And in the wilderness, where you have seen how that the LORD your God bore you, as a man does bear his son…
A beautiful passage, laden with God's compassions. We have in it -
I. TENDER LOVE. The love is likened to that of the best of fathers to a son (cf. Psalm 103:13). The New Testament goes further. It not only likens God to a father, but tells us he is one. He is "our Father in heaven," "the God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord." This full revelation of Fatherhood only a Son could have given; and as given in the gospel it is the believer's daily comfort (Matthew 6:25-34).
II. CONSTANT CARE. This arises out of the relation and the love. It is a care:
1. Unceasing. "All the way."
2. Provident. "Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in."
3. Comprehensive; embracing every want of our lives. God "bare" Israel, i.e. took the entire charge of the nation upon himself; the whole responsibility of seeing them fed, led, clothed, kept, and brought safely to their final destination. So does he provide for his children in Christ.
4. Tenderly sympathetic. "As a man doth bear his son." And God has to bear with, as well as bear us.
III. SPECIAL GUIDANCE. This is included in the care, but is more prominent as a peculiar manifestation of it (ver. 33). Guidance is never wanting to those who need it. It is from day to day - just sufficient to show us present duty. It is given in the Bible, in the indications of providence, and in that inward illumination which enables us to discern the Lord's will in both, It was furnished to the Israelites through the pillar of cloud and fire - the symbol:
1. Of fiery guardianship with grateful shade.
2. Of guiding light with attendant mystery.
3. Of light shining to us in the midst of dark providences.
4. Of the adaptation of God's guidance to our needs - by day the cloud, by night the fire. - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.