By Henry Law
The greatness and the glory of God are shown in His dealings with Israel. Let us joyfully remember that this God is our God forever and ever.
1-2. "When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was His sanctuary, and Israel His dominion."
Grievous was Israel's slavery in the land of Egypt. They were oppressed by tyrants, aliens in blood and speech. Their history should remind us that when we were lost by sin God sent redemption through His beloved Son, and called us into the kingdom of liberty and grace. Israel thus delivered was raised to be a peculiar people. They were consecrated to the service of the Lord. They had His sanctuary and His laws, His temple and His ordinances. The priestly office solemnized its rites, and God was acknowledged as their King. So, also, we are no more our own. We are ransomed, that we may delight in His ordinances and serve Him as our rightful Lord.
3-4. "The sea saw it, and fled; Jordan was driven back. The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs."
When the set time of deliverance comes, no obstacles can check. The waters of the Red Sea seem to forbid escape from Egypt. The waters of Jordan seem to forbid entrance into Canaan. But at God's word they parted, and there was a dry passage for the hosts. Thus departure from perils was effected; thus entrance into the promised land was gained. Let faith take courage. The same power still works. The chosen seed shall depart in triumph from the captivity of Satan, and in triumph enter their eternal home. In Israel's march, also, astounding prodigies were shown. The strongest mountains trembled at God's presence and the gaping earth obeyed His mandates. Mighty powers are arrayed in opposition to God's people; but when the Lord speaks, trembling and quaking shake their might. "Who are you, O great mountain; before Zerubbabel, you shall become a plain."
5-8. "What ailed you, O sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you were driven back? mountains, that you skipped like rams; and little hills, like lambs? Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob; who turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters."
These marvelous interpositions were the direct acts of God. No natural causes produced these prodigies. This truth is enforced by lively questions addressed to inanimate objects. The presence of the Lord effected all. We next are reminded that providential care supplied their needs in the wilderness; the flinty rock melted, and streams in abundance flowed. These emblems teach that God's people shall have every need relieved. "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them; I the God of Jacob will not forsake them." O Lord, be it unto us according to Your gracious word! Supply all our need, according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus!