C.H. Spurgeon

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called My son out of Egypt.” [Hosea 11:1]

Again, “Out of Egypt have I called My son!” [Matt 2:15]

“Out of Egypt have I called My son,” is a text worthy to be made a proverb, for it is true all through the history of the chosen seed. They are called out from amongst the surrounding race of rebels, and when the call comes none can hold them back. It were easier to restrain the sun from rising than to hold the redeemed of the Lord in perpetual servitude.

“The Breaker has gone up before them, and their King at the head of them”: who shall block up their road? God is still calling them out, and until the very last of His elect shall be ingathered it shall still stand true, “Out of Egypt”— and out of anywhere else that is like to Egypt, out of the worst and vilest places, out of the places where they are held fast in bitter bondage, out of these— “have I called My son.”

Note that it was while IN EGYPT, and at the worst time of their bondage in Egypt, that they received the first notification that the nation was to be called the son of God. Israel is not called a son until Moses comes to Pharaoh and says, “Israel is My son, even my firstborn: and I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me!”

God had been with Abraham, and called him His friend, but I do not perceive that He called him His son, or that Abraham addressed the Lord as “Our Father which art in heaven.” Neither do I find similar sweet words flowing from the lips of Isaac or of Jacob; but when Israel was in bondage, THEN it was that the Lord revealed Israel’s adoption, and openly declared, “Israel is My son, even My firstborn!”

Now, brethren, Satan soon knows the man that God has owned to be His son, and he seeks to slay him even as Herod sought to kill Jesus. When the man-child was born, the Dragon knew who that man-child was, and sought to destroy Him, and vomited forth floods to sweep Him away, until we read that the earth helped the woman, and there were given to her wings of a great eagle that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished from the face of the serpent.

No sooner is the child of God really acknowledged to be such, than at once the seed of the serpent will hiss about him, and if they can will cast their venom upon him: at any rate, they will bite at his heel, till God has taught him in the name of Jesus to break the serpent’s head. Rest assured that this is another mark of the election of grace. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution! [2Tim 3:12] In Ishmael’s case it was seen that he that is born after the flesh persecuteth him that is born after the Spirit, and so it is NOW! [Gal 4:29]

You cannot expect to pass through this Vanity Fair without exciting the jeers and sneers of the ungodly; for the Lord’s inheritance is unto Him as a speckled bird: the birds round about her are against her. [Jer 12:9] Every David has his Saul, every Nehemiah his Sanballat, and every Mordecai his Haman.

But now comes the crown of the text, that is, “I have called My son out of Egypt,” and out of Egypt Israel MUST COME! For Egypt was not Israel’s portion: it was “a land that was not theirs.” My brethren, we are not citizens of “the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified”; and the best thing in this present evil world is not your portion nor mine. Friendly Egypt, sheltering Egypt, was not Israel’s inheritance. He gave them no portion even in the land of Goshen by a covenant of salt. They might tarry there for awhile, but out of it they must come, as it is written “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt.” [Ps 80:8]

The best side of the world when it seems warmest and tenderest to us is not the place whereon we may lie down with comfort. The bosom of our God— THAT is the true shelter of His people, and THERE we must find rest. If we are dwelling in the world, and are tempted to be of the world, and to take up with the riches of Egypt, we must by grace be taught to cast all this behind our back, for we have not our portion in this life, neither can we have our inheritance until we enter upon the life that is to come. Jacob said on his death-bed, “Bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt,” and Joseph gave commandment concerning his bones that they should not remain in Pharaoh’s land. Even so the saints of God are weary of the world’s dominions; they tremble like a bird out of Egypt. [Hosea 11:11]

Not in Egypt would God reveal Himself to His people. What saith He? “Come ye out from among them: be ye separate, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters!” [2Cor 6:17,18] When He called Israel His son it is in connection WITH THIS COMING OUT. “Out of Egypt have I called My son.” And you and I must be fetched out from the world and all its associations, and truly severed from it, if we are ever to come to know the Lord our God. In Egypt God was not known, but “in JUDAH is God known: His name is great in Israel.” [Ps 76:1] His people must not permanently reside in a strange country. The land of tombs was no fit home for a living people whose God was the living God: therefore it is written, “Out of Egypt have I called My son”; and the heathen knew it, for they said one to another, “Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt.” [Num 23:11]

The spiritual meaning of all this is, that from under the power of Sin, Satan, and of the world God WILL certainly call His own redeemed. They shall not abide in the land of Egypt; sin shall not be pleasant to them; they shall not continue under Satan’s power, but they shall break his yoke from off their neck. The Lord will help them, and strengthen them, so that they shall clean escape from their former slavery.

With a high hand and an outstretched arm brought He up Israel out of the land of Egypt, and with that same high hand and outstretched arm will He save His own elect, whom He has loved from before the foundations of the world, and whom He has purchased with His most precious blood. They, too, shall sing as Israel did, “Sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously!,” in the day when God shall deliver them.

Praise ye the LORD!

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