Note that this version is the unedited ver. The teaching versions
will be edited and shortened. Their name will have SS in them.
mo-two views of reward, eternal, vs. temporal, vs. 15-22
mo-Faith without works, standing against authority, vs. 15-22
mo-Midwives lies, vs. 15-22. Proper use of deceit, 15-22
Run spell check again.
pg19, note that the origional is on B disk, May 7, with no corrections on it.
Vs. 1-7, the increase of the godly seed.
In vs. 1-5 we are given the list of the blood family of Jacob, and these alone carry on the actual blood line.
This is an important point. In Gen 14:14, Abraham took 318 men of his own household into battle. This figure of the number of fighting men in his household would mean that there were probably 1000 males of all ages in his household, as well as a like number of females.
Gen. 17:9-14 is the record of the circumcision of all the males in Abraham's house into the covenant which God made with Abraham. Notice that the Lord emphasize that this includes EVERY MALE in his house, no matter how they came in. Thus, even here, the circumcised members of the covenant included far more from outside the bloodline of Abraham, than from within the blood line. The bloodline is only important in the matter of the priesthood and latter, the kings. These two offices spoke of Christ, who had to come from this bloodline of Abraham. We will see when we get to the civil rulers, that the captains over 10s, 50s, 100s, etc., did not have to prove their bloodline.
This is a very important point here at the beginning. The chosen people here are far more inclusive than just the blood line of Abraham. The chosen people included all of the households of the 12 Patriarch, many thousands of people. It included any and all who were connected with the household of faith, whether bought with money, taken in war, or born into the house.
No doubt the objection would be raised, "But they were servants, bought with money. What choice did they have? How can they be considered covenant-members of their own free will?" There would be two responses to this:
First, Gen. 17:14. Any one who did not want to be brought into the covenant did not have to be. It was not 'either join or death.' It the male did not want this for himself or for his children, the only result was that he was to be cast out of this 'covenant-family.'
Second, Slavery in the Scriptures is strictly VOLUNTARY. The only kind of slavery permitted in Scripture is voluntary, Deut. 23:15, 16. Therefore, a runaway slave could not be returned. Although slavery could be involuntary as punishment when a thief could not make restitution, Ex.22:33. Or a man could be sold for his debt, Deut. 15:12. A man could also renounce his freedom and make himself a slave, and remain one if he chose, Ex. 21:5-7.
Also, a servant could become the heir to the masters estate, Gen. 15:2. And he could marry into the 'bloodline.'
The conclusion here is that we have no reason to think that Abraham's servants were kept in his household against their will. They would have been free to refuse the circumcision, thus the covenant-membership, and leave.
Also in passing. Even in the OT, true covenant-membership was not in the circumcision made with hands, but the circumcision of the heart, Romans 2:25-29.
Now, do not forget that the war of Gen. 14 and the command of ch. 17, both take place many years before Jacob goes down into Egypt (over 200 years by Klassen's estimate). Therefore, by the time they go into Egypt, the number of people in this household would have greatly increased.
Exodus 1 only lists the male heads of households who were in the direct bloodline to Abraham. By the time of Gen. 46:7 and Ex. 1:5 there were many thousands of people who went down into Egypt. The word household would include everyone in that house, servants, children, etc.
There was such a huge amount of people with Jacob that a sperate area of land had to be assigned to them, Goshen.
Of the many thousands who went down into Egypt with Jacob, only 75 (counting Joseph, his sons and grandsons) were of the actual blood of Abraham, Acts 1:14. This means that the Hebrew people at the very start, were not united by blood, but by faith.
This was the great error of the Pharisees of our Lord's day, they saw the descendants of Abraham as a blood line, not a faith line.
Another important point is that Moses refers to these people as the Children of Israel, not the children of Jacob. Israel is the covenant name of these people. It indicates that all of these people, servants included, were the Children of Israel, that is, they were part of the covenant household because of their faith in the promise given to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.
Therefore, Israel, at the very founding, was a religion, not a race or nationality. This religion had the promise of God attached to it, and was sealed with circumcision. In Ex. ch. 1 there were already many thousands of followers of this religion who were no relation to Abraham except a common faith, who had gone through the rite of circumcision.
Review, 1/5/91, January 30, 1992
We see that Abraham would not have forced anyone to follow him who did not want to. The law that was given latter bears this out, that a runaway servant could not be returned to his master. (See Edersheim, II, 82, 83.)
Because this fact is overlooked, modern theology restricts the OT nation of Israel to the blood line of Abraham, when nothing could be farther from the truth.
Not only is Exodus a continuation of Gen. but it is tied very closely to Geneses. In Geneses 1:21, 22, God created every living thing in its order. He command that they be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.
In Exodus 1:7, we see that this is exactly what the children of Israel are doing. Only now, God is creating a chosen people which He is going to deliver them to Himself, and He will give them His law. In this we have both a new creation and a regeneration.
V. 6, Joseph. Joseph saw Egypt through a major famine. Joseph had used Pharaoh's power to store up a huge surplus of food in order to care for the people through the draught years. Joseph had redone the tax structure to reduce the tax to a simple 20 % of the grain crops only, and no property tax or income tax (Gen. 47:24). Furthermore, 20% of the increase for seven years was plenty to see not only the nation of Egypt through 7 years of famine, but provide extra grain for those around Egypt.
(RJR) Egypt had an interesting crop rotation. One year wheat
was grown, the next other crops such as barley, rye, onions, or
something else. Then on the third year, the land was left empty.
This meant that orchards and vineyards were not taxed; only the
wheat harvests was taxed.
Joseph's tax was close to a Biblical tax, with the tax only on the increase from the crops, not on the land itself.
The priests were supported from Pharaoh's receipts which, until the time of Joseph, had been the major portion of every crop. Therefore, even though Joseph might be accused of being a socialist, he was far from it. The people considered him a deliverer, thou hast saved our lives, Gen. 47:25
Under Joseph, the land was transferred to Pharaoh and then returned to the people who then only had to pay a small tax on their grain. Edershime, pg.160. Note that Joseph bought the land with tax money, but the tax was not an oppressive tax and it was the people's own fault that they did not set aside another 20% for what they knew was coming. Joseph did not confiscate the land as is done today.
Joseph reformed the tax system and cut it to the bone so that they were paying a smaller tax than even we are. Joseph wisely did not tamper with was the land held by the priests.
This transfer of all the land from the land owners to the crown, then back to the people, striped the large land lords of their power. It striped the ruling class of their power and gave it to the crown. No doubt this caused a continuing hostility from the ruling class against the Hebrews for what Joseph did in striping them of their power.
The year of the Jubilee after Israel went into the land of Canaan, basically did the same thing. It prevented power from being assembled into the hands of a select few.
V. 7 abundantly, swarmed.
Here in v. 7, we see the promises of God fulfilled precisely
as God said to Abram in Gen. 15:13. The people of the Covenant
had come into Egypt and had settled in the best of the land. Though
not a supernatural increase, the increase definitely was a result
of the promised blessings of the Lord. They were blessed in their
increase so that the land was filled with them.
Over the centuries they had multiplied and grown into a great nation that Egypt now saw as a threat. Egypt's response was to oppress them to the point of the danger of crushing them completely.
It was the Lord's blessing upon them that led to their persecution. Egypt resented and felt threatened by the increase and the prosperity of Israel. This prepares us for what is to follow: Egypt's efforts to destroy Israel.
1) Because this is a fallen world, men resent and envy the success and prosperity of others. There is a term called, "The Politicks of Envy." The politicians know about this desire of envy and they know very well how to use it. The poor deluded people think that the politicians are interested in the people, but all we have to do is look at facts: they are interested only in their own empowerment.
God's blessings upon His people creates hostility in evil men. Evil men assume that God's people have no place in society except a silent and subordinate place.
This leads to persecution of all Christian associations: Schools, Churches, Home schools, Parents, Businesses, anyone that is doing a good job in the name of the Lord apart from the state, and has the blessings of God upon them will face the wrath of evil men upon them.
2) The world oppresses the kingdom of God on earth (the church, and the individual Christian), but only when God's kingdom is seen as a threat to them. As long as the ones going under the name of Christ are no threat to the wicked, they not only will leave them alone, but will support them. The situation with Rev. Jessie Jackson and Bishop Tutu are excellent examples of this.
These man are going about under the guise of representing the kingdom of God, yet they are not a threat to the kingdom of men. In fact, they are promoting the kingdom of men. This is obvious as we see who is supporting them and who they identify with.
And sad to say, there are many other well known, supposedly sound Bible teachers included here: Billy Graham, Bill Gothard (the Russians invited him over there to instruct their people. Why would they do this? Because he presents tremendous moral Biblical principles, but he also teaches strongly submission to the state. He will not permit folks to use his school material without submitting to the state school superintendent), Chuck Swindall and many more false teachers.
Any teacher who is invited to go into the Eastern Bloc nations must fit within the description of no threat to the kingdom of men. We know this is true, especially of Graham, because he was even encouraged to go behind the iron curtain to preach before it was fashionable to do so.
On the other hand, the Lord promised that those who will live godly will suffer persecution. The church today that is not at odds with the kingdoms of this world is not representing the kingdom of God. The more we represent the kingdom of God, the more the kingdom of men will stand against us, just as Egypt did to the children of Israel.
(An interesting point here is that I received a flier in one of the 'letters' which I receive, about the reprinting of the GENEVA BIBLE. The flier points out that the KJV was commissioned by King James to counter the GENEVA BIBLE, because it contended with the kingdom of men (King James' kingdom) too much.)
The world does not stand against those who they do not see as a threat to them. The more of a threat, the more they will stand against the church.
I might mention this. The more ungodly the world becomes, the less of a Christian witness it takes to stand against them and invoke their wrath. Thus we see all brands of 'Christians' invoking the wrath of the world. The world has become and is becoming so corrupt that it does not take much at all to excite their ire, and raise their wrath. Therefore, as the world becomes so corrupted, we cannot look at the pressure they are placing on a group and say that the group is godly. That is not necessarily so any more. The society is becoming so ungodly that any shadow of Biblical principles at all will stir the ungodly up to wrath.
In fact we could even say that the world has gone so far down the road to total socialism, stateism, that any threat to the power of the state is met with the most vicious of attacks. Thus, even an ungodly man, totally given over to wickedness, can bring down the full wrath of the state upon him. Then he is looked on as a saint by many because of the enemy he has made in his stand against the state trying to act as god on earth.
The early church proclaimed Christ as Lord and Savior. The theology of the Roman state held the emperor to be lord and savior. The good character of Christians did not commend them to Rome: it only made them a more effective threat. The vices of our enemies trouble us, but their virtues threaten us even more. So it was with the early Christian.
The matter has not changed much since then. In the 20th century, pastors and Christian School administrators are amazed at the hostility and venom of state and federal officials. After all, it is the Christian Schools that produce the best students and the finest citizens. In a time of growing delinquency, anarchy and crime in the state schools, and social disintegration, why do men not welcome the stability which Christian schools give to society? The answer is that, at their worst, the state school delinquents and the criminals in society are preferred to Christians by these humanists, because these lawless elements do not constitute an intellectual, theological, and moral challenge to their statist plan of salvation. The Christians clearly do. Humanism today has a militant plan of salvation by statist action. To institute that plan means silencing Christians and obliterating Christian institutions. (RJR Salvation and the State, pg. 26, 27.)
1. Truly, the first half of the Book of Exodus records the confrontation between the kingdom of man, Egypt, and the Kingdom of God on earth. In the closing of the first section of Exodus, we see the kingdom of God leaving the kingdom of man in the dust. Therefore, this book is a reminder that the victory is the Lord's and He is not restricted to the means which men identify as the means of warfare.
2. Exodus reminds us that no matter what the odds are against the Kingdom of God on earth, or how mighty and dedicated the kingdom of man is against the Kingdom of God on earth, the kingdom of man does not stand a chance. Ps. 24:8, Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. And we see here in the first 15 chapters of Exodus, the Lord does not have to fight a battle as man does in order to annihilate the enemy. The kingdom of man will crumble when God's purpose for it is complete.
The NT authors and Christians knew this fact, because they knew the OT. But, modern theology which has removed the OT from their Bible, no longer realizes this. It can only see victory over evil men through force of armed conflict.
3. God is mindful of His people no matter how small the number. He is just as ready to deliver His faithful people today as He was for Israel here in Egypt. Sodom and Gomora also.
4. It was the persecution resulting from God's blessings that drove some Israelites to cry out to God, Ex. 3:7. But even then, when God sent Moses to deliver Israel, the leaders turned against Moses when the first step of resistance to Pharaoh led to reprisals against Israel.
5. This is an important point which means a lot to me personally.
Israel was not delivered because of its merits or virtues. Moses makes it clear many times how difficult it was to help them. It was only God's sovereign covenant grace and mercy that delivered Israel. He made a promise to Abraham and, by His grace, He is going to keep that promise. This is stressed throughout this book.
Israel comes through this whole experience in a very bad light. The Lord intentionally shows us this many times. It is so obvious that only a blind fool could miss it. I think this is so obvious that this is one reason these Books of Moses are ignored by modern Christianity. It is obvious that Moses wants no glory given to man, himself included.
This should tell us what we are facing today. There is only a small group of Christians willing to stand against the persecution of the faith, and even go to court and jail. But even in this group we will have to say that many are wanting glory given to them.
If any thing is clear in this book, we see that God is not going to deliver His covenant people because of any goodness in them, but because of His sovereign grace. This has been the common story throughout the Scriptures. God is not going to exalt His Church because of any goodness on man's part, but because of who He is.
Our blessed hope is in the same God as was the Israelites in Egypt.
Reviewed and added to, January 31, 1992
This passage gives us a quick overview of the eternal confrontation between the world and the people of God. This is a central passage in Scripture for this purpose, because it reveals several central points in this conflict between the powers of darkness and the Light. In addition, this book shows the final victory for the kingdom of God as the Lord turns the wisdom of this world against the world, thus destroying them.
A new ruler comes on the scene, possibly of a new dynasty came to power. This new ruler knew not Joseph. This suggests two things.
First, a new ruler who willfully did not recognize Joseph. The Egyptian kings were regarded as gods; therefore, they did not normally recognize any dept to any man, especially to foreigners. Rather, they would have held all men accountable to themselves. In this case, the ruler could have chosen to ignore Joseph and what he had done for Egypt.
This king, as the rulers of this world have always done, may have refused to acknowledge anything from the past which would not conform to his way of thinking, that he was god on earth.
A common practice of evil men has been to rewrite history in order to remove any record of a distinct movement of a Supernatural God. Thus, Egyptian history was rewritten to remove anything which would undermine the idea of this kings power.
Second, this could have meant that this ruler was unintentionally ignorant of the part Joseph played in Egypt's history. Records were kept for the rulers, but many chose not to read them or have them read to them.
Esther 6, records such an unintentional event. Someone had saved the king's life, and the action recorded. But the king was ignorant of this action until one night he couldn't sleep, so he had the records read to him. Only then did he know what Mordecai had done to save his life. God's divine providence was at work.
The word Pharaoh (6547-TWOT, #1826) originally meant "the Great House," similar to our phrase "the White House." The title was expanded to include the center of Egypt's civil government (ISBE). This name does not appear in Egypt until the time of the pyramids. Although ancient Egyptian history does not use this name often, the Scriptures use it primarily when referring to Egypt. Apparently, the Hebrews gave this title to the king of Egypt. Exodus 1:8, calls him a new king, whereas, v. 11, calls him Pharaoh. Thus, the word Pharaoh would be a reference to the central government. In like manner, the rulers of Rome became known as the Caesars, but, I think a closer parallel is our White House.
I am sure there is a significance to this different usage of the word king and Pharaoh. But I do not know what it would be at this point.
In our passage we see that Pharaoh decided that they had a problem of overpopulation. Here we see the first occurrence of the myth of overpopulation. We also see the reason that this myth has been with us for close to 4,000 years, v. 9. This king was afraid that he could not control the population. He believed there were too many Israelites (not Egyptians) for him to control effectively, so he invented stories which permitted him to address the problem as he saw fit.
Obviously, the problem was not that the land was overcrowded, but that it was overcrowd with people who the state saw as a threat to its power. The problem was that there were too many Hebrews and too few Egyptians. The problem was not that the Hebrews were acting in a threatening manner towards the state.
Israel had been here for 400 years. During this time, they had done nothing to give the king any idea that they would do such a thing. Pharaoh's fear of Israel overpowering them was no more than a figment of His imagination.
Therefore, the real reason is shown in v. 10, so get them up out of the land. He was afraid that they would become strong enough so that they could return to Canaan.
reviewed, corrected, added to, February 4, 1992
Spell from here..
Pharaoh takes action before the situation gets out of control. He wants to make sure the population remains under his control. Notice what he does; he exaggerate, v. 9. They are more and mightier than we are.
His exaggeration is obvious, but his fear was real. Though according to the events which take place Egypt was still mightier than Israel, Pharaoh justly feared that Israel would soon outnumber Egyptians if things were allowed to continue. Would Egypt end up serving the Hebrews?
The next several chapters tell of Egypt's power and what how it took the Lord's supernatural power to break Egypt. If Israel had been mightier than Egypt, the Egyptians would not have been able to force labour from them. [This would be like the US forcing labour from Russia. It will not be done unless the one doing the forcing is much more powerful than the one being forced.]
This is typical of evil men today who desire to influence others to follow their lead. They may find a spark of truth, but then they exaggerate it to unreasonable limits. They do this to influence others to follow them in their evil ways.
One sad example out of multitudes is the environmental movement. They show up with statistics to prove their point, but they have no source for their figures. I have heard that a the vast portion of the numbers they come up with are pulled out of the air.
Pharaoh saw these people as a threat to his power, even though they had done nothing to threaten him. Therefore, he came up with some numbers to gain public support for his plan. This is common practice of politicians of all times.
He has the numbers to prove his point, and he has the plan. Population control through forced labour, vs. 10-14. When that didn't work, he took the next step, forced abortion, vs. 15-22. Thus, we see that when the gods of this world feel threatened, they will take whatever steps they deem necessary to protect their position. I believe this is the motive behind China's forced abortion. The leaders feel threatened by the overwhelming numbers in the population.
V. 10, let us deal wisely with them...
I love this part; Pharaoh had manufactured his lies to accomplish his own ends. To him, and to those he ruled, the action which he was about to take was wisdom. It was the wise thing to do in the situation in which he found himself. But he was snared by God in his own wisdom. This is 1 Corinthians chapters one and two acted out; the wisdom of this world is brought to naught.
In this verse, Pharaoh expresses his second fear; in event of war, would the Hebrews fall out and join with Egypt's enemies?
Wisely.. The Lord turned Egypt's wisdom into their own destruction; Israel multiplied, v. 12. Pharaoh's wisdom led to his own downfall.
Vs. 11-15, tells us his plan to deal with his concern. They set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. To me, a key word here is with.. Evidently, the Hebrews already had burdens; they were working for the Egyptians. Genesis 47:6, tells us that Pharaoh hired qualified Hebrews to care for his personal property. The suggestion is that this practice of Pharaoh expanded over the years to include any Egyptian. Any Egyptian who had the money hired a Hebrew to work for him; therefore, Israel was already working for the Egyptians as employees. They had been minding their own business, working hard, absorbing Egyptian ways, and GROWING IN NUMBERS at an alarming rate.
Pharaoh's plan was to break stop the growth of the Hebrew's,
and thus, break their might. He saw forced labor (burden), increased
workload as the way to do this; it would reduce their ability
to reproduce. Under this increased burden, Israel built the treasure
cities of Pithom and Raamses. Included in this burden was also
all manner of service in the field, which usually meant digging
or cleaning the canals of Egypt or similar tasks, v. 14.
This gives us a few points.
1. This increased burden reminded the Hebrews that thy were not Egyptians. They had made themselves at home here, and had forgotten that they were not Egyptians. Pharaoh's unjust treatment of Israel made Israel aware of its past and distinct heritage. Josh. 24:14; Ez. 20 tell us that Israel had become Egyptian in their faith and outlook on life to very great degree. This hard labor reminded them that they were not Egyptians. They were serving the gods of the Egyptians and were living just like them. They were living the same life of ease as was the Egyptians. They had become Egyptians in their dress and actions. This oppression would remind them and make them Israelites once again.
And we can say the same, the unjust treatment that Christians receive is a reminder that we are different from the world.
Egypt was known for its forced labor, and she has the many
monuments for proof. The state would level a tax on the people
that had to be paid by so many months out of a year in labor.
The projects that are evident today, obviously took hundreds of
thousands of men to construct. These were built with forced labor
and the death rate would have been beyond our imagination.
2. A second point from this passage is that throughout the Scriptures, God uses the wisdom of the world to destroy the world.
3. A third and important point in this text. This increased burden transferred the knowledge of this advanced civilization from the Egyptians to the Hebrews. This knowledge was in every area, morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; all their service, wherein they made them serve, v. 14.
Here Israel gained the knowledge to farm and build the land of Canaan, in every area of endeavor. Israel went into Egypt a nomadic tribe of shepherds, and he came out a mighty nation with all the needed skills to build an advanced civilization. As the Egyptians entered into a life of ease, the ones who had to do the work acquired the skill. From the Exodus on, Egypt went downhill.
I would assume that one reason they are a backward nation today can be traced to this period in their history. Egypt has the most fertile land in the world, followed by the central valley of California, with the Mississippi River Valley a close third. What happened to Egypt? Why are thy so backward today when they had such an advanced civilization? When Egypt sought to destroy God's covenant people with hard, bitter bondage, Egypt also transferred all her knowledge to them.
Over and over we find in the word of God that the more man plots against God and His people, the more they are plotting their own destruction. The best example of this is the devil's purpose in putting Christ to death. The devil's darkest hour was God's brightest.
This shows us how God works in history. He rules and overrules in the lives of men and nations. This also shows us how a totally helpless people find themselves delivered and their enemies destroyed before them.
God promises judgment against all who will not obey Him and His law. These judgments come from the hand of God, yet outwardly these judgments appear completely natural. All of the judgments against Egypt seemed natural, yet also supernatural. God uses history to confound those who consider themselves the lords of history.
Thus we see that even as the world-wide move against Christianity gains momentum, the motivators of this move are doing it to their own destruction. (Find the quote about 'he who persecutes the church does so at his own destruction.') The judgment of God will come against the disobedient. Where will the righteous flee? There is no place to go except to Him.
An interesting fact that was revealed during the Iraq situation (8/91) was that the spy satellites could read the serial numbers from the tanks on the battle field. In other words, there is no place that a person will be able to go to escape the all-seeing eye of big brother, although atmospheric conditions did mess up their 'eye in the sky.' Even now, the U-2 is still flying.
We will mention this in passing, because this is important in Moses' confrontation with Pharaoh.
Pharaoh was considered a god, and he had a religious cult with its priests and attendants all around him. These priests governed his every move, day after day, day and night. There was an established rule for everything that he did. Even as the ruler of the land, he was servant to these religious rules.
Because he was considered a living god, everything depended
on him. The fertility of the land, the water of the Nile. He could
be blamed for the failure of the rain or crops. Egypt's religion
was a fertility cult which revolved around Pharaoh.
This brings up a point. When we read of other religions it is amazing how sweet and lovely paganism is presented. It is always whitewashed. We are not told the truth about it. On the other hand, we get every ugly fact and myth about Christianity that can be drug up. The mud which is presented might have a spark of truth, but evil men will exaggerate to the point of fabricating lies in order to obtain their goal.
As we read secular history of pagan religions, we do not run across one thing that would cast a bad light on them. Egypt for example: The young Pharaoh was routinely sodomised by the high priests as part of his preparation for the position of ruler. In addition, Scriptures tell us a great deal about Moloch worship requiring live sacrifices of children. We do not hear this from secular history sources.
We contact this commonly. Every degenerate practice of the world is covered over or ignored, yet let someone who claims Christ step out of line and it is on the front pages. Even though Bill Clements is running for President with resistant stories of adultery and immoral action, he is receiving media and public support. But, if the same media finds any hint of immorality in a public figure who claims Christianity, they would not stop their condemnation until that figure is destroyed.
I do not think that evil in the lives of Christian's should be overlooked. What I am saying is that this inconsistency shows the absolute hatred of the world toward anything which might resemble Christianity.
I was listening to a NPR broadcast promoting environmentalism.
(7/20/90) The speaker, as he was defending the environmental movement's
stand against logging in Brazil, mention the hunting and gathering
peoples. He mentioned them in glowing terms of how thy have learned
to live with nature. He did not mention how they kill each other
for food, their rampant immorality, their demon worship, and all
of their other corrupt practices.
We forget that when we deal with Egypt, we are dealing with a vicious, degenerate culture who, if necessary, will manufacture lies to accomplish their goal.
As an overview of this passage, let me call our attention to something. Edersheim points out that both Egypt and Israel believed in the same basic truths: the immortality of the soul, and future rewards and punishments. But, Israel was taught that God is the God of the present as well as the future, "and that even here on earth He reigneth, dispensing good and evil." He goes on to say that this present reward and punishment was so much insisted upon in the Mosaic law that there was no special need to refer to sin's consequences in another life. On the other hand, the Egyptians knew of a future reward, but knew no temporal reward of good and evil. [Reward/punishment in this life.] (Old Testament Bible History, by A. Edersheim. Eerdmans, pg. 31.)
The contrast between Egypt and Israel is presented clearly in this passage of Exodus. While the Egyptians saw only temporal good in killing the Hebrew male babies, the Israelite midwives saw only temporal evil in this action. The result is that the midwives feared God and God rewarded them in the temporal realm; he made them houses.
This is an important point. Two thirds (the OT) of the word of God emphasize the temporal blessings of following the law of God, while the other third mentions surprisingly little of the eternal rewards of following the word of God. This presents two important and contrasting views of reward and punishment: emphasize on eternal reward and punishment, emphasize on temporal reward and punishment.
This presents more interesting thoughts than we can possibly cover. It would be redundant to mention all the passages which present this basic precept of temporal rewards vs. eternal rewards; therefore, we will only examine a minimum of passages from both testaments, then tie the two together. Keep in mind two things: this is not Moses', Paul's, Christ's, nor any other authour's opinion; this is God's word. Also, we are not underestimating the fact of a literal heaven, hell; eternal reward or loss of reward, or eternal punishment.
First, we will examine a few OT passages starting with Deuteronomy 19:16-20. It is the temporal punishment for the violation of the law which produces the fear of the Lord in the heart of man. Furthermore, the fear of the Lord comes from reading the law with its blessings and curses in the hearing of the people, Deuteronomy 31:11-13. [Notice that there is no mention of eternal reward and punishment in this law which produced the fear of the Lord in the hearts of the hearer; rather, it emphasize temporal reward and punishment.] Psalms 52:5, 6, it is seeing the temporal results of sin which comes to pass that causes the righteous to fear God. It is the promised whirlwind for sowing to the wind in Hosea 8:7; it is the promised hemlock in the field for false swearing in 10:4; it is the warning of the temporal results of sin that God uses to warn His people to depart from evil.
Conspicuously prevalent in the OT is the emphasis on the temporal results of godly or ungodly action. Many times over we read warnings like Proverbs 1:24-26, where God says that the result of refusing to walk in His commandments is that He will not hear us in our distress when we call upon Him.
Clearly, the fear of God in the OT Scripture is fear of the physical, temporal results of sin. This definition of fear is carried over into the NT by many connecting passages; the most obvious is Hebrews 12:18-24, which brings forward what is presented in Exodus 19:12, 13. Everything about the mountain where the people assembled to receive the law was designed to invoke the fear of God in their hearts. When Moses went up to the mountain, it was the fear of physical death which caused the people not to touch the mountain. The author of Hebrews uses this illustration in Hebrews 12:18-24, to invoke fear in the hearts of the NT Christians. Consequently, the writer of Hebrews is referring to the temporal and physical consequences of treading under foot the blood of the new covenant, Christ; it refers to the physical results of sin.
Another connecting reference is found in Hebrews 10:23-31, where the principle of physical punishment being inflicted against the lawbreaker under Moses' law is applied to the Church. Therefore, godly fear is fear of His righteous justice and judgment being recompensed upon the sinner (whether inside or outside of the covenant) on this side of death.
Another connecting reference is Ephesians 6:2 & 3, Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;).. The promise is a temporal promise, clearly referring to Exodus 20:12, and the physical results of obedience to the fifth commandment.
We will find, with few exceptions, that every instance of fear mentioned in the NT refers to the fear of the temporal consequences which are brought about by the divine providence of God against sin. A couple of examples would be Paul's exhortation in Philippians 2:12 (fear and trembling over the physical results of sin, Heb. 10 & 12), & Galatians 6:8 (Hosea 8:7). Men continue in sin because they do not think the results of their sin will catch up with them this side of death, Ecclesiastes 8:11. Therefore, when the fear of the temporal results of sin is restored, men will depart from evil, Proverbs 16:9 (the context requires that this is a fear of the temporal results of sin).
What are the logical implications of these two views: the eternal reward, vs. the temporal?
If one holds to the eternal view, the unholy desires of the heart can be justified; there is no fear of God. To these folks, the temporal rewards are not truly important. After all, the eternal rewards will outweigh any temporal discomfort that might result from their compromised action. Although they claim to be Christians, their actions will be little, if any, different than the Egyptian's. The eternal view has no practical application of the law-word of God. What does it matter? We are only worried about the eternal consequences.
On the other hand, if one holds to the temporal view by taking the law, with its threats and promises seriously and literally, they will consider the temporal consequences of their actions upon their children, their community, their society, their nation, and the world in general. The emphasis in their message and life will be vastly different than the one who is only interested in an eternal reward. The temporal view presents primarily the temporal consequences of following the word of God. Therefore, it does matter; it matters to our children to the third and fourth generation.
As we study the word of God it is not hard to see which is emphasized; God emphasizes the temporal results of following His word, while Egypt emphasize the eternal results. The flesh has very little fear of something that might or might not happen sometime way off in the future, after we die.
We have a couple of girls, 6 & 15. If we threaten them with an eternal loss of reward or even with an eternal punishment, for their evil, how much result will we get? On the other hand, if we assure them that they will receive, as soon as possible, the reward or punishment for their actions, there will be a change. The rod of reproof drives foolishness from the heart of a child, not the threat of some kind of reward or punishment after death. Does this fallen nature change as a person matures? I think not.
Obviously, the majority of professed Christians of modern Christianity have only an eternal view of reward and punishment. They get together and discuss heaven, sing about heaven, dream about heaven, imagine what kinds of rewards they will receive in heaven; they escape from reality to heaven. Yes, they believe in an eternal reward and punishment; so does Egypt; so do the devils. The result of this 'heavenly mind' is no practical Christianity for action here on this earth; there is no fear of God before their eyes, Romans 3:18. In actuality, if they have dismissed any fear of a temporal reward for their actions, why should they be concerned about the temporal results of their activity? "As long as it results in the glory of God."
This eternal view ignores that Christ is in heaven on the right hand of all power and authority, Ephesians 1:21, 22; it ignores that our God reigns here and now, and that He does whatsoever He pleases in the kingdom of men, Dan. 5; it ignores that God's rule is according to His law-word, and that He has revealed to His creation how to please Him to inherit His temporal blessings. The view reduces Christianity to no more than the old pagan Egyptian religion; it is paganism revived. It removes godly fear from mankind.
An unbiblical emphasis on eternal reward and punishment will permit Christianity do disintegrate into no more than a powerless hope in heaven by and by; powerless to change society.
Some might ask, "What about Romans 8:6, and the spiritual mind?" The answer is in the context; the spiritual mind is, through the power of the Spirit of God, subject to the law of God, v. 7.
The midwives believed in a temporal reward for their action; perhaps not a reward in their lifetime, but a reward for their children. The result is that they feared God and refused to obey the ungodly command of the king. The result of their fear of God was that he made them houses.
In summation, if we desire the people of God to return to a fear of God, the temporal rewards for good and evil must be preached, taught, and believes. The idea of heaven is good and true, but when more emphasis is placed upon heaven than what the word of God does, there will be no fear of the Lord in this life; men will not depart from evil. Sinful man will fear God and keep His commandments because he fears the temporal results of not keeping his commandments.
Can we expect a degenerate society to instill a temporal fear
in the lawless people around us, if the church refuses to instill
a temporal fear in the people of God? The logical result of the
church refusing to instill a temporal fear of God in the hearts
of God's people, is society refusing to instill a temporal fear
in the hearts of the lawless.
Reviewed, added to, February 8, 11, 1992,
There are two questions here which we would like to deal with.
1. The children of Israel numbered better than 2 million; therefore, how could two midwives be sufficient?
2. The midwives lied and God blessed them. How can we rectify this?
First, how could two midwives care for several hundreds of
thousands of women?
V. 19 is true in the sense that the Hebrew women did have an easy delivery, with the midwife seldom needed. As we have seen right here among us, some of our ladies who have had home delivery have been up and around very quickly. Considering this, the two midwives for this vast population might have been enough. But, I believe more probable is that these two headed a guild of midwives.
Keil says, "The midwives named in ver. 15, who are not Egyptian but Hebrew women were no doubt the heads of the whole profession, and were expected to communicate their instructions to their associates." (pg. 424.)
On the other hand, Josephus says that "the Egyptian midwives should watch the labours of the Hebrew women, and observe what is born, for those were the women who were enjoined to do the office of midwives to them; and by reason of their relation to the king, would not transgress his commands." The editor's footnote says, "Josephus is clear that these midwives were Egyptians, and not Israelites, as in our other copies: which is very probable, it being not easily to be supposed that Pharaoh could trust the Israelite midwives to execute so barbarous a command against their own nation... And indeed, Josephus seems to have had much completer copies of the Pentateuch, or other authentic records now lost, about the birth and actions of Moses, than either our Hebrew, Samaritan or Greek Bibles, afford us, which enabled him to be so large and particular about him." Ant. of the Jews, Book II, Chap. IX. 2.
Their names mean, "Beauty" & "Splendor," which gives no hint of whether they were Egyptian or Israelite.
I tend to agree with Josephus because of the text.
1. Pharaoh could not expect Israelite women to carry out such
2. Pharaoh believed their report (this is not to dismiss the power of God to cause Pharaoh to believe whatever the Lord wanted him to believe). No doubt he questioned his advisors, as he did when Moses confronted him, concerning the midwives story. The all agreed with the midwives.
3. God made them houses. This implies that they were not a part of the nation, but the result of this action was that God made them part of Israel; as much a part as those born into the nation. In other words, their posterity received an inheritance in the land the same as did the natural born Israelite.
4. V. 22, starts with And, not But. To me this suggest that in addition to the midwives who were also Egyptians, not in contrast with the midwives who were Hebrews.
In passing, a point worth mentioning about the midwives is that they may not have had an important position in the eyes of men, but they used their skill to the glory of God and according to His word. God richly blessed them for it.
V. 19, are not like the Egyptian women. We have two vastly
different types of women mentioned in v. 19, Egyptian & Hebrew.
The Hebrew people had been hard workers every since they came
into Egypt; their workload increased as the Pharaohs forgot Joseph.
As Israel's workload increased, the Egyptian's decreased. Therefore,
the Egyptian women had become accustom to the life of ease and
pleasure. A result of the two physical conditions would have been
the ease of childbirth. The difference between the two types of
women would be well known, or Pharaoh would have challenged it.
Therefore, it is not unreasonable for only the two to appear before Pharaoh.
Vs. 19-21, the midwives lie to Pharaoh. This brings us to the second point in this text, an extremely difficult point; the two ladies lied to Pharaoh, the living Egyptian god. This would not have been a common practice.
There is clearly obvious here that the midwives were not abortionists. They refused to kill the baby boys as they had been instructed to do, then deceived the king who ordered it done. Going even further, no doubt as these women traveled among the Hebrew's, they warned of Pharaoh's plans to destroy Israel by killing the baby boys. The girls were to be kept alive to be added to the harems of Egypt, and their children added to the Egyptian population.
What we want to confront now is the lie to Pharaoh. Theologians down through the centuries have sought to deal with this in a way which would justify compromise by those who profess the Biblical faith. They also seek to say that the midwives sinned in the lie, but because of the good which resulted God blessed them. This is not a tenable argument.
To deal with what the fact that the midwives deceived the king, we need to mention the ninth commandment, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Clearly, the Lord condemns evil actions toward out neighbour; we must not use words to deprive him of his life, property, or freedom. This is commonly understood to forbid all deceit in any way, but is this what is actually said?
Although many have sought to explain it away, there is no way around this fact. Edersheim, in dealing with this situation, quotes St. Augustine, "God forgave the evil [lying to Pharaoh] on account of the good, and rewarded their piety, though not their deceit." (OT Bible History, pg. 34.) As we know, Augustine is one of the foundational thinkers for Romanism.
End note:"But, as for that which is written, that God did good to the Hebrew midwives, and to Rahab the harlot of Jericho, this was not because they lied, but because they were merciful to God's people. That therefore which was rewarded in them was, not their deceit, but their benevolence; benignity of mind, not iniquity of lying. For, as it would not be marvelous and absurd if God on account of good works after done by them should be willing to forgive some evil works at another time before committed, so it is not to be marveled at that God beholding at one time, in one cause, both these, that is, the thing done of mercy and the thing done of deceit, did both reward the good, and for the sake of this good forgive that evil. For if sins which are done of carnal concupiscence, not of mercy, are for the sake of after works of mercy remitted, why are not those through merit of mercy remitted which of mercy itself are committed? For more grievous is a sin which with purpose of hurting, than that which with purpose of helping, is wrought. And consequently if that is blotted out by a work of mercy thereafter following, why is this, which is less heinous, not blotted out by the mercy itself of the man, both going before that he may sin, and going along with him while he sins? So indeed it may seem: but in truth it is one thing to say, "I aught not to have sinned, but I will do works of mercy whereby I may blot out the sin which I did before;" and another to say, "I ought to sin because I cannot else show mercy." It is, I say, one thing to say, "Because we have already sinned, let us do good, because we have done evil:" but here, "Let us do evil that good may come." And, consequently, there we have to drain off the sink of sin, here to beware of a doctrine which teacheth to sin." He goes on to say that the midwives and Rahab should have told the truth, died a righteous death, and left the results in the hands of God. [1872 translation of St. Augustine's 420 AD treatise Against Lying. The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. III, pg495, 6. Eerdmans publishing.] End of End Note.
If you will check the End Note, you will see that Augustine argues from a his presupposition that God remits, blots out, or overlooks evil if enough good follows that evil. He draws a fine line between saying, "Let us do evil that good may come (which he defines as bad)," and, "Because we have done evil, let us do good to blot it out (which he defines as good)"; consequently, in his mind, he does not conflict with Romans 2 & 3. He says that if the good for the kingdom of God is great enough, then the evil which brought about that good is overlooked and even blessed by God.
This means that judgment by the Lord is based upon comparing our good with our evil, and if the resulting good outweighs the bad it took to accomplish that good, then we are rewarded. In other words, "The end justifies the means."
This doctrine cannot be defended from the word of God; it flies in the face of the total of Scripture. Either their disobedience to an ungodly command of an evil king, then their subsequent lying to him, was pleasing to God, or it was not. We cannot skirt this issue; it must be confronted and dealt with. (We will deal with this from OT illustrations, even though Paul deals with this in Romans 2 & 3.)
If we say that they did wrong, but the result of doing wrong pleased God enough that He made them houses, we imply: First, those who fear God must obey unjust rulers' lawless commands (laws in relationship to the law of God. All lawlessness is against the Law Maker). Second, it is sin to deceive the ones who require that we disobey God and become lawbreakers. Third, it is a greater sin to incur the wrath of an earthly ruler than it is to incur the wrath of the Heavenly King.
God clearly tells us in this passage that their disobedience to the lawless command of this evil ruler, and their ensuing deceit used to cover their disobedience to his wishes, was pleasing to God.
If we do not accept this for what it says, then we must hold to Augustine's position. It is impossible to straddle the fence. Augustine's defense of this action by the midwives will permit the church (& Christian) to do whatever is necessary (sin), as long as their motives are to see the cause of Christ advanced, and they do enough good to blot out the sin. This thinking requires submission to lawless rulers who command that we act contrary to the principles contained in the word of God. The implications of this line of thought are limitless, and will justify doing whatever is necessary to obtain what we feel is a godly goal.
I have talked with people who hold strongly to Augustine's position concerning the midwives, even among Baptist, yet this position is untenable when the many other similar passages are considered. As we read through the Scriptures, it is amazing how many times deceit is used by the righteous to protect themselves from the evil intentions of the ungodly.
We will take a quick look at many, but not all, of the OT passages which must be used do develop this doctrine concerning what is truth. The common thread throughout will be obvious.
There are a few common points we should look for. First, deceit
is used to protect the godly from the evil desires of those in
authority over them when there is no other means of protection.
There is usually a life or death situation involved somewhere
in the issue, because the wicked have the power to enforce their
desires. Second, it is amazing who used deceit for their protection.
Third, God's lack of condemnation for the 'deceiver.' Fourth,
keep in mind the ninth commandment.
1. The first instance of deceit which we want to look at is Abraham, who twice lied to the civil authority of the nations in which he found himself. The reason was fear that he would be killed and his wife taken. The first instance is in Genesis 12:10-20 (vs. 11, 12), then again in Genesis 20 (v. 11).
Evidently it was a common practice in antiquity that if a person of influence and power saw a woman he desired, he would take her. (The rulers of NT times did this.) If there was any objection from anyone, husband, father, brother, & c, that objection was dealt with by killing the objector. Even though Abraham was a mighty prince, the nations in which he found himself were stronger; therefore, Abraham feared that if he objected to the king taking his wife, he would be killed. Accordingly, the only means which Abraham had of protecting himself and his family was deceit, which he did. God protected him and his wife.
Place this in footnote if use for mailing."There is in the British Museum an ancient Egyptian "papyrus," which, although of somewhat later date than that of Abram, proves that his fears, on entering Egypt, were at least not groundless. It relates how a Pharaoh, on the advice of his cancelers, sent armies to take away a man's wife by force, and them to murder her husband." Footnote, Edersheime, vol. I, pg. 79. A more complete treatment of this is given in vol. II, pg. 11, 12. To here.
Which gives us two important points.
a. Abraham used deceit to protect himself and his family from what he perceived to be an evil civil authority which had the power to kill him and destroy his family.
b. God did not rebuke Abraham; but God did rebuke both kings for permitting a lawless society which forced Abraham to use deceit for his protection.
c. God required both kings to give restitution to Abraham for the anguish which their evil society caused him.
We are taught with Abraham that the violation of ninth commandment is in terms of the principles of God's word; it is not in terms of man's word; therefore, deceit is a legitimate means of self-protection from the evil desires of wicked men in authority in an evil society. And rather than God holding the one who had to use deceit responsible, He holds the evil society and its leaders responsible. The purpose of civil government is to provide conditions where good is protected and evil repressed, Rom. 13:1-5. God's judgment is against the society which does not provide this protection, not against the ones who are trying to do good in such a society. Truth is according to God's definition of justice and good, not man's.
2. Next we come to Tamar who deceived her father-in-law because he did not keep his promise to her. Judah, her father-in-law, was held at fault in the matter; Tamar is placed in the linage of Christ, Genesis 38.
3. In passing, we need to mention Joseph's deception of his brothers when they stand before him, Genesis chps. 42, 43, & 44. This is so well known that we will not develop it here. All we can say about the deception by Joseph is that it was in order that he might work out God's plan and purpose, 45:7. We will also point out that what Joseph instructed his family to tell Pharaoh was not according to the whole truth, 46:32-34. Although I know of no good explanation for Joseph's actions here, we can be confident that he acted according to the perfect will of God in the situation.
4. The next instance of deceit would be the midwives, Exodus 1. Because of the implications this text contains, no doubt it is the most abused of all text concerning deceit. We develop these implications elsewhere.
5. The Book of Joshua contains several places where deceit is used. Rahab deceived the men of the city who were seeking to kill the spies which Joshua had sent to the city, 2:4, 5. She told the men that the spies had already fled, and if the men would hurry they would overtake the spies. Her reward for placing her life in danger when she deceived the men? She and all her household were spared, and she is placed in the linage of Christ.
6. 1 Samuel 19:14-17. David's wife, Michal, deceived her dad, Saul, as he tried to kill David.
7. 20:5-8, knowing that king Saul would ask, David and Jonathan agreed together to deceive him about David's whereabouts. David considered this agreement to deceive the king who desired to kill him as a covenant of the Lord, v.8. V. 28, 29. The deception is carried out against Saul.
8. 21:1-9, David deceives the priest in order to get the show bread to eat. This reference is interesting in that the Lord uses this as an illustration that the law is for man's benefit, not man for the law's benefit, Matthew 12:1-4. In this, the Lord makes not even a passing reference to the fact that David used deceit to get the bread. In fact, He places His approval on David taking the bread.
The point that the Lord makes with this action by David when he deceived the priest, is the very point that the 'pious' forget; the law is for the protection of the righteous, not to lay them open for destruction by the wicked. When the wicked try to use the law, which is meant for good, against those who are trying to be good (righteous), the wicked lose all right to the 'truth,' as we think of it. Also, the righteous do not owe the 'truth' to those who desire to use it against them. Truth is in terms of the righteousness and justice and God.
In other words, Abraham did not owe the 'truth' to the evil rulers who would use that 'truth' to kill him. (See the Fifth Amendment to our Constitution.)
9. 21:13, David deceives Achish the king of Gath out of fear. Many would, no doubt, say, David didn't trust the Lord to take care of him. Again, Christ pulls the illustration He uses right out of the middle of this chapter to illustrate that truth is in terms of the law. The law was given to preserve the life of the righteous, not take it.
10. 22:9, 10, Doeg lies to Saul about the matter of the priest inquiring of the Lord for David, and he tells the truth concerning the bread and sword. David considers him an evil, wicked liar, Psa. 52.
11. 27:10-12, while David was living in the land of the Philistines where Achish was king, he went in raids against the enemies of Israel. In order to protect himself, he deceived Achish about where he went on these raids; David left no one alive to dispute his story.
12. 29:6-11, David had carried out his deception very well. The Philistines gathered together to fight against Israel and David goes with Achish to join with the united Philistine army against Israel. As the many different Philistine armies 'passed in review,' the princes of the Philistines recognized David with Achish. They called Achish before them and asked him what he thought he was doing by bringing David with him in battle against David's own people. Achish defended David as a man who had been faithful to him (a Philistine king) even against his own people, Israel. The Philistines would not buy the story and made him send David back where he came from.
Achish calls David before him and tells him what the princes' had said. David plays the part of a faithful servant to the 'hilt,' swearing undying allegiance to Achish. Achish again believes him, but yields to the demands of the princes and sends him home.
The point? David lived a deception before Achish for over
a year, yet we have no record of God's condemnation of this action.
In fact, it appears that God prospered him as he defended Israel
while he was living this deception. God even protected him by
His providence so that he didn't have to go into battle with the
Philistines against Israel. David makes a 'big deal' of the lack
of trust on the part of the Philistine princes.
13. 2 Samuel 15:34, David is fleeing from his rebellious son, Absalom, who has usurped the throne. One of his faithful advisers desire to go with David, but David tells him to return to the king, now Absolom, in Jerusalem. He is to deceive Absolom into thinking that he has the same loyalty to him as he had to his father, David. The purpose was to gain Absolom's confidence and give him bad information in David's favor. 16:18, Hushai, the man David sent back, deceives Absalom.
The obvious point here is that the wicked, as they work their wickedness, have no right to the truth which will help them accomplish their wicked devices. Truth is always in terms of God's righteousness and justice.
17:14. Ahithophel's good counsel to Absolom was rejected for Hushai's bad counsel. Hushai deceived Absalom and Absalom took the bad advise; it was of God that he follow the wrong counsel.
14. 17:20, this is one of the more obvious deceptions. Hushai sent word to David about Absalom's plans. Absalom hears that some men have fled out of the city to David, so he sends after them. The two men are hidden in a well, a cover placed over it, and the woman who hid them deceives those seeking them in her word and deed.
15. 2 Kings 6:19, the king of Syria warred against the king of Israel. Every time the king of Syria tried to make planes against Israel, Elisha told the king of Israel the planes. The king of Syria inquired and found that Elisha was telling all, so he sent a great host by night to take Elisha. We all know the story.
When the army moved against Elisha, Elisha asked the Lord to smite the people with blindness, which He did. Elisha met the army in v. 19, And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
No matter how we cut it, Elisha deceived the Syrian army and
led them into a trap, and the trap was not in Jerusalem, but Samaria.
16. 10:19- Here we have Jehu deceiving the worshipers of Baal so they would come together that he might kill them. V. 30, the Lord compliments Jehu.
Truth is always in terms of God's word and His good. Very few Christians will admit this, therefore, we will keep track of both the good and the bad lies in this document.
There are several negative uses of deceit which we should note in order to arrive at a just conclusion.
1a. Jacob, whose name meant deceiver, deceived his father to gain his personal desires, Genesis 27. Obviously, he was not blessed for that deceit, and he paid the price many times over for what he did; Laban deceived him several times.
2a. The sons of Jacob, in response of Shechem's defilement of their sister Dinah, deceived the men of the city of Shechem. Their purpose was to kill all the inhabitance and spoil their city, Genesis 34. The result was that the sons who led in this deceit were cursed by their father, 49:5-7.
3a. Joseph's brethren deceived their father about Joseph's
fate after they sold him into slavery, Genesis 37:32, 33. They
paid the price for this deceit, 44:17.
There are a couple of questionable uses of deceit, as to whether or not they can be used to develop a Biblical doctrine of deceit, in the book of Joshua. First, Joshua used deceit to take the city of Ai, 8:5, 6. Second, the Gibeonites used deceit for their protection against Israel, and Israel was held to the covenant which they were deceived into making, ch. 10.
As we look at the above passages, it is obvious why Augustine had to say what he did; we either must hold to Augustine's position, or; first, rightly say that deceit is a legitimate means of self-defence against the wicked who are in authority. Second, rightly say that deceit is a legitimate means of offence against the wicked in authority. David used deceit to destroy Israel's enemies just as Joshua did to get into the city of Ai.
The ninth commandment says Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Therefore, when deceit is used to advance personal goals at the expense of another's life, liberty, or property, it has God's wrath against it. When it is used because it is the only means of protection from the wicked who are in authority, and who are determined to destroy the righteous, it has God's blessing upon it. The law is given for man's benefit and protection; it is not given for his destruction.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS
The midwives give us an important point to develop, Exodus 1:15-21.
It is impossible to avoid the fact that the midwives believed God, and their belief resulted in works and words which went contrary to the commands of the king. We are reminded of James testimony, faith without works is dead, 2:26. Every one of the OT saints exhibited this faith by their works: Able, Noah, Abraham, Ruth, Rahab, Daniel, and hundreds more OT saints.
Hebrews chapter 11, is considered the faith chapter of Holy Scriptures. Even thought the midwives are not mentioned, they played a vital role in Israel's history. Let's look at chapter 11 a little and see if there is something upon which to build. Able suffered at the hands of his brother Cain. Noah suffered at the hands of those around him as he built the ark. Joseph suffered at the hands of his brethren. Moses withstood the king of Egypt. Rahab withstood the men of the city. Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jephthae, David, as well as the rest of the list (vs. 33-39), withstood the evil authority of their day.
As we consider the list in Hebrews 11, and the ones who suffered for their faith, the majority suffered at the hands of the civil and/or religious authority over them. That authority saw their faithfulness to the law of the Lord as a threat to their power. Notice the implication here: if one is not willing to suffer at the hands of the authority over them for their faith, they have not the faith of the OT saints of God. The major persecution against the saints of God in both Old and New Testament emanated from those in religious and/or civil authority.
This means that those of our day who are unwilling to stand according to and upon godly principles of the Scriptures, in spite of threats from those in authority, have a faith without works; they have a dead faith. The implications of this tenet for our day are horrendous. Clearly, modern Christianity has a dead faith; a faith which is begging for God's judgment.
Is it any wonder that modernist Bible Scholars work so hard to dismissing or justifying what took place with the midwives before the king of Egypt? They do not want any Biblical principle which requires those who profess to have the faith of Abraham to stand against the evil of those in authority. This is why 80% of the population of the US can claim Christianity while the nation self-destructs for a lack of implemented Christian principles. The salt has lost his savour.