The Berean Expositor
Volume 20 - Page 139 of 195
Index | Zoom
A--This is true, and fits any case. How we chafe because the Lord does not take us by
the short cut! It was "near", but it was not the "right way". Unknown to us there may
lurk in that near way the Philistine who would cause us to repent of our calling and turn
back. This I have seen in my own small measure, and I trust that this reminder may keep
me patient and willing.
B--Yes, we are all too eager for the "near" way, and far too unconcerned that it shall be
the "right way".
There is, however, another important lesson to learn from this record of the
roundabout way. It was not only to save Israel from too early contact with war, but for
their own good also:--
"The Lord thy God led these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to
prove thee, to know what was in thine heart . . . . . that He may make thee know that man
doth not live by bread alone" (Deut. 8: 2, 3).
To humble, to prove, to know! to know what is in our heart! How the leading of the
Lord brings us face to face with the man within! We say, "Lord, we will lay down our
lives for Thy sake", but He knows that we shall take but one more step along the road to
hear the cock crow over our denial. And yet the knowledge is not all sad, for we gain a
knowledge of the Lord and learn that man does not live by bread alone:--
"Thy raiment waxed not old, neither did thy foot swell these forty years."
The Lord may lead us to Elim, with its twelve wells, or into the midst of famine, but if
He does, He can also lead us to a poor widow whose barrel of meal and cruise of oil shall
not fail. Depend upon it, the "roundabout" way is often the "right" way.
A--There is something sobering about all this. Is our general experience in this life to be
that of discipline, privation, self-denial, humbling? It seems a hard pitch to look forward
B--Scripture does not hide the fact that the path is not always easy; in fact a little further
on in Deut. 8: we read not only of a wilderness, but of
"That great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and
drought, where there was no water" (Deut. 8: 15).
But there is compensation, for it is recorded:--
"Who brought forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with
manna" (Deut. 8: 15, 16).
A--Yes, I see the end:--
"To do thee good at thy latter end" (Deut. 8: 16).