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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: February 10th
“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”
Exodus 13:17 , Exodus 13:18 , Exodus 13:20-22
The Lord is mindful of the infirmities of his people. He meant them to see many wars hereafter, but as yet they were all unused to fighting, and therefore were to be led by a quieter though a longer road. Blessed be God, our troubles shall not be ready for us till we are ready for them.
The pillar was their infallible conductor; it also screened them by day and lit up the camp by night. God’s mercies are many-sided. We can only do one thing well at a time, but the Lord accomplishes many devices at one stroke.
Exodus 14:1-5 , Exodus 14:8-14
This seemed a strange direction, but Moses obeyed it without question. Let us go where the Lord bids us though the way be perilous.
God’s plagues had not changed the King’s rebellious nature. When he saw that he had lost his valuable slaves, his greed made him rush after them.
This unbelief was both unjust and cruel. Had they not seen the Lord’s works in the great plagues? Could they not believe that he who had wrought such marvels could and would deliver them? They were smitten with panic, and were willing to return to bondage; whereas true freemen never debate which of the two to choose, slavery or death.
Exodus 14:13 , Exodus 14:14
This meekest of men answered the people meekly and believingly, for prayer enabled him to conquer his own spirit.
Forward! but whither shall we go?
The desert is on either side,
Behind us the Egyptian foe,
Before, the interposing tide!
Yet while we thy command obey,
Our road impassable pursue,
The ocean yields an open way,
And lets thy ransomed people through.
“The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.”
We read not that Moses had spoken a word; but his heart cried unto the Lord. The Lord bade him no longer hesitate, but cry, “Forward,” and advance through the sea.
The glory of the Lord was their rereward.
Both God’s word and providence have a twofold aspect, they frown on sinners while they smile on saints. Thus God still sets a difference between Israel and Egypt.
Calmly the historian records it, but what a wonder is here! Water erect like solid ice, and a damp sea bed made dry and fit to be a highway for a marching army.
What infatuation! Were they beguiled by the darkness around them or that within them?
One look from Jehovah was enough, one flash from his eye of fire, struck the host with panic.
Even thus “our tyrannous sins are buried and drowned, and though they be sought for they shall not be found.”
So completely was Egypt shattered, that though the Israelites were for forty years close to the Egyptian borders, they were never molested by their former oppressors.
And well they might, but, alas, this good state of mind did not last long.
Awake, awake, thou mighty Arm,
Which has such wonders wrought!
Which captive Israel freed from harm,
And out of Egypt brought.
Art thou not it which Rahab slew?
And crush’d the dragon’s head?
Constrain’d by thee the waves withdrew
From their accustom’d bed.
Again thy wonted prowess show,
Be thou made bare again:
And let thine adversaries know
That they resist in vain.
the First Week of Advent
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