"By a prophet."

And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. — Hosea, 12:13.

A CAREFUL reading of the books of the Pentateuch, where-in the history of the children of Israel in their bondage and in their wanderings is chronicled, brings to thought the utter helplessness which would have been the heritage of these unfortunate people had not Moses been saved and reared in their midst. Born into conditions which were waiting to destroy him, rescued through remarkable circumstances and cherished under royal protection, he became to his own suffering people a leader whose God-sustained purpose opened the way for a full deliverance from the literal slavery of their lot. Moses withstood Pharaoh, urged his people on in the way of the guiding pillar of fire and cloud, brought them through the Red Sea, helped them to find bread and water in the wilderness, formulated for them their laws and their commandments, and defined for them their practices and customs. To God alone they must look, upon God alone they must depend, and nothing less than the power of God wrought out their salvation from day to day ; but the law of God must be declared in ways appreciable to their limited human capacity, ere it could become available for the sore need of the nation. Hence the necessity for Moses, and for obedience to his instruction. What the people themselves could not do, in throwing off the yoke of their oppressor, and in making their way to the promised land, one enlightened prophet could do, for and with them. God had been the same God, eternal and unchanging, during all the four hundred and thirty years of the sojourn in Egypt, but the divine law which makes possible victory over evil conditions, was not recognized as operating in behalf of this downtrodden people until a Moses stood forth to define that law and to establish its activity in human affairs.

Moses demanded of the people obedience, right living, and a remembrance of God in their daily doings. In return they were guided, cherished, sustained, and supplied with every right and good thing, according to the measure of their obedience. When Moses' first effort toward their deliverance seemed to tighten the grasp of Pharaoh, the people murmured against their leader; when they were hemmed in against the Red Sea, they declared, "It had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness;" and when hunger and thirst came upon them, their impatience exclaimed again, "Ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger." The golden calf was devised at the time when Moses was seeking higher inspiration for them, and Miriam brought upon herself a sad penalty by questioning Moses' authority and asking, "Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken by us?" Truly, the sorry plight of this rebellious people would have remained unrelieved had it not been that they were led and preserved "by a prophet."

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The True Sense of Love
February 10, 1906

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