotten the same prayerful, and hopefully Spirit wrought insights of my text. There are a lot of guys I love to read when I’m studying a passage of Scripture, one of them is Charles Simeon. Simeon’s Expository Outlines of the Bible are indeed a treasure to have. I only have one volume: Genesis-Leviticus. So I figured I’d put it to good use. One of the applications that Simeon has found in the text is one certainly applicable to audience of preachers this Wednesday night, all those who faithfully proclaim the gospel from the pulpit, and unto myself.
Of Exodus 3:12, “And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.”
Ministers have, if I may so speak, the very same office delegated to them as was assigned to Moses: they are sent to bring me out of spiritual thraldom, and to deliver them from a bondage far more terrible than that of Egypt. The power that opposes them is far stronger than that of Pharaoh; and the unhappy captives are in love with their chains: themselves as averse to leave their hard taskmaster, as he is to lose their services. Were we to go into our own strength, we should soon desert our post; as Moses did, when, in reliance on his own arm, he prematurely proffered to the people his assistance.
But with the promise of God’s presence, a promise specifically given to us by our Divine Master for our encouragement, we go forth with confidence; and to ever obstacle that is in our way, we say. “Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain.” We know that the persons to whom we speak are as incapable of hearing our words, as dry bones scattered upon the face of the earth: yet do we not despond, or even doubt the efficacy of our ministrations for those to who we are sent: and in dependence on his word, we hope and believe, that the word which we speak shall prove “the power of God to the salvation” of those who hear it. We are not unmindful of the question put by the Apostle, “Who is sufficient for these things?” but if the rod of Moses wrought effectually in his hand for the deliverance of Israel, we have no fear but that they word of God, by whomsoever administered, shall be alike effectual for all the ends for which it is send. It is “the rod of God’s strength;” and not all the powers of darkness shall be able to withstand it.
What an assurance beloved we have in the effectual word of God, and greater assurance in God himself that he is before us and forever shall ‘certainly be with us.’