The Articles of Ellen Gould Harmon White as printed in the Signs of the Times.
May 6, 1880 Giving of the Law
Filed under: EG White Articles

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By Mrs. E. G. White.
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On the morning of the all the children of Israel obeyed the through and drew near the mount with fear and solemnity. Awful and grand was the place of , and elevated the pulpit from which he was about to deliver his memorable . The of the did not originate at ; but by a long, degrading servitude in they had become confused in the minds of all . The Lord had now brought them out into this place, grand with solitude, that he might more clearly impress upon their minds the nature of his requirements by speaking his law with an audible voice.

They were here to receive the most wonderful revelation ever made by God to man. The cloud which rested upon the mount, enveloping the Father and the Son and the retinue of holy angels, become more black and dense. Soon from its thick darkness came vivid flashes of lightning, followed by deep, hoarse peals of thunder which echoed and re-echoed among the mountains, causing the most careless to tremble. Then followed a period of solemn painful silence. The flashes of light sent forth from the cloud revealing the solemn scenery with wonderful brilliancy, left the cloud denser and more fearfully dark in contrast with the bright shining of his power. The mountain shook to its very foundation beneath the tread of the Divine Majesty.

Moses was then called up, and charged once more to go down and see that the bounds were in order, and the sanctity of the mountain observed, after which he and Aaron were to go upward toward the summit. Then the Lord in awful grandeur, speaks his law from Sinai, that the people may believe. He accompanies the giving of his law with sublime exhibitions of his authority, that they may know that he is the only true and living God. Moses was not permitted to enter within the cloud of glory, but only to draw nigh, and enter the thick darkness which surrounded it, thus standing between the people and the Lord.

After God had given them such evidences of his power, he tells them who he is: “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The same God who exalted his power among the Egyptians, now speaks his law:– 
     “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. 
     “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.  

     “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
     “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made Heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
     “Honor they father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

     “Thou shalt not kill.
     “Thou shalt not commit adultery. 
     “Thou shalt not steal.

     “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

     “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” 

The first and second commandments spoken by Jehovah are precepts against idolatry. This sin if practiced, would lead men to great lengths in rebellion, and would result in the offering of human sacrifices. God would guard against the least approach to such abominations. The first four commandments were given to show men their duty to God; the last six, to show the duty of man to his fellow-man.

The fourth commandment is the connecting link between the great God and man. All who should observe the Sabbath would signify by such observance that they were worshipers of the living God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Thus the Sabbath was to be a sign between God and his people as long as he should have a people upon the earth to serve him.

When the congregation of Israel beheld the terrific manifestations of God’s presence at Sinai, they shrank away from the mountain in fear and awe. They felt indeed that God was there. When Moses and Aaron descended, they were greeted by the multitude with the cry, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” The leader answered, “Fear not; for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” The people, however, remained at a distance, gazing in terror upon the stupendous scene, while Moses again “drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”

Again the Lord seeks to guard his people against idolatry by commanding Moses to say unto them, “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” They were in danger of imitating the example of the Egyptians, and making to themselves images to represent God. The Lord then continued to lay down certain rules which should govern them and the blessings which would be theirs if they obeyed. These are his words: “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries; for mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off.” The angel who went before Israel was the Lord Jesus Christ. “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

God would have his people understand that he alone should be the object of their worship; and when they should overcome the idolatrous nations around them, they should not preserve any of the images of their worship, but utterly destroy them. Many of these heathen deities were very costly, and of beautiful workmanship, which might tempt those who had witnessed idol worship, so common in Egypt, to regard these senseless objects with some degree of reverence. The Lord would have his people know that it was because of the idolatry of these nations, which had led them to every degree of wickedness, that he would use the Israelites as his instruments to punish them, and destroy their gods.

“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, and Canaanite, and Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me; for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

After Moses had received the judgments and also the promises from the Lord, and had written them for the people, he “came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” Moses then wrote their solemn pledge in a book, and offered sacrifices unto God for the people. “And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people; and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.” Thus the people ratified their solemn pledge to the Lord to do all that he had said, and to be obedient.

Jenny @ 4:57 am
March 11, 1880 The Plagues on Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The Lord directed to go again to the , and repeat the promise of deliverance, with a fresh assurance of . Moses went as he was commanded; but the people were in no mood to receive him; their hearts were full of bitterness, the lash was still sounding in their ears, the cry of anguish and distress drowned all other sounds, and they would not listen. Moses bowed his head in and , and again was heard by him.–”Go in, speak unto , king of , that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.” The discouraged man replied, If the children of Israel, thine own circumcised people, will not hearken unto me, how then shall Pharaoh, who is uncircumcised and an idolater, hear me? Moses’ heart seemed utterly crushed. Yet still he was kept to duty. He was told now to take Aaron with him, and directed, “Thou shalt speak all that I command thee;” told to go before Pharaoh and again request “that he send the children of Israel out of his land.” He was informed that the monarch would not give his consent until God should lay his hand in judgment upon Egypt and bring Israel out by his almighty power. Every punishment which the king rejected would render the next chastisement more close and severe, until his proud heart should be humbled, and he should acknowledge the Maker of the heavens and the earth as the living and all-powerful God. The Lord would bring up his people from their long servitude in a signal manner, giving the Egyptians an opportunity to exhibit the feeble wisdom of their mighty men, and array the power of their gods in opposition to the God of Heaven. He would show them by his servant Moses that the Maker of the heavens and the earth is the living and all-powerful God, above all gods; that his strength is mightier than the strongest,–that Omnipotence could bring forth his people with a high hand and with an outstretched arm. He would punish the Egyptians for their idolatry, and for their proud boasting of the mercies bestowed upon them by their senseless gods. God would glorify his own name, that other nations might hear of his power and tremble at his mighty acts, and that his people might be led to fully turn from their idolatry to render to him pure worship. 

Obedient to the command of God, Moses and Aaron again entered the lordly halls of the king of Egypt. There, surrounded by the massive and richly sculptured columns, and the gorgeousness of rich hangings and adornments of silver and gold, and gems, before the monarch of the most powerful kingdom then in existence, stood these two men of the despised race, one with a rod in his hand, come once more to deliver their request that he would let their people go.

The king demanded a miracle. Moses and Aaron had been previously directed of God how to act in case such a demand should be made, and Aaron now took the rod and cast it down before the king. It became a serpent. The monarch sent for his “wise men, and the sorcerers,” who at his command, “cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” The only effect on the king was to make him more settled and firm in his purpose than before.

The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents, but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, made them appear like serpents, to counterfeit the work of God. Satan assisted his servants, in order to deceive the people, and encourage them in their rebellion. Pharaoh would grasp at the least evidence he could obtain to justify himself in resisting the work of God performed by Moses and Aaron. He told these servants of God that his magicians could do all these wonders. The difference between the work of God and that of the magicians was, one was of God, the other of Satan. One was true, the other false.

Moses and his brother were next directed to meet the king as he visited the river in the morning, and standing upon its bank they were again to repeat their message to him, and as proof that God had indeed sent them, they were to stretch out the rod over the waters in all directions, thus changing them into blood. It was done, and the river ran blood, and all the water in their houses was changed to blood, the fish died, and the water became offensive to the smell. But “the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments,” changing in the same way the water drawn from wells. Still the king hardened his heart, and refused to yield. For seven days the plague continued, the inhabitants being obliged to dig wells to supply themselves with water. 

Another effort at moving the king was now made. The rod was again stretched out over the waters, and frogs came up from the river and spread over the country,–into the houses, and bed-chambers, and ovens, and kneading-troughs. The magicians with their enchantments appeared to bring up similar animals. The general nuisance soon became so intolerable that the king was earnest to have it removed. But although the magicians had succeeded in producing frogs, they could not remove them. When Pharaoh saw this he was somewhat humbled, and desired Moses and Aaron to entreat the Lord for him, that the plague might be stayed. They reminded the haughty king of his former boasting, and asked where was now the vaunted power of his magicians; then they requested him to appoint a time for their prayers, and at the hour specified the living cause was removed, though the effect remained; for the frogs, perishing, polluted the atmosphere.

The work of the magicians had led Pharaoh to believe that these miracles were performed by magic; but he had abundant evidence that this was not the case when the plague of frogs was removed. The Lord could have caused them to disappear and return to dust in a moment; but he did not do this, lest, after they should be removed, the king and the Egyptians should say that it was the result of magic, like the work of the magicians. The frogs died, and were then gathered together in heaps. Here the king and all Egypt had evidence which their vain philosophy could not dispose of, that this work was not accomplished by magic, but was a judgment from the God of Heaven.

When the king was relieved of his immediate distress, he again stubbornly refused to let Israel go. Aaron, at the command of God stretched out his hand and caused the dust of the earth to become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh called upon the magicians to do the same with their enchantments, but they could not. The work of God was thus shown to be superior to the power of Satan. The magicians themselves acknowledged that their imitative power was at an end, saying, “This is the finger of God.” But the king was still unmoved.

Still another trial was made, after another appeal to “let the people go.” Flies filled the houses and swarmed upon the ground, so that “the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.” These were not such flies as harmlessly annoy us at some seasons of the year; but they were large and venomous. Their sting was very painful to man and beast. It had been previously stated that the land of Goshen would be exempt from this visitation, which was accordingly found to be true.

Pharaoh now sent for the two brothers, and told them that he would allow the Israelites to offer sacrifices in Egypt itself; but this offer was refused. Certain animals were regarded as objects of worship by the Egyptians, and such was the reverence in which these creatures were held that to slay one, even accidentally, was a crime punishable with death. Moses assured the king that it was impossible for them to sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt; for they might select for their offering some one of the animals which the Egyptians considered sacred.

Moses again proposed to go three days’ journey into the wilderness. The king consented and begged the servants of God to entreat that the plague might be removed. They promised to do this, but cautioned him against dealing deceitfully with them. The plague ceased at their prayer. But the king’s heart had become hardened by his persistent rebellion, and he still refused to let the people go.

Jenny @ 8:17 pm
March 4, 1880 Return of Moses to Egypt
Filed under: EG White Articles

By Mrs. E. G. White.
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, being instructed by , went forth to meet his brother, from whom he had been separated for many years; and they met, amid the desert solitudes, in the . Here they communed together, and told Aaron “all the who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.” Together they journeyed over the wastes, toward ; and having reached the land of , they proceeded to assemble together the elders of Israel. Aaron, the eloquent spokesman, communicated to them all the dealings of God with Moses, and then they gave the signs before the people. “The people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

The next work of the two brothers was to communicate with the king himself. They entered the great palace of the Pharaoh’s as commissioners from Jehovah; they felt that God was with them there, and they spoke with authority: “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.”

“Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go?” demanded the monarch; “I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” They answered,

“The God of the Hebrews hath met with us; let us go, we pray thee, three days’ journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God, lest he fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

The king had heard of them before, and of the excitement among the people. He became very angry. “Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let [hinder] the people from their works? Get you unto your burdens.” Then he added, as a thought of the loss occasioned by this interruption in their work passed through his mind. “Behold, the people of the land are many, and ye make them to rest from their burdens.”

The same day the king issued orders to all the officers superintending the work of the Israelites, to do that which made their slavery doubly severe and cruel. The buildings of that country were and still are made of sun-dried bricks, with cut straw intermixed to hold the earth together, even their finest edifices being so constructed, and then faced with stone. The king now commanded that no more straw should be issued to the workmen; but the same amount of brick was rigidly required.

This order produced great distress among the Israelites throughout the land. The Egyptian taskmasters had appointed Hebrew officers to oversee the work of the people, and these officers were responsible for the labor performed by those under their charge. When the unfeeling requirement of the king was put in force, the people scattered themselves throughout the land, to gather stubble instead of straw; but they found it impossible to accomplish the usual amount of labor. For this failure, the Hebrew officers, as well as the people, were cruelly beaten.

These officers supposed that their oppression came from their taskmasters, and not from the king himself; therefore they went to him with an account of their grievances, and the unjust treatment which they had received. Their remonstrance was met by Pharaoh with a taunting charge of idleness, to indulge which, he said, they were desirous of going into the wilderness for the purpose of sacrificing. They were ordered back to their work, which was to be in no wise diminished, but to be everywhere exacted. As they were returning, they met Moses and Aaron, and cried out to them: “The Lord look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.”

As the Hebrew elders thus reproached Moses, he was greatly distressed. The sufferings of the people had been much increased. All over the country a cry of anguish went up from men, women, and children; and all united in charging upon Moses this disastrous change in their condition. Alone he went before God, with the bitter cry,

“Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh, to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” The reply to him from Jehovah was,

“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.” And then he was reminded of the covenant which God had made with his forefathers, and assured that it would be faithfully carried into effect.

The Hebrews had expected to be released from bondage without any particular trial of faith, or any suffering on their part. But they were not yet prepared to be delivered. They had but little faith, and were unwilling patiently to suffer their afflictions, until God should work for them a glorious deliverance.

Many years had the children of Israel been in servitude to the Egyptians. Only a few families went down into Egypt, but they had become a great multitude. And being surrounded with idolatry, many had lost the knowledge of the true God, and had forgotten his law. Yet there were some among them who still worshiped the living God, the Maker of the heavens and the earth. They were grieved to see their children daily witnessing, and even engaging in, the abominations of the idolatrous people around them, and bowing to Egyptian deities, made of wood and stone, and offering sacrifice to these senseless objects. In their distress, the faithful cried unto the Lord for deliverance from the Egyptian yoke; that he would bring them out of Egypt, where they might be free from idolatry, and the corrupting influences which surrounded them.

They did not conceal their faith, but openly acknowledged before the Egyptians that they served the only true and living God. They rehearsed the evidences of his existence and power, from creation down. The Egyptians thus had an opportunity to become acquainted with the faith of the Hebrews, and their God. They tried to subvert the faithful worshipers of the true God by threats, by the promise of reward, and by cruel treatment.

The elders of Israel endeavored to encourage the sinking faith of their brethren, by referring to the promise made to Abraham, and the prophetic words of Joseph before his death, foretelling their deliverance from Egypt. Some would listen and believe. Others looked at their own sad condition, and would not hope. When the Egyptians learned the expectations of the children of Israel, they derided their hopes of deliverance, and spoke scornfully of the power of their God. They pointed them to their own situation, as merely a nation of slaves, and tauntingly said to them, If your God is so just and merciful, and possesses power above the Egyptian gods, why does he not make you a free people? Why not manifest his greatness and power, and exalt you? The Egyptians then called attention to their own people, who worshiped gods of their own choosing, which the Israelites termed false gods. They exultingly said that their gods had prospered them, and had given them food, and raiment, and great riches, and had also given the Israelites into their hands to serve them, and that they had power to oppress them, and destroy their lives, so that they should be no people.

Pharaoh boasted that he would like to see their God deliver them from his hands. These words destroyed the hopes of many of the children of Israel. It appeared to them very much as the king and his counselors had said. They knew that they were treated as slaves, and that they must endure just that degree of oppression which their taskmasters and rulers might choose to inflict upon them. Their male children had been hunted and slain. Their own lives were a burden; and they were believing in, and worshiping, the God of Heaven. Then they contrasted their condition with that of the Egyptians. The latter worshiped the sun, moon, and stars, and also beasts, and even images, the work of their own hands; yet they were prosperous, and wealthy. And some of the Hebrews thought that if the Lord was above all gods, he would not thus leave them as slaves to an idolatrous nation.

The faithful servants of God understood that it was because of their unfaithfulness to him as a people, and their disposition to intermarry with other nations, thus being led into idolatry, that the Lord had suffered them to go into Egypt. And they firmly declared to their brethren that God would soon break their oppressive yoke.

But many of the Hebrews were content to remain in bondage, rather than to go to a new country, and meet the difficulties attending such a journey; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first display of his signs and wonders before Pharaoh. He overruled events to more fully develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king, and also by manifestations of almighty power, to give the Israelites more exalted views of the divine character, that they might be anxious to leave Egypt and choose the service of the true and merciful God. The task of Moses would have been much easier, had not many of the Israelites become so corrupted that they were unwilling to leave Egypt.

Jenny @ 8:01 pm
February 5, 1880 The Great Controversy, Between Christ and His Angels and Satan and His Angels
Filed under: EG White Articles

Chapter Sixteen-Concluded.
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                              By Mrs. E. G. White.
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The sons of returned to their father with the joyful tidings, “Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt.” At first the old man was overwhelmed; he could not believe what he heard, yet their words brought a faintness to his heart. But when he saw the carriages and the long line of loaded animals, and when was at his side once more, he felt reassured, and, in the , exclaimed. “It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive. I will go and see him before I die.” The brothers then made their humiliating confession to their father, and entreated his forgiveness, for their treatment of Joseph. Jacob had not suspected them of such cruelty, but he saw that God had overruled it all for good, and he forgave and blessed his erring children.

Jacob and his sons, with their families and numerous attendants, were soon on their way to Egypt. With gladness of heart they pursued their journey, and when they came to Beersheba the aged patriarch offered grateful sacrifices, and entreated the Lord to grant them an assurance that he would go with them. In a vision of the night the divine words came to Jacob: “Fear not to go down into Egypt, for I will there make of thee a great nation. I will go down with thee into Egypt, and I will also surely bring thee up again; and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.”

The meeting of Joseph and his father was very affective. Joseph left his chariot, and ran to meet his father on foot, and embraced him, and they wept over each other. “And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”

Joseph took five of his brethren to present to Pharaoh, and receive from him a grant of land for their future home. He did not wish them to be exposed to the temptations which must surround them if engaged in the king’s special service, amid the corrupting, idolatrous influences at court; therefore he counseled them, when the king should ask them of their occupation, to tell him frankly that they were shepherds. The monarch, on learning this fact, would not seek to exalt them to some honorable position for Joseph’s sake; for the occupation of a shepherd was regarded in Egypt as degrading. When taken before Pharaoh they followed the wise counsel of their God-fearing brother; and the king gave Joseph permission to settle his father and his brethren in the best part of the land of Egypt. He selected Goshen, a well-watered, fertile country, affording good pasture for their flocks. Here, also, they could worship God, undisturbed by the ceremonies attending the idolatrous service of the Egyptians. The country round about Goshen was inhabited by the Israelites, until with power and mighty signs and wonders, God brought his people out of Egypt.

Not long after their arrival in Egypt, Joseph brought his father also to be presented to Pharaoh. The patriarch was unawed by the pomp of royalty, and the magnificence surrounding him. Amid the sublime scenes of nature he had communed with a mightier monarch; and now, in conscious superiority, he raised his hands and blessed Pharaoh. The king struck by his venerable appearance, inquired, “How old art thou?” Jacob answered, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years. Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” Jacob had seen much trouble and suffered much perplexity. The jealousy of his wives had brought a long train of evils, and the sinful course of some of his children had made the father’s life very bitter. But his last years were more peaceful. His sons had turned from their evil ways, Joseph had been restored to him, and, surrounded by every comfort which the prime minister of Egypt could bestow, and in the society of his children, he passed down gently and calmly toward the grave.

A short time before his death, his children gathered about him to receive his blessing, and to listen to his last words of counsel. As he addressed them for the last time the Spirit of God rested upon him and he laid open before them their past lives, and also uttered prophecies which reached far into the future. Beginning with the eldest, he mentioned his sons by name, presenting before those who had followed a sinful course the light in which God regarded their deeds of violence, and that he would visit them for their sins. Reuben had taken no part in selling Joseph, but previous to that transaction he had grievously sinned. Concerning him, Jacob uttered the following prophecy: “Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power; unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.

He then prophesied in regard to Simeon and Levi, who had practiced deception to the Shechemites, and then, in a most cruel, revengeful manner, destroyed them. These brothers were also the most guilty in the case of Joseph. “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united! for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.”

In regard to Judah, the fathers words of inspiration were more joyful. His prophetic eye looked hundreds of years into the future, to the birth of Christ, and he said, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”

Jacob predicted a cheerful future for most of his sons. Especially for Joseph he uttered words of eloquence of a happy character: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. (From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel.)” “The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Jacob was an affectionate father. He had no resentful feelings toward his sorrowing children. He had forgiven them. He loved them to the last. But God, by the spirit of prophecy, elevated the mind of Jacob above his natural feelings. In his last hours, angels were all around him, and the power of God rested upon him. His paternal feelings would have led him to utter, in his dying testimony, only expressions of love and tenderness. But under the influence of inspiration he uttered truth, although painful.

After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brethren were filled with gloom and distress. They thought that Joseph had concealed his resentment, out of respect for their father; and now that he was dead, he would be revenged for the ill treatment he had suffered at their hands. They dared not appear before him, but sent a messenger, “Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil; and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father.” This message affected Joseph to tears, and, encouraged by this, his brethren came and fell down before him, with the words, “Behold, we be thy servants.” He met them with the comforting and assuring reply, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not; I will nourish you, and your little ones. Joseph loved his brethren, and he could not bear the thought that they regarded him as harboring a spirit of revenge toward them.

The life of Joseph illustrates the life of Christ, Joseph’s brethren purposed to kill him, but were finally content to sell him as a slave, to prevent his becoming greater than themselves. They thought they had placed him where they would be no more troubled with his dreams, and where there would not be a possibility of their fulfillment. But the very course which they pursued, God overruled to bring about that which they designed never should take place–that he should have dominion over them.

The chief priests and elders were jealous of Christ, fearing that he would draw the attention of the people away from themselves. They knew that he was doing greater works than they ever had done, or ever could perform; and they knew that if he was suffered to continue his teachings, he would become higher in authority than they, and might become king of the Jews. They agreed together to prevent this by privately taking him, and hiring witnesses to testify falsely against him, that they might condemn him and put him to death. They would not accept him as their king, but cried out, Crucify him! crucify him! But by murdering the Son of God, they were bringing about the very thing they sought to prevent. Joseph, by being sold by his brethren into Egypt, became a saviour to his father’s family. Yet this fact did not lesson the guilt of his brethren. The crucifixion of Christ by his enemies made him the Redeemer of mankind, the Saviour of the fallen race, and ruler over the whole world. But the crime of his enemies was just as heinous as though God’s providential hand had not controlled events for his own glory and the good of man.

Joseph walked with God. And when he was imprisoned, and suffered because of his innocence, he meekly bore it without murmuring. His self-control, his patience in adversity, and his unwavering fidelity, are left on record for the benefit of all who should afterward live on the earth. When Joseph’s brethren acknowledged their sin before him, he freely forgave them, and showed by his acts of benevolence and love that he harbored no resentful feelings for their former cruel conduct toward him.

The life of Jesus, the Saviour of the world, was a pattern of benevolence, goodness, and holiness. Yet he was despised and insulted, mocked and derided, for no other reason than because his righteous life was a constant rebuke to sin. His enemies would not be satisfied until he was given into their hands, that they might put him to a shameful death. He died for the guilty race; and, while suffering the most cruel torture, meekly forgave his murderers. He rose from the dead, ascended up to his Father, and received all power and authority, and returned to the earth again to impart it to his disciples. He gave gifts unto men. And all who have ever come to him repentant, confessing their sins, he has received into his favor, and freely pardoned. And if they remain true to him, he will exalt them to his throne, and make them his heirs to the inheritance which he has purchased with his own blood.

Jenny @ 6:36 pm