God is sovereign! There is no doubt, it is a fact. But God’s sovereignty cannot be turned to support the false doctrines of election to condemnation. All are already condemned. Tonight we continue to look at the argument of Paul for the sovereignty of God through referring back to –
3. Moses. Romans 9:15-18
We look back to the previous verse to introduce this section –
Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
a. Paul referred to God’s dealing with Moses as another explanation of the sovereign dealings of God with His creation. He quoted God’s word to Moses from Exodus 33:19. We need to look to look back to the Book of Exodus to determine the context of understanding of Paul and the readers of this letter –
1). The Commission given to Moses.
Exodus 3:7-10 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.
2). The Command given to Pharaoh.
a). The reasonable request.
Exodus 3:18-19 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
b). The rebellious heart.
Exodus 5:1-2 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Exodus 5:9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.
c). The results of disobedience.
Exodus 6:1 Then 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.
Exodus 7:3-5 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.
Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
3). The Conquest of the Egyptians.
“…saw the great work which the Lord did…”
Exodus 14:30-31 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.
Exodus 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
4). The Constant presence of God among them.
Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
5). The Complaining people.
a). They denied the power of God.
Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
b). They denied the person of God.
Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
6). The Consequences of their sin. “…let me alone…” do not intercede.
Exodus 32:7-10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
7). The Cry of Moses. He interceded!
Exodus 32:31-32 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Reminds of Romans 9:1-4 and the heartfelt cry of Paul.
8). The Conditions for peace set forth.
Exodus 32:33-35 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
a). Personal judgment for rebellion.
Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
b). Presence of God would not be among them.
Exodus 33:3 Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.
9). The Covenant of Moses with God. Exodus 33
a). He separated himself unto God.
Exodus 33:7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
(If God would not dwell amongst the people, neither would Moses)
b). He sought the Lord’s presence.
Exodus 33:13-17 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.
c). He sought the Lord’s Person.
Exodus 33:18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
d). He secured the Lord’s promise.
Exodus 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
God had chosen Israel to be His nation, a people who would testify to the world of the only true God. While the people may have been called citizens of the nation of Israel, this was not a guarantee of their salvation. The relationship with God is personal, each individual having faith in Him. The people could not make a claim on God because they were Israelites. They must believe in Him, trusting Him for all things.
The Jews in Paul’s day were the same as many of the Jews in Moses’ time. They believed God owed them everything they wanted because of who they were, not whose they were! Paul reminded them that just as in Moses’ time, God was not controlled by man, but is Sovereign in His choice. If a man has his faith in God according to God’s will, God is gracious and merciful to that man. It is God’s choice, not man’s.