God Is Love

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 4
If we read Exodus 2:23, 3:1-10, we see the condition of the people in cruel bondage and slavery, an exact picture of our condition under the cruel bondage of sin and Satan. Their cries and groans came up unto God. Do you remember the time when it was thus with you? Think of the slave that can by no means escape from bondage. Such is the condition by nature of every man, whether he knows it or not. And note, the source of their deliverance was not in themselves. The source of our salvation is the love of God. God is love. He came down to deliver. He sent Moses to deliver. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)). Yes, God sent Moses—God sent His Son. God is love. They believed Moses. “Then they bowed their heads and worshipped” (Ex. 4:3131And the people believed: and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped. (Exodus 4:31)). This, then, is the first mark of a quickened soul. Have you believed the love of God in sending His Son? This bows your head, and you worship.
It is the earnest desire to be gone, to escape from the slavery of Satan and sin. Did they escape through believing the love of God alone? No. Have you? No. Their case became worse as to experience. So has yours. So did mine. They were now put on the principle of more work — to make bricks without straw. They could not, and were beaten because they did not. And you, were you not put under the law of God? They had no straw, and you had no strength. And you found that word true, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:1010For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (Galatians 3:10)). And you had no strength to do them. Paul describes all this in Romans 7:14-2414For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:14‑24). Poor, wretched Israel! Moses said, “Neither hast thou delivered Thy people at all” (Ex. 5:22-2322And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all. (Exodus 5:22‑23)). And you have believed the love of God, and tried to keep the law of God, but are you delivered from sin? What do you say? “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me?” (Rom. 7:2424O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:24)). The next or third thing we find in this picture is the promises of God. (Read Ex. 6:1-91Then the Lord said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: 3And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the Lord. 9And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:1‑9).) Do read them. Could God give more precious promises? No. Did the promises deliver? Not in the least; “They hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and cruel bondage” (Ex. 6:99And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. (Exodus 6:9)), and you have tried to lay hold of the promises. Have they delivered you? No. You say, They do not comfort me. Why? I am such a sinner, such a slave. And this makes you unspeakably miserable.
Now the fourth thing in this picture is the wondrous kindness of God in His providential care of Israel during the plagues of Egypt. From Exodus 7-9 we have the most tender care in sparing His people. But they were all still in cruel slavery.
What is to be done? We too have believed the love of God; we have tried to keep the law of God; we have tried to lay hold of the promises, and to trust the providence of God; and yet no real deliverance from sin — from the cruel slavery of doing what we hate. We are at our wit’s end — we have come to the end. We do not know what to do. Thank God, we have got to the end of ourselves; we can do no more.
All now is of God, we will see what He has done. What do we get in this picture? A lamb. Every man’s need is met by a lamb. The lamb must now be put forth; the lamb must be killed; blood must be sprinkled; the lamb must be eaten; God must see the blood. God says, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Ex. 12:1313And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:13)). Oh, how little redemption is understood. Such is sin in God’s sight, He must send His Son, the Lamb of God. He must be killed, His blood must be shed. And it is what God sees in that blood, it is God’s estimate of that blood, which shelters from judgment. We must have redemption through that blood. There is no other means of pardon and eternal salvation.
Now many reach this point who never go beyond, and are utter strangers to all the teaching of Shiloh. Yea, they are not even delivered from Egypt; they have not yet understood the Red Sea. Until Israel had passed through the waters of the Red Sea, they were sorely troubled about Pharaoh and the host of the Egyptians behind them (Ex. 14). It is so with you, if you have only been brought so far on as being sheltered by the blood. Often you are sorely troubled about past sins, especially sins since you believed the love of God. Does not Satan bring them after you like the armies of Egypt?
A Christian can never really sing in his heart until he knows he is brought out of his old state through death — death written upon him and all his past. Ah, then the Egyptians are all dead on the shore. It is a wonderful thing to reckon ourselves dead with Christ.
We learn what we are brought out of at the Red Sea. We get the picture of what we are brought into when we have crossed the Jordan. Now between these lies the wilderness with all its lessons and experiences. But in the wilderness there is not a word about Shiloh. Let it be borne in mind, none can enter into the lessons of Shiloh but those who have not only been brought out of the old creation, typified by Egypt, but also brought into the new creation, into the heavens, as typified by the passage of the Jordan.
It is most needed to learn the lessons of God’s provision for us in the wilderness, by the offerings, etc., of Leviticus . How every failure has been met by the one offering of Christ; yea, how all the claims of divine righteousness have been met to the glory of God. He who came to do the will of God could say, “I have glorified Thee” (John 17:44I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:4)). If we now read carefully Deuteronomy 12, beginning at Deuteronomy 11:3131For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. (Deuteronomy 11:31), we shall see the immense change that would take place, when they had crossed the Jordan, and were in actual possession of the land, and had rest in all that God had given them. All idolatry was to be destroyed. Then God would choose out a place. “But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come” (Deut. 12:55But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come: (Deuteronomy 12:5)). To that place they were to bring all their offerings. There they were to worship and eat, and rejoice before the Lord. All this is solemnly repeated. They were not to do there as they had done in the wilderness, “every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes, for ye are not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you. But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the Lord your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety: then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there,” etc. (Deut. 8-11). What is the antitype or answer to all this? Can you say, It is true of me; after all my struggles in Egyptian bondage to sin and Satan, God brought me out by the blood of the Lamb? Through Pharaoh’s overthrow I see now he that had the power of death is destroyed. Can you say, I am dead with Christ? Can you say, God has secured His own glory, and provided for all my needs, by the offering of Christ? Can you say, As to my conscience, the whole question of my sins is settled for eternity: I have eternal redemption; He hath by His one offering perfected me forever, in unchanging continuance?
And much more. Now take the epistles. Look at Ephesians 1. Look at the heavenly land, so to speak; our God and our Father hath given us. Here you see the believer clean over Jordan that is, brought into the land God hath given him in Christ, in the heavenlies — out of Egypt, as you may read in Colossians 1:12-1412Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Colossians 1:12‑14), but into the heavenlies in Christ, in Ephesians. In the one case really across Jordan; dead with Christ, and risen with Him (Col. 2; 3). In Ephesians, right up in the heavenlies in the Beloved. In the same favor in the Beloved. Can you say, All this is true of me? Is God so good to you? In His free grace has He given you all this to enjoy in His own love in Christ? Oh, have you taken possession? Have you rest in the unbounded love of God, as thus revealed? Note, until this is the case, you will be like Israel before they crossed the Jordan: as to all church matters, you will do what seemeth good in your own eyes. You look abroad, and you see many places that men have built, and placed their names, and you will choose for yourself, and not knowing the Lord’s mind, you will do what you think best, in what is called liberty of conscience. We will now pass on to Shiloh (Josh. 18:1-101And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them. 2And there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes, which had not yet received their inheritance. 3And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you? 4Give out from among you three men for each tribe: and I will send them, and they shall rise, and go through the land, and describe it according to the inheritance of them; and they shall come again to me. 5And they shall divide it into seven parts: Judah shall abide in their coast on the south, and the house of Joseph shall abide in their coasts on the north. 6Ye shall therefore describe the land into seven parts, and bring the description hither to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the Lord our God. 7But the Levites have no part among you; for the priesthood of the Lord is their inheritance: and Gad, and Reuben, and half the tribe of Manasseh, have received their inheritance beyond Jordan on the east, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave them. 8And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and walk through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the Lord in Shiloh. 9And the men went and passed through the land, and described it by cities into seven parts in a book, and came again to Joshua to the host at Shiloh. 10And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the Lord: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions. (Joshua 18:1‑10)).