“When I see the blood, I will pass over you.” — Exodus 12:13.
GOD’S PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS SAFE. “All the saints are in his hand;” and the hand of God is a place for safety, as well as a place of honour. Nothing can hurt the man who has made his refuge God. “Thou hast given commandment to save me,” said David; and every believing child of God may say the same. Plague, famine, war, tempest,—all these have received commandment of God to save his people. Though the earth should rock beneath the feet of man, yet the Christian, may stand fast, and though the heavens should be rolled up, and the firmament should pass away like a scroll that is burned by fervent heat, yet need not a Christian fear; God’s people shall be saved: if they cannot be saved under the heavens, they shall be saved in the heavens; if there be no safety for them in the time of trouble upon this solid earth, they shall be “caught up together with the Lord in the air, and so shall they be ever with the Lord,” and ever safe.
Now, at the time of which this Book of Exodus speaks, Egypt was exposed to a terrible peril. Jehovah himself was about to march through the streets of all the cities of Egypt. It was not merely a destroying angel, but Jehovah himself; for thus it is written, “I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast.” No one less than I AM, the great God, had vowed to “cut Rahab” with the sword of vengeance. Tremble, ye inhabitants of the earth, for God has come down among you, provoked, incensed, and at last awakened from his seeming sleep of patience. He has girded on his terrible sword, and he has come to smite you. Quake for fear, all ye that have sin within you, for when God walks through the streets, sword in hand, will he not smite you all? But hark! the voice of covenant mercy speaks, God’s children are safe, even though an angry God be in the streets. As they are safe from the rod of the wicked, so are they safe from the sword of justice—always and ever safe; for there was not a hair of the head of an Israelite that was so much as touched; Jehovah kept them safe beneath his wings. While he did rend his enemies like a lion, yet did he protect his children, every one of them. But, beloved, while this is always true, that God’s people are safe, there is another fact that is equally true, namely, that God’s people are only safe through the blood. The reason why God spares his people in the time of calamity is, because he sees the blood-mark on their brow. What is the basis of that great truth, that all things work together for good to them that love God? What is the cause that all things so produce good to them, but this, that they are bought with the precious blood of Christ? Therefore it is that nothing can hurt them, because the blood is upon them, and every evil thing must pass them by. It was so that night in Egypt. God himself was abroad with his sword; but he spared them, because he saw the blood-mark on the lintel and on the two sideposts. And so it is with us. In the day when God in his fierce anger shall come forth from his dwelling place, to affright the earth with terrors and to condemn the wicked, we shall be secure, if covered with the Saviour’s righteousness, and sprinkled with his blood, we are found in him.
Do I hear some one say, that I am now coming to an old subject? This thought struck me when I was preparing for preaching, that I should have to tell you an old story over again; and just as I was thinking of that, happening to turn over a book, I met with an anecdote of Judson the missionary to Burmah. He had passed through unheard-of hardships, and had performed dangerous exploits for his Master. He returned, after thirty years’ absence, to America. “Announced to address an assembly in a provincial town, and a vast concourse having gathered from great distances to hear him, he rose at the close of the usual service, and, as all eyes were fixed and every year attent, he spoke for about fifteen minutes, with much pathos, of the precious Saviour, of what he had done for us, and of what we owed to him; and he sat down, visibly affected. “The people are very much disappointed,” said a friend to him on their way home; “they wonder you did not talk of something else.” “Why what did they want?” he replied: “I presented, to the best of my ability, the most interesting subject in the world.” “But they wanted something different—a story” “Well, I am sure I gave them a story—the most thrilling one that can be conceived of.” “But they had beard it before. They wanted something new of a man who had just come from the antipodes.” “Then I am glad they have it to say, that a man coming from the antipodes had nothing better to tell than the wondrous story of the dying love of Jesus. My business is to preach the gospel of Christ; and when I can speak at all, I dare not trifle with my commission. When I looked upon those people to-day, and remembering where I should next meet them, how could I stand up and furnish food to vain curiosity—tickle their fancy with amusing stories, however decently strung together on a thread of religion? That is not what Christ meant by preaching the gospel. And then how could I hereafter meet the fearful charge, ‘I gave you one opportunity to tell them of ME; you spent it in describing your own adventures!'” So I thought. Well, if Judson told the old story after he had been thirty years away, and could not find anything better, I will just go back to this old subject, which is always new and always fresh to us—the precious blood of Christ, by which we are saved.