The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knows, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion…
It is a great satisfaction when we feel that there is one Being who knows everything. After some great perplexity, some dark hour, or some mysterious visitation, when there seemed to be no clue to an event, no interpretation arching it, and not a spark of illumination about it, it is a blessed relief, both to mind and soul, when we feel that somebody can understand it, can thoroughly sift it, and will in good time bring out its illuminated side, and reveal the spiritual diamonds so long concealed in darkness, sorrow, and grief. God knows — what? The uses of things — why the world was made, why we were made, the meaning of the events that greet us, what lessons they convey, what benedictions they unfold, what promises they hold out, and how much culture we shall gain by them. Can anything be more cheering than this fact, and is there anything strange about it? Strange that the Maker should be familiar with what He has made, wonderful that the Architect should understand all about His building, peculiar that the Creator of the world should comprehend what He has produced? How is it in everyday affairs? Would it not be wonderful if Mozart and Beethoven did not understand their own music, stood apart from it as strangers, and were unable to comprehend the science of its melody? or if Powers stood before one of his statues dumb as an idiot, and unable to give an account of how it was shaped into its wondrous beauty? or if Rubens stared at one of his own pictures with a vacant gaze, and with a total inability to trace out the preparatory steps that led to its execution? Then is it not very natural that the Great Musician of earth and heaven should be able to explain all the grand chorus of the ages, that the Holy Sculptor of all time should be able to describe every particular of His work, or that the Great Painter of both worlds should, with a keen wisdom, delight in His own magnificent paintings? I come now to my second proposition, that grows out of the first — we do not know. Here we find two parties in the Church. One says, "We do not know anything, and never can know anything," and the other says, "We do know something, but that something will not amount to much until God reveals more knowledge." I confess, I do not think that, in order to exalt God, we must utterly extinguish ourselves. If I say that a human being is utterly incapable of ever being enlightened, has no power, and is bound irrevocably to sin, with no chance to escape, you may very properly ask me, "Who could have made such a being as that?" But, because we can do something — aye, many things — and because we are something — aye, much — it does not follow that we can do everything or that we are Self-sufficient. No, never. God made us, and therefore we are not failures; and let us not for a moment suppose that God has made a mistake in our creation, but, because we are made, we are dependent, frail, and we must often and always look to our Creator for aid and blessing. We are engirdled by mysteries. Yet is it not something that we can, by the grace of God, think, talk, write, walk, live? and can we speak meanly of one who can do all these things? Forbid it, Father! Make us humble, but do not let us be ungrateful. As we look at history and at historical results, it becomes very evident that all through the past ages there has been a providential plan. If we made ourselves Romans, Grecians, or Hebrews, and if we threw ourselves back thousands of years, we should hardly understand that some of our greatest trials were to prove such a vast benediction to after-ages. We could hardly believe that our decay would prove to others life, and that every pang we suffered, both as nations and as individuals, was in accordance with the great, glorious, and holy scheme of Providence. What would be called in ancient days subjugation, invasion, and a despotism, has since proved emancipation, while the baptism of blood then offered has resulted in the salvation of the future. Time explains a great many things that we do not understand to-day; and events always prove that He who rules the heavens and the earth is never bewildered, nor mistaken, nor vanquished. Let each one of us take our own personal experience and trace it back, and see what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go when God would not let us do it, and when God held us back, and when God seemed to be working against us, and how does the retrospect look with our present experience? Did not God know best? and has not everything come out right, and was it not well for us that years ago a restraining hand was placed upon our pleasures, appetites, and desires? And is it not better that we were turned aside from the road that we desired to travel? I think one of the bewitching attractions of biography rests in the fact that we often detect what appear to be very slight and trivial matters, changing the whole course of a person's life. Washington gave up going into the navy in order to please his mother; and thus a hero was secured for America and a splendid monument of goodness and greatness for all the world. Franklin started on a journey to Philadelphia as a mere pauper, and went under false promises to London; and thus a philosopher was educated for all time. The eyesight of a Prescott was suddenly eclipsed, but out of that darkness an historian was born, whose sweet rhetoric will always prove a fascination and a culture. Yes, the slightest incidents that we call disappointments are often the turning-points in our experience, and prove the very moment when Heaven interposes, and shapes us for ends more consistent with the will of God.
(Caleb D. Bradlee.).
Parallel VersesKJV: The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the LORD, (save us not this day,)