For the LORD your God walks in the middle of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you…
I. AN INSTRUCTIVE COMPARISON. The Church of God is in many respects comparable to a camp.
1. It is a camp for separation. We are crusaders, and are separated from the mass for the service of the Cross which we bear on our hearts. We are in an enemy's country, and we must keep ourselves to ourselves very much, or else we shall certainly fail of that holy military discipline which the Captain of our salvation would have us strictly enforce.
2. It is a camp, because it is on the defensive.
3. It is a camp, especially, because it is always assailing the powers of darkness. We have a world to conquer, and we cannot afford to loiter. We have a kingdom to set up for the Lord of hosts, and we must not sleep, for the adversaries of the Lord are ruing. We are an army, sworn to war against the Canaanites of error and sin, to cast down their walled cities, to break their idols, and to cut down their groves.
4. It is a camp, because we are on the march. We ought to be advancing in grace, in knowledge, in earnestness, in holiness, in usefulness, and if not we scarcely realise the figure of a camp.
5. Yet, once more, no doubt, a camp, as formed for temporary purposes, was a token of the Church; for although the Church stands still and abides, yet in her individual members she is subject to the same law of decay, and death, and change as the rest of the world. Soon shall the camp cease, and the soldiers become citizens, and the tents be exchanged for mansions.
II. A SPECIAL PRIVILEGE.
1. God is present in the camp of His people with a special presence of love. The Church is the garden of the Lord, His paradise. Where is a father most at home but with his children?
2. God is present in the camp of His people with a special presence of observation. He sees all things; but His eyes are, in the first place, fixed on His Church. With burning glance He searches the very heart of professors.
3. The peculiar privilege of Israel is to have a special presence of salvation. "The Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp to deliver thee." God is with His people, to help them in their times of trouble, to rescue them out of danger, to answer their cries in their necessity, to save them in the hour of temptation.
4. The Lord is with the camp of His" people, as a special presence for victory.
5. It is a special presence in covenant. "The Lord thy God.
III. A CORRESPONDING CONDUCT.
1. This rule, that the camp be holy, applies to the commonest places wherein we are found. The Holy Spirit arrays you in the white raiment of holiness, that you may shine out bright and clear and distinct before the sons of men.
2. While this holiness pertained to their commonest things, it was also ordered that every unclean thing was to be put from them. Let us come continually to the washing place — even to the fountain opened. Let us beseech the cleansing Spirit to operate as with fire, and burn His purifying way through and through our souls.
3. Note well the fearful warning which is added. If there be in the camp an unclean thing tolerated and delighted in, and He see it — if it becomes conspicuous and grievous to Him, then the worst consequences will follow — "Lest He turn away from thee." Oh! what would happen to us if the Lord were to turn away from us as a Church?
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.
WEB: for Yahweh your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that he may not see an unclean thing in you, and turn away from you.