(Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelled in the valley.) Tomorrow turn you…
Every traveller has heard of the "rule of the road," which must be obeyed in order to avoid accidents. There are certain rules of the road also to be observed by the pilgrim band on our journey to the Eternal City.
1. First of all, there is only one road for Christ's people to walk in. Walk in the old path, the King's highway, the way of God's commandments. And this road of ours is by the way of the Red Sea — the Red Sea of Christ's most precious blood! We must always keep in sight of that.
2. Here is another rule of the road; do the duty which is nearest to you. There is an old English parsonage somewhere by the sea which has this sentence carved over its porch, "Do the next thing." Let it be our motto. Some of us do nothing, because we do not know where to begin; we are thinking of next week, when to-day's duty stands before us. Each day brings its own work; let us try to do it faithfully, prayerfully, cheerfully, trustingly, and then we may be sure we are going forward in the right way.
3. Another rule of the road is: be brave, " only be strong and very courageous." Be brave enough to do what is right, no matter at what cost. The world will laugh at you, sneer at you, misjudge you. "Trust in God and do the right."
4. Here is another rule of the road: be neighbourly. Never forget that you belong to one family, one army on the march — the Holy Catholic Church. Naturalists tell us that the pine tree is one of the most inhospitable, just as the oak is the most kindly, of trees. Beneath the shadow of the pine tree all is bare and desolate. No primrose opens its bright eyes there, no wild rose clings, no woodbine blossoms. There are some people like the inhospitable pine tree, they live only for themselves, and never offer help, or comfort, or shelter to another. Let us try by God's grace to make our path of life bright for others, not sad and desolate, like the pine wood.
5. Yet another rule of the road: keep in the sunshine. On the journey through life there is always a sunny side for the Christian. A certain king once asked a famous general if he had seen the eclipse of the sun, and the Duke of Alva answered that he had too much to do on earth to have time to look up to heaven. Ah! if any of us are melancholy, discontented, it is because we are looking too much at the earth, and not lifting up our eyes to heaven. I say to you, come out of the gloom of your own thoughts into the sunshine, and thank God — "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."
6. One last rule of the road now: remember the road leads home. In all earthly journeys, however long and tiring, this thought always strengthens the traveller — I shall soon be home. Home, even an earthly home, is the central spot of every man's life.
(H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea.