The Youth’s Instructor

April 15, 1897

God's Representatives [Moses]



Now the great controversy was fully entered upon; for months the warfare between the Prince of Life and the prince of darkness was carried on. The same work which Satan began in heaven he carried on upon the earth,—the powers of darkness warring against the mandate of Jehovah, the king of Egypt in controversy with the Monarch of heaven. YI April 15, 1897, par. 1

The great I AM was about to make himself known to the nation, and by his works prove that the gods they worshiped were vanity, and the ministering priests of these idols a lie. The Egyptian nation was to have evidence that God will not be insulted or defied, or permit his law to be trampled upon with impunity by unholy feet The Lord by his power might have swept out of existence the rulers of Egypt who were confirmed in their idolatry; but God's ways are not man's ways. He gave each plague time to do its work and to impress the Egyptians, to let them see that there is a supreme Ruler to whom every created thing must bow. The Lord gave time for his work to be recognized and his power to be felt for the benefit of the Hebrew nation, and also to bring the Egyptians to repentance, and cause them to acknowledge the God whom Satan, through his masterly efforts, was making them forget. YI April 15, 1897, par. 2

Had not a portion of the Egyptians seen the folly of their worship of such gods, had they not repented, the whole nation would have been wiped out of existence. But Egypt had been the asylum for Israel. Here Joseph's piety and Heaven-given wisdom had been discerned, admired, and exalted. Here God had been honored by the treatment of those who were faithful and true to him. And the Lord, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, moved slowly, giving them time, by submission to his will, to save themselves and their property from complete ruin. Many acknowledged the unseen God of Israel as the universal Monarch. Those who did repent, preserved a portion of their substance, their flocks and their herds. The humble and obedient were men of influence, who had been greatly benefited by the life and example of Joseph, and through him had obtained a knowledge of God and his works. YI April 15, 1897, par. 3

The contest between the king of Egypt and the Lord of heaven came to the knowledge of all Egypt; for the works of God covered so much time that none were in ignorance. The Lord gave a respite after every plague, in which abundant opportunity was given for repentance, and for obedience to the command, “Let my people go.” YI April 15, 1897, par. 4

While the stubborn heart of Pharaoh grew less and less impressible, the great men of the nation became alarmed. They could see that this stubborn resistance must end, or only national ruin awaited them. His counselors urged Pharaoh to yield to the demand of God and save Egypt. In their wrath they inquired, “How long shall this man be a snare unto us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?” YI April 15, 1897, par. 5

But it was not until Pharaoh looked upon the dead form of his first-born that he dared no longer to resist God. Then he hastened the Israelites out of his country, both them and their substance. But notwithstanding God had wrought in the controversy by his matchless power, Pharaoh repented of this step, and with his men of war hasted after the fleeing Israelites to bring them back, and, venturing to enter the path that had been provided for the escape of God's people, he and his host perished in the Red Sea. YI April 15, 1897, par. 6

The sin of the Egyptians was that they had refused the light which God had so graciously sent to them through Joseph. While many accepted that light, of many more it could be said, God is not in all their thoughts. And the message sent to testify to them of God's displeasure was, “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.” Christ died for every soul in Egypt, and every soul was to have the light. The righteous were not to be excluded from the wicked, but kept by the power of God from receiving the mold and spot of the transgressor. YI April 15, 1897, par. 7

The Lord could say, I stretch my scepter from east to west, and from north to south; and all is mine. Satan and his host dispute the ownership of Christ; but his seal is upon everything that he has made. How easily he can blot out cities and nations, we shall know not long hence. He could call worlds into existence. He speaks, and thousands of angels stand before him. Moses and Aaron were sustained by his assuring presence, and had a hand been put forth to harm them, the messengers of God, the holy angels, would have protected them, and palsied the power of Satan. YI April 15, 1897, par. 8

Just in proportion to the magnitude of resistance and the obstacles presented to the work of God, the faith of every believer will be honored, and power be imparted to his workers to surmount and overcome them. How could God, in his awful majesty and truth and justice, appear vindicated before his adversaries if Satan and his angels were to prevail in the battle? They think to match themselves against Christ, and say, We prevail, and God durst not exercise his power upon us to punish us. But there will come a time when God's long-suffering forbearance will be exhausted. YI April 15, 1897, par. 9

Then there will be an engagement between the Prince of Light and the prince of darkness, as in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt. A prevailing energy from beneath was at work then. Satan was seeking to hold God's people in bondage to an idolatrous nation, to their rites and customs, and make of none effect the promise of God to Abraham. The armies of heaven surrounded Moses and Aaron, who were active agents in the hands of God, while the Prince of Life carried the burden of the warfare. YI April 15, 1897, par. 10

In rescuing the children of promise from the oppressive power of Satan, Christ was to show that notwithstanding the unchangeable attributes of God, sinners who have insulted God may be taken back to his favor, if they return to their loyalty, and yet his honor be kept without a mar. It would be made manifest that truth and justice are the habitation of his throne, and the law of Jehovah would be magnified. YI April 15, 1897, par. 11

There was not an angel but desired to look into the mystery of man's redemption, through all the difficulties which seemed to surround it. All heaven saw the great and wonderful plan, so large as to compass the whole earth, and so deeply laid that the strength of satanic agencies could not prevail against it. YI April 15, 1897, par. 12

The mind may speculate upon this, and fail to comprehend it; for the great matter to be decided in the conflict was not merely between God and man; every creature that God had created was involved in the conflict. The unfallen worlds saw that the character of God could be vindicated only through this trial and conflict of the two forces. The attributes of God must be made to appear. Of the stability of his government there must be no question. And the Son of God himself proposed to carry forward the work to the end, to gain the victory over the prince of darkness and over all his allies. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.” YI April 15, 1897, par. 13

Mrs. E. G. White