And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt…
s: — The voice of that weeping echoes through the ages, and Bochim becomes classic ground in the moral history of the world.
I. THERE IS A TERRIBLE PHYSICAL AND MORAL CONFUSION PALPABLE ON THE VERY SURFACE OF MAN'S LIFE, which appears darker and deadlier the more you penetrate the depths; while the profound instinct of his being, made in the image of the one God, demands order and unity. All the heathen hecatombs, all the theodicies of philosophy, are attempts to explain the mystery. They are at least man's protests against, his struggle to be free from, the desperate confusions of his physical and moral life.
II. THERE IS IN MAN A NATIVE TENDENCY TO MISTAKE THE KIND OF HELP WHICH HE IS TO EXPECT FROM GOD. From the Old and from the New Testament we hear alike the cry of man's natural heart, "The rest is near." There is the undying hope in the heart of humanity that God will give rest. Lamech thought that Noah would give it, Abraham that Isaac would give it, the Jews saw it in Canaan, David in Solomon, Ezra in the restoration, the early Christians in the Church. Suffering is to be destroyed, so runs the human dream, by the destruction of sin. The devil is to be slain, and all things that now tempt man to transgression shall woo him sweetly to virtue and joy.
III. GOD'S REST, THE TRUE CANAAN FOR WHICH WE ALL ARE PINING, MUST SPRING FROM WITHIN, AND BE DEPENDENT ON THE VIGOUR OF THE INWARD LIFE.
IV. IN THIS SCENE OF DISCIPLINE, WHERE MAN EXISTS OF NECESSITY AS AN IMPERFECT MORAL BEING, HE MUST HAVE THRONGS OF TEMPTERS AROUND HIM. He gives them strength by his want of firmness, by his system of foolish and timid compromise. But you have God's covenant as a rock to stand on, God's promise as a star to cheer, God's strength to nerve the spirit and to harden it to endurance, and God's sword, sharp and gleaming, to cut out before you the path to victory.
V. THE BITTER TRUTH, DISCOVERED AT BOCHIM, IS THE DEEP, SAD UNDERTONE OF THE MUSIC OF HISTORY. Perhaps those who are most alive to its higher interests and aims find it saddest. But for them this sadness becomes holy; it is part of the sorrow of Christ, which is the germ of everlasting joy. It is not in anger, in its deepest purpose, but in love, that this weeping is ordained to us. Life is richer, nobler, if sadder, under such conditions, as we shall understand at last when we stand white-robed before the throne.
(J. B. Brown, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
WEB: The angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, "I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you: