And the LORD said to Moses, Why cry you to me? speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward:
1. Going forward supposes difficulty. You will find sometimes the path to be steep and uneven, rugged and rough. None but the brave go forward. The way, though right, is not always smooth and pleasant, charmed with music and song and perfumed with the fragrance of flowers, but much of a contrary kind. This is true of every enterprise in which men are engaged where either fame or opulence are sought. Thus, a man will be a successful painter, sculptor, mechanic, or merchant. Napoleon said of Massena that he was not himself till the battle began to go against him; then, when the dead began to fall in ranks around him, awoke his powers of combination, and he put on terrors and victory as a robe. So it is in rugged crises, in unweariable endurance, and in aims which put human sympathy out of question that the angel is shown. Nothing is gained that is worth the having without difficulty. Things easily got readily go.
2. To go forward implies decision and energy. Indecision is relaxing to the moral nature, it weakens, and has often proved fatal to the deepest interests in some of life's most solemn crises. To swing this way and that, like the pendulum of the clock in the plane of its oscillation, without making any advance forward, is most pitiable in a man. A French orator says, "Indecision of movement shows lack, both in mind and heart; to wish and not to wish, is most wretched; he who hesitates, totters, falls back, and is lost." Then, what is needed to secure true advancement is energy, decision of character, force, concentration, the power to will and to execute. And this implies having an aim, a definite object before us, and fixing the mind on that, moving steadily, unfalteringly towards its attainment; to know where we are going, looking to the grand final results, and measuring our steps accordingly.
3. To go forward implies patient endurance. The march sometimes will be slow and weary — you will not always be able to go with "alacrity and delight," nor shall you find it "all glory going to glory." Times will be when the apostle's saying will have a deep significance — "Ye have need of patience"; and when obedience to the injunction — "In patience possess your souls," will be the highest point of heroism. Times when the way is dark and slippery, and adverse forces combine to stop your progress, and when, if you can move at all, it will be but a step at a time.
4. This going forward implies an object. Something before and above us as yet, and that may be attained to and won by diligent toil, application, study, and earnest pressing after. This, then, is the grand end of all going forward — the attainment of glory. It is not now, nor here, but beyond and above.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: