Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning; for in you do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk…
The text may be said to comprise every other prayer. If God gives His servant "to know the way wherein he should walk," and strength to walk in it, peace, and order, and liberty, and joy will soon come. Life is difficult. It is difficult every day; on some days, and at some times, unusually so. Are there not continual circumstances and trials and duties of ordinary life which, in one way or another, make life a continual difficulty? Think of the number of things that are to be believed, that are to be renounced, that are to be examined, that are to be distinguished in themselves and from other things, that are to be tentatively dealt with, that are to be done, that are to be. left undone, that are to be waited for, that are to be suffered. All these are included in the "way wherein we should walk." Take some of them in succession.
I. OPINIONS AND BELIEFS. There can be no living way for a man that does not involve these. A man is more than a growing tree or a grazing animal. Even those who speak slightingly of opinions, and lay stress rather on what they call spirit, and instinct, and practical action, when they rigorously analyze their own thought in this matter, are obliged to confess that in one form or another, separated from other things, or solvent in them, opinion and belief must be comprehended in spirit, even in instinct, in a measure, and certainly in practical action. But how hard it is now to form opinions and settle beliefs! Harder perhaps than it has ever been before, not only because we have more than the common amount of scepticism in the world, but because (as I verily believe) men are in some ways more sincere and more earnest than they have ever been before. They cannot so easily subscribe creeds, composed of many, and some of them hard enough propositions. What, then, are we to do? From this hour any one of us, if we will, may be of "them that believe to the saving of the soul." How? By bringing the whole case fully and earnestly before God. "Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto Thee." There, and there only, you have the whole case; the meeting, and, in a measure, the settling of the difficulty. If we come really to Him, we have solved the difficulty, we have come into the new and living way, and God will make that way more and more plain before our face; whereas if we abide among the exterior things — examining, considering, comparing, putting this opinion against that, and working the whole matter simply as a high intellectual problem, without ever making the last and highest appeal — we have no certainty of a good and true issue.
II. CONDUCT. Even those who know the way they should go, so far as it consists of beliefs, convictions, principles, find it still in their practice to be a way of continual difficulty. It is easy to say, "Act on principle." Of course we must act on principle, but on what principle? What is the right principle for the case? Or what is the proper combination of principles? And how are they to apply?
1. It will sometimes be that all is dark as to what is about to happen in the immediate future, and yet action must be taken at a certain time; and, in order to be well taken, preparation must be made for it now. And that darkness, perhaps, cannot be made any less by our intellectual activities, or by our moral impatience. We may knock at the doors of the future with all our importunity, but they will not open a moment before the time. What can we do? We can pray. We can use this text, and get the benefits it carries, "Cause me to know the way wherein I should go, for I lift my soul to Thee."
2. Or the case is exceedingly perplexed and intricate. It lies all open before us. There is nothing more to reveal, and yet we cannot understand it. Our way, "the way wherein we should go," lies right through the heart of those perplexed and ravelled things, and our "going" is sure to alter them somewhat, perhaps much. What shall be the ruling principle of our action? Shall we go quickly or slowly? And shall prudence or firmness have the reins? Who can tell us? And in this pause what can we do? We can ask Him who knows the way that is all unknown to us to "cause us to know it," so that, as we tread it step by step, and make it thus our actual way, it may prove to be indeed the way of righteousness and peace.
3. Or the case, in its two sides, is perfectly balanced. There is nothing to choose between them. We may cast the weight of our action on this side or on that with equally good conscience. And yet, out of the choice we make, a very different class of results will spring; and other things will come in then, and issues never contemplated as possible will arise. So that there is a right side, a "way in which we should go," even when no human wisdom could give any sufficient reason why the one side should be taken rather than the other: How shall we find it? How, but by coming to Him who knows all ways that human feet are to tread. He has His eye on that best way, that perfect way, that Christlike way, which my feet ought to mark, and if I come to Him to ask about it, it may be that, while I am yet speaking, the light of revelation will illumine it, the finger of Providence will point to it, and the voice that has directed so many pilgrims will say to me also, "This is the way, walk ye in it."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.