When Israel was a child - In the infancy of his political existence.
I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt - Where he was greatly oppressed; and in this I gave the proof of my love. I preserved my people in their affliction there, and brought them safely out of it.
When Israel was a child, then I loved him - God loved Israel, as He Himself formed it, ere it corrupted itself. He loved it for the sake of the fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as he saith, “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” Malachi 1:2. Then, when it was weak, helpless, oppressed by the Egyptians, afflicted, destitute, God loved him, cared for him, delivered him from oppression, and called him out of Egypt.: “When did He love Israel? When, by His guidance, Israel regained freedom, his enemies were destroyed, he was fed with “food from heaven,” he heard the voice of God, and received the law from Him. He was unformed in Egypt; then he was informed by the rules of the law, so as to be matured there. He was a child in that vast waste. For he was nourished, not by solid food, but by milk, i. e., by the rudiments of piety and righteousness, that he might gradually attain the strength of a man. So that law was a schoolmaster, to retain Israel as a child, by the discipline of a child, until the time should come when all, who despised not the heavenly gifts, should receive the Spirit of adoption. The prophet then, in order to show the exceeding guilt of Israel, says, “When Israel was a child,” (in the wilderness, for then he was born when he bound himself to conform to the divine law, and was not yet matured) “I loved him,” i. e., I gave him the law, priesthood, judgments, precepts, instructions; I loaded him with most ample benefits; I preferred him to all nations, expending on him, as on My chief heritage and special possession, much watchful care and pains.”
I called My son out of Egypt - As He said to Pharaoh, “Israel is My son, even My firstborn; let My son go, that he may serve Me” Exodus 4:22-23. God chose him out of all nations, to be His special people. Yet also God chose him, not for himself, but because He willed that Christ, His only Son, should “after the flesh” be born of him, and for, and in, the Son, God called His people, “My son.”: “The people of Israel was called a son, as regards the elect, yet only for the sake of Him, the only begotten Son, begotten, not adopted, who, “after the flesh,” was to be born of that people, that, through His Passion, He might bring many sons to glory, disdaining not to have them as brethren and co-heirs. For, had He not come, who was to come, the Well Beloved Son of God, Israel too could never, anymore than the other nations, have been called the son of so great a Father, as the Apostle, himself of that people, saith, “For we were, by nature, children of wrath, even as others” Ephesians 2:3.
Since, however, these words relate to literal Israel, the people whom God brought out by Moses, how were they fulfilled in the infant Jesus, when He was brought back out of Egypt, as Matthew teaches us, they were?” Matthew 2:15.
Because Israel himself was a type of Christ, and for the sake of Him who was to be born of the seed of Israel, did God call Israel, “My son;” for His sake only did he deliver him. The two deliverances, of the whole Jewish people, and of Christ the Head, occupied the same position in God‘s dispensations. He rescued Israel, whom He called His son, in its childish and infantine condition, at the very commencement of its being, as a people. His true Son by Nature, Christ our Lord, He brought up in His Infancy, when He began to show forth His mercies to us in Him. Both had, by His appointment, taken refuge in Egypt; both were, by His miraculous call to Moses in the bush, to Joseph in the dream, recalled from it. Matthew apparently quotes these words, not to prove anything, but in order to point out the relation of God‘s former dealings with the latter, the beginning and the close, what relates to the body, and what relates to the Head. He tells us that the former deliverance had its completion in Christ, that in His deliverance was the full solid completion of that of Israel; and that then indeed it might, in its completest fullness, be said, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”
When Israel was brought out of Egypt, the figure took place; when Christ was called, the reality was fulfilled. The act itself, on the part of God, was prophetic. When He delivered Israel, and called him His firstborn, He willed, in the course of time, to bring up from Egypt His Only-Begotten Son. The words are prophetic, because the event which they speak of, was prophetic. “They speak of Israel as one collective body, and, as it were, one person, called by God “My son,” namely, by adoption, still in the years of innocency, and beloved by God, called of God out of Egypt by Moses, as Jesus, His true Son, was by the Angel.” The following verses are not prophetic, because in them the prophet no longer speaks of Israel as one, but as composed of the many sinful individuals in it. Israel was a prophetic people, in regard to this dispensation of God toward him; not in regard to his rebellions and sins.
Tenderly had the Lord dealt with Israel in their deliverance from Egyptian bondage and in their journey to the Promised Land. “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9. PK 312.1
“My presence shall go with thee,” was the promise given during the journey through the wilderness. Exodus 33:14. This assurance was accompanied by a marvelous revelation of Jehovah's character, which enabled Moses to proclaim to all Israel the goodness of God, and to instruct them fully concerning the attributes of their invisible King. “The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” Exodus 34:6, 7. PK 312.2
It was upon his knowledge of the long-sufferance of Jehovah and of His infinite love and mercy, that Moses based his wonderful plea for the life of Israel when, on the borders of the Promised Land, they refused to advance in obedience to the command of God. At the height of their rebellion the Lord had declared, “I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them;” and He had proposed to make of the descendants of Moses “a greater nation and mightier than they.” Numbers 14:12. But the prophet pleaded the marvelous providences and promises of God in behalf of the chosen nation. And then, as the strongest of all pleas, he urged the love of God for fallen man. See verses 17-19. PK 312.3Read in context »
I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live:
I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.
Let my meditation be sweet unto Him:
I will rejoice in Jehovah.” 8T 275.1
Psalm 104:1-34, A. R. V. 8T 275
“Thou that art the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of them that are afar off upon the sea:
Who by His strength setteth fast the mountains,
Being girded about with might:
Who stilleth the roaring of the seas, ...
And the tumult of the peoples....
Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice....
Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness;
And Thy paths drop fatness.” 8T 275.2