In our text for this morning, the giving of the covenant concludes with an epilogue. As the Lord gives the Law, the Lord has again and again stressed obedience. But this passage is also about what God will do for his covenant people. In this epilogue to the covenant, we see what God will do for Israel if they keep covenant. That stipulation is important.
Just as the first plague set the tone for the first three plagues, the fourth plague gives the theme of the second set of plagues. Back in 7:17, God said, By this you shall know that I am Yahweh. Now, in the 4th plague, But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, … that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. When Egypt is affected and Goshen isn’t, God will show convincingly that he, Yahweh, Israel’s God, is the one in the midst of the land of Egypt, performing these wonders of judgment. Thereby the 4th – 6thplagues take God’s purpose in the first three plagues and amplify it. Still, the foundational purpose of the plagues is that men know that Yahweh is God. Since he is God, we ought to love and obey him. Let’s look more closely at these plagues and see how God glorifies himself in them.
Last week we saw how the plagues are for the glory of God. The purpose of the first set of plagues is grounded in the purpose of the first, the turning of the Nile to blood. The Lord’s purpose in this plague is plain: by this you shall know that I am the LORD. In the first three plagues, God shows Pharaoh and the Egyptians that he, the God of the Hebrews, is truly God. As the plagues develop, he’ll amplify this message. Any man who takes up his Scripture and reads the Exodus account of the plagues ought to confess that Yahweh is God. There are several ways God glorifies himself in our passage.
The LORD has sovereign power and authority over all things. Yahweh is in control over everything that happens in the book of Exodus. That is because the Lord is over everything that happens, period. This passage is not only about what is about to happen, it is also about a Sovereign God who foretells what will certainly happen because he decreed those events. In light of this truth, the point of this morning’s message is we should trust our sovereign God who does whatever he decrees. Why should we trust God?
Through Moses’s pilgrim wanderings, we see the reality that God is sovereign over the lives of his servants. We are not Moses, and none of us have his calling. Yet, in our own lives, as people who are chosen by God to be his own special possession, as the elect of God, we must trust the wise providence of our invisible God, even when God’s providence leads us to places and circumstances that to us are unexpected and confusing. How can we do this? Moses gives us three examples in our passage to us of how we ought to trust the wise providence of our invisible God.