And the LORD said to Moses, Why cry you to me? speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward:…
I. FORWARD! - GOD'S CONSTANT INJUNCTION TO HIS CHURCH. The law of Christian life is advance. God never brings his Church or people into positions from which retreat is necessary, or in which advance is impossible. We may bring ourselves into false positions of this kind, but God never leads us into them. In proportion as we surrender ourselves to his guidance, we may depend on being conducted always "forward." There is no instance in the whole history of the Old or New Testament Church in which, while God's guidance was followed, retreat had to be made. Forward!
(1) In Christian attainments.
(2) In holy living.
(3) In labours for the advancement of Christ's kingdom.
(4) In missionary enterprise.
(5) In doing good to our fellow-men.
II. FORWARD! - IN CONTRAST WITH VAIN LAMENTATIONS, AND UNBECOMING EXPOSTULATIONS WITH PROVIDENCE. These do no good, but much harm. They betray an unbelieving spirit. ]f God brings us into situations of trial, the fact that it is he who brings us into them is of itself a pledge that with the trial, he will make also a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). When the foe bears hard upon us, we should, instead of losing heart, rather feel that the time has come for getting everything in readiness for advance - the "great door and effectual" must be on the very point of opening.
III. FORWARD! - BY THE WAY WHICH GOD MAKES FOR US. At the same moment that he is saying - "Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward," he is doubtless commissioning some Moses to stretch out his rod over the sea, to open up the way for us. God never says "Forward," without at the same time opening the way.
IV. FORWARD! - WITH GOOD HEART, STRONG HOPE, AND FIRM ASSURANCE OF BEING PROTECTED ON THE JOURNEY. Going forward at God's word, the Israelites were assured of God's protection. They were certain of reaching the further shore in safety. No fear of the waves rushing back, and burying them. Pharaoh pursued, but he was not permitted to capture them, and was himself overthrown. We may confront any perils, if duty calls, and God goes with us. Cf. Luther at Worms. - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: