"The L-RD our G-d hath shewed us His glory."—Deuteronomy 5:24
G-D’S great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of G-d be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the L-RD. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for G-d to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of G-d when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the L-RD, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of G-d. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the G-d of tempests; but they who "do business in great waters," these see His "wonders in the deep." Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Adonai, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank G-d, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of G-d’s greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Adonai has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise G-d that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.
"Stand still, and see the salvation of the L-RD."—Exodus 14:13.
THESE words contain G-d’s command to the believer when he is reduced to great straits and brought into extraordinary difficulties. He cannot retreat; he cannot go forward; he is shut up on the right hand and on the left; what is he now to do? The Master’s word to him is, "Stand still." It will be well for him if at such times he listens only to his Master’s word, for other and evil advisers come with their suggestions. Despair whispers, "Lie down and die; give it all up." But G-d would have us put on a cheerful courage, and even in our worst times, rejoice in His love and faithfulness. Cowardice says, "Retreat; go back to the worldling’s way of action; you cannot play the Jew’s part, it is too difficult. Relinquish your principles." But, however much Satan may urge this course upon you, you cannot follow it if you are a child of G-d. His divine fiat has bid thee go from strength to strength, and so thou shalt, and neither death nor hell shall turn thee from thy course. What, if for a while thou art called to stand still, yet this is but to renew thy strength for some greater advance in due time. Precipitancy cries, "do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness." We must be doing something at once—we must do it so we think—instead of looking to the L-RD, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, "If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle." But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears G-d say, "Stand still," and immovable as a rock it stands. "Stand still";—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere G-d shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, "Go forward."