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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

Moses being thus called of God, was first sent to the elders of Israel to make proclamation to them of the good news of deliverance from Egypt, and of national independence in the land promised to their fathers.

Moses was not only called and sent, but he was also equipped for the work; and prepared to prove that he was Jehovah's ambassador to them and Pharaoh.

The Lord knew how incredulous they would reasonably be of the validity of Moses' pretensions to the high office of His plenipotentiary.

They had refused Moses forty years before when he was in favour at the court of Egypt; it was not likely, therefore, that they would accept him as a returned exile.

Hence, something more was wanting than Moses' bare assertion that he was the ambassador of God.

He was, therefore, endued with divine power by the exercise of which his claim to their acceptance might be attested.

His staff could be turned into a serpent; his hand could become leprous as snow by putting it into his bosom; and water of the Nile spilled upon the ground converted into blood.

By these three signs given him to perform as his credentials, he was assured by the Lord they would recognize him.

He was to execute them in their presence "that they might believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, had appeared unto him.

And I will be with try mouth," said God, "and teach thee what thou shalt say".

"I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.

Having received his appointment after this manner, he was commanded to go and introduce himself to the elders of Israel in his new capacity.

He was ordered to say to them, "The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

This, the Lord God, hath appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt; and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, etc. ; into a land flowing with milk and honey.

In obedience to the voice of God, Moses presented himself before the elders of Israel, accompanied by his prophet.

He announced himself as the messenger of God, and laid before them his "memorial unto all generations".

As I have shown on 233, this memorial, which is God's name for ever, reveals the resurrection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the last of whom had then been dead two hundred and eight years.

This was an important announcement, and amounted to this, "I, Moses, am sent to you by the God of your fathers, who are to rise again".

This was a startling declaration for a fugitive from Egyptian vengeance, and a Midianitish shepherd, to make to a whole people.

"I am ‘called and sent' of Him, who is the God of the living, and hath appeared unto me, to inform you that He hath come down to deliver you by my hand from your grievous bondage in this country of the Nile".

This was as astounding a pretension as that of the "ministers" and "clergy" of this time, who also claim to be "called of God as Aaron was," and to be sent with the word of the Lord to the people as His ambassadors!

The important difference, however, in the case is, that God attested the truth of Moses' pretensions, but does not confirm theirs.

Clerical and ministerial ambassadorship rests upon their own word, and is predicated upon a feeling which no one can perceive but themselves.