Right Beginnings; Or, no Progress
Exodus 14:1-4
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…

Every true and strong life has its sharp transitions, its critical choice, its decisive moment between Migdol and the sea. It is true enough, most of our time we move on in a path no way remarkable, or in a routine with nothing signal or memorable about it. Day takes after day, and the scene, the occupation, the company, helps and hindrances, are much the same from month to month. But look longer, and you find that, however the wheels of habit may run on in a kind of groove, with few startling outside changes, yet somewhere there was a spot where this regular drift got its start and its new direction. You stood alone somewhere, at a parting of two ways, and you chose; and then, as the consequence of that choice, your life went thenceforth in a particular channel, pure or filthy, straight or crooked, heavenward or hellward, long after. And there is nothing exceptional about this. The same law governs national concerns, processes in nature, and mechanics. War, for instance, is well-nigh the staple of history; and yet historians count but fifteen decisive battles of the world, all other vast movements of ages and empires winding like a whirlpool around these bloody centres. So in mechanics. Only now and then, on its turn-table, the engine is set in its new direction; but all it does, or draws, afterwards, proceeds from that momentary pivotal determination. The grain grows clay and night all summer till harvest; but there is a single time of planting. The patriarch lodged only one night at Bethel; but then, afterward, all his journeyings over the Eastern lands were at the bidding of his God. How did you come to be the man you are to-day? There was most likely some hour of choice. Two forms of apparent good lay before you. Two voices spoke. Among all the common questions that rise, this one question rose. It was the question of your soul's eternity. Very likely it had relation, too, to some other soul besides your own — your affection, your duty, to him or her. Per. haps it was in the line of your common doing, only an emergency of larger and uncommon concern. How did you act? Did you say Yes, or No? Did you go or stay? Did you accept the partnership, the companionship, the offer — or refuse? The question is not one of expediency, or taste, or convenience, or profit. It has to do with your soul's life, honour, uprightness, salvation. Such periods can be recalled in memory, I think, by most persons; but never recalled in fact. The rest of life depends on them, and on the way we meet them. We are between Migdol and the sea. Egypt and Pharaoh — an old, bad life, and its despotism of darkness — are behind; the other way the road runs where God will. With Israel it was well that it ran to the baptism in the cloud and in the sea. We have only to enlarge the reach of such a decision, carrying it through the roots and springs of character, to find in it that one all-including, all-controlling choice which turns a bad man into a good one, or creates a living Christian. Indeed, it is of that one radical renewing that the exodus of Israel has always been regarded as the type.

(Bp. F. D. Huntington.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

WEB: Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Israel Stricken with Terror by Reason of a Deliverance not Yet Completed
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