But Moses told the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the LORD's salvation, which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again.
I. NOTE THE WAY IN WHICH MOSES MEETS THE COMPLAINTS OF THE ISRAELITES. They had addressed to him sarcastic, flippant, and in every way unworthy speeches. They were not so filled with fear, not so occupied with the troubles of their own hearts, but that they could find a malignant delight in striving to make him ridiculous. This mingling of feelings on their part, fear mingled with hate, makes the single-heartedness of his reply all the more manifest and beautiful. The time is not one for him to stand on his own dignity, or bandy sharp language with mean men, even were his character such as to incline him that way. There is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous; in one sense he makes that step, and by his noble, impressive exhortation, he at once sweeps the ridiculous out of the path of the sublime. The subject of the grave surely is never a seemly one for jesting; and the jesting was unseemliest of all at this present hour. One almost sees these little, pert jokers retreating into the background before the great believer. They would not trouble him again for a while. It was not Israel that had come out of Egypt seeking for graves, but Pharaoh and his host. These murmurers did indeed find graves in the wilderness by and by; but it was for a subsequent transgression. It is part of the peculiar pathos of human life that no one can tell where he must die and be buried. So much then with respect to the meek and comely attitude - true attitude of a prophet of God - which Moses here assumed. He rises clear above the little men of the crowd, for God has taken him out, in particular, with a high hand, and now what shall the matter of his answer be? He does not turn towards God doubtfully. (Contrast his conduct here with his conduct in Exodus 5:22-23.) The peril is to the natural eye overwhelming, but it is not peril to him, for God has filled him with the spirit of faith. He himself, unfearing, can tell the people not to fear. He himself, calmly expectant that some great deliverance is on the way, can recommend, his face not belying his tongue, the same calm expectancy to the people. Let them stand still and wait, instead of rushing hither and thither, weakening themselves still more by their disorder. Moses, exactly comprehending that the position is one in which man can do nothing, and God must do everything, presses this view on his brethren. What is his personal dignity, his amour-propre, compared with the glorious view to be opened out to them? Here is a lesson then, when people speak to us out of little envies and personal grudges. Reply by directing them to great soul-filling truths. Lead, if you can, mean, grovelling souls to the mountain top. Give them the chance of seeing the wide inheritance of the saints; and if they cannot take it in, then the loss, and the responsibility of the loss, is theirs.
II. NOTE THE INSTRUCTIONS WHICH GOD GIVES TO MOSES, vers. 15-18. These instructions, astounding as they must have seemed at the time, were, nevertheless, eminently practical. Those who bear the name of practical among men are those who keep well within what is reckoned possible by the ordinary judgment. Men of the Columbus type, such as great discoverers and great inventors, have to bear for long enough the name of being mere visionaries, day-dreamers, wasters of life. But God's practicality is to set his servants at once to things reckoned impossible. His directions are very simple: "Go forward." He waits till the people are indeed shut up on every hand, and then he says, "Go forward." They were to continue in the same direction, and that led onward to the sea. This was the appointed path to the mountain where they were to serve God. Yes; and if the path had been through the rocky steeps which enclosed them, God could have dissolved those steeps away. Or if it had been through Pharaoh's host, he could have smitten that host utterly, as he afterwards did Sennacherib's. Notice that in this command there is another proving of faith. First, with regard to Moses. For it will be observed that there is nothing to show that Moses knew anything of what would happen in the Red Sea, until God now made it known. Probably during the whole course of the plagues, the precise nature of each plague was revealed to Moses only just as it was approaching. And so here, in this new imprisonment, he was quietly waiting for light to come from God, well knowing that sufficient would be done to deliver Israel - that God had led his people into this entanglement, not without a perfectly definite purpose, and that the end of all would be the destruction of the Egyptians. But he knew not any more than the least child in Israel, until just beforehand, how all this was to be brought about. There was also a great proving of the faith of the people. God has a command for them, and it is one requiring great faith. Notice how appropriately it comes on, as the climax of past treatment. We have seen the Israelites sharing at first in the suffering of the Egyptian plagues. After a while, the district in which they reside is exempted from the plagues. Then when the first-born are smitten, the Israelites, by their obedience to Jehovah's instructions, escape the blow. And now at last their escape is to be completed by again obeying Jehovah's instructions, and equally in the obedience of a pure faith. But mark the most important advance and development of faith, which is here illustrated. Two quite different states of mind are brought out by slaying the passover lamb in faith, and by going towards and through the Red Sea in faith. To slay the passover lamb is to do a thing for which no reason is given but the command of God. But it is a thing which plainly can be done. It involves no peril; there is no appearance of impossibility about it; the only temptation is to think it useless, a superfluous reasonless form. On the other hand, it is perfectly plain that passage through the Red Sea will provide escape. The question is, can such a passage be gained, and therein the temptation lies - In slaying the passover lamb, the Israelites had to humble their intellects before Divine wisdom; in advancing to the Red Sea, they had to show the utmost confidence in Divine power. We must steadily believe that all God commands is useful and necessary; we must also steadily believe that all which is fit for him to do, he most assuredly can do. It is a matter deserving consideration that Jehovah should have given such a command, seeing the state of unbelief and carnality in which the Israelites evidently were. They had not spoken like men ready for such an awful miracle. But we can see certain things which made obedience easier. For one thing, God had shut them up to it. If they had been taken down to the Red Sea, with no Pharaoh behind, with no enclosing mountains on either hand, they might have rebelled. But circumstances lent a strong compulsive aid. We know not what we can do, what triumphs of faith we can achieve till God shuts us up to them. Then there was something also in the sight of the rod. God commanded Moses to exhibit something which had already been associated with wonderful deeds. Thus we see God making plain to Israel the way out of their peril, and so far all is definite. But this being told, the definite immediately shades away into the indefinite. The indefinite mark, but not therefore the uncertain. All is manifest and straightforward with regard to the Israelites; they are to be safe. But what about Pharaoh and his army? We remember Peter's question to Jesus concerning John (John 21:21). "Lord, what shall this man do?" So Moses might have questioned Jehovah - "Lord, what is to happen to Pharaoh?' Something on this matter Jehovah does say, just enough to preserve confidence, attention and expectation; but for the details Moses and Israel must wait a little longer. Meanwhile an inspiring hint is given of great judgment, great humiliation, and for Jehovah himself, great glory. Here the information stops; and here we again notice the eminent practicality of God's instructions. For the day's need and for our own need God gives us the amplest guidance; but what is to happen to our enemies, and exactly how they are to be removed he keeps within his own knowledge, as within his own power. The proper answer to all impious and curious pryings on our part is that which Jesus gave to Peter - "What is that to thee? follow thou me."
III. NOTE THE CONSEQUENT DEALINGS OF JEHOVAH IN DELIVERING ISRAEL AND DESTROYING THE EGYPTIANS.
1. The altered position of the cloudy pillar. The angel of God removed and went behind. By the angel of God is possibly meant the pillar itself. Just as the burning bush is described as a messenger of God (Exodus 3:2), so here there seems an indicating of the cloudy pillar as another messenger. Just at this moment it was not wanted for purposes of guidance. Indeed it would not have proved sufficient for these purposes. Jehovah had found it needful himself to intervene and signify by unmistakable words, the way in which he would have the people go. The cloudy pillar was enough for guidance only as long as the Israelites were in open and ordinary paths. But where it could not be used for guidance, it could be used for defence. God's messengers can easily change their use. The cloud, by changing its place, hindered Egypt, and thereby helped Israel. Nor did it help Israel in this way alone; the boon was a positive as much as a negative one. Surely this was a marvellous cloud, for it had in it darkness as well as light. Thus it served a double purpose. Hiding Israel from the Egyptian eyes, it proved the best of fortifications. But at the same time it shone upon the Israelites and gave them the benefits of day with the immunities of night. They could put everything in perfect order for the march, so as to take it the moment the way through the sea was ready. Imagine that miraculous light shining down on that miraculous path, even from end to end; just like a light shining down a street; and as it were pointing Israel onward, even though it stood behind them. Thus we are made to think of all the double aspect of the work of Jesus, how at the same time he confounds his enemies and guides and cheers his friends. Consider this especially in connection with his resurrection. On the one hand he abolished death; on the other he brought life and immortality to light.
2. The obedience of Moses and the Israelites to the Divine command. As we have noticed, all this had been well prepared for beforehand. Moses had been led up to it, and so had Israel; and therefore when the moment came, there was no hesitation. After what has been already said there is no need to dwell on this actual obedience. It is enough to note in passing, that God having duly arranged all conspiring causes, the effect followed as a matter of course. But now we come to the point of main interest in the closing section of this chapter, namely,
3. The conduct, treatment, and ultimate fate of the Egyptians. There is first, their infatuated advance. They go down in the path which Jehovah had made for Israel as if it was to remain a path for them. The Egyptians were too full of their purpose, too full of the spirit of vengeance and greed to notice their danger, even though it was a danger of the most obvious kind. They might have gone into certain positions where a miracle would have been required to put them in danger; but here the miracle is already wrought, and these enemies of Jehovah and Jehovah's people advance, as if the piled-up waters were thus to remain, their shape settled for ages to come, just like the shape of the solid hills around. The only thing to explain their conduct is the momentum that had been produced in their own breasts. It was with them just as it is with the runner when he has gained a certain speed. Suppose in his headlong career he comes to a chasm, stop he cannot. Either he must clear the chasm or fall into it. The next point to be noticed is God's treatment of them in their advance. The whole progress of affairs is exactly arranged so as to produce the deliverance of Israel and the destruction of Pharaoh. The very nearness of Pharaoh and his army to the Israelites, instead of proving ruin to them, only more effectually proves ruin to him. Some of the more timid among the Israelites might be tempted to say, "Oh! that the waters would return, immediately the last Israelite is ashore; let the great barrier be set between us and Pharaoh as soon as possible." But such a course would only have secured a present safety at the expense of a future one. Jehovah has a far better way of working than any which human panic can suggest. He lets the Egyptians go on until the whole army is in the midst of the sea, and then he who has truly proved himself a man of war opens the last decisive battle by making the chariots useless. Nay, not only were they useless; they seem to have become a hindrance and a terror. Jehovah neither hastens nor lingers; he smites at the right time, and therefore he smites effectually; and now we are called to listen to a resolution made too late. "Let us flee from the face of Israel." If only they had been wise in time, they would not have had to flee at all. What were they doing in the midst of the Red Sea? Nay more, what were they doing out of their own country? They had trifled and trifled with danger after danger, and now they had trifled beyond escape. It is no time to talk of flight when the door of the trap has fallen. The waters are on the point of returning; the ordinary course of nature is about to assert itself. Why should that course be interrupted one moment longer, simply to preserve a host of proud and dangerous men. The great lesson from Pharaoh's fall is to be wise in time. Flee from the wrath to come ] there is a possibility of that; but when the wrath has come, who then shall flee? (Revelation 6:16-17).
IV. NOTE THE IMPRESSION SAID TO HAVE BEEN PRODUCED ON THE MINDS OF THE ISRAELITES. Ver. 31. More desirable words surely could not be spoken of any people than that they fear Jehovah and believe in him and his servants. The fear and the faith, however, must be of the right sort, arising out of a right state of the heart, and cleaving to God through all the vicissitudes of circumstance. Such unfortunately was not the fear and faith of these Israelites. We must have heart knowledge of God's character, and come to understand how necessary it is to pass through a shaking of the things that can be shaken in order that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Then we shall fear as we ought to fear, and believe as we ought to believe. Y.
1. It concerns God's instruments of salvation to reason quietly with a froward people who despise it.
I. These words which to fleshly Israel must have seemed so strange, and which to weak faith echo so strangely still, contain two parts, A DUTY AND A BLESSING. They were to "stand still," and so should they see the salvation of God. And this condition of blessing runs continually through the whole history of the Jewish and Christian Church. When God has tried His chosen servants or His chosen people, the most frequent trial perhaps has been this, whether they would tarry the Lord's leisure, be content to receive God's gift in God's way, hasten not, turn not to the right hand or the left, but "stand still" and see the salvation of God. By patient (the word implies suffering) waiting for God, an unresisting resistance unto blood, did the Church take root in the whole world.
Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.I. The question was once asked by an eminent thinker, WHETHER NATIONS, LIKE INDIVIDUALS, COULD GO MAD. There certainly have been movements, like the Reformation or the French Revolution, of which no one could foretell the existence or power. But such movements, like the cataclysms of geology, have been rare, and they seem likely to be rarer as the world goes on. Yet this is not the aspect of the world which our imagination presents to us. There are the two opposite poles of feeling, the one exaggerating, the other minimizing, actions and events; the one all enthusiasm and alarm, the other cynical and hopeless. The true temper in politics is the temper of confidence and hope. "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." Be patient, and instead of changing every day with the gusts of public opinion, observe how curiously, not without a Divine providence, many things work themselves out into results which we never foresaw.
II. A TEMPER OF CONFIDENCE AND REPOSE IS NEEDED IN MATTERS OF RELIGION. The great changes in religious opinion during the last forty years have taken two directions — Rome and Germany. These changes are far from unimportant, but the temper of alarm and exaggeration is not the right way of dealing with them. Amid the charges of religious opinions and the theological discord which distracts the world, we may possess our souls in peace. If sometimes our ears are thrilled and our minds confused by the Babel of voices which dins around us, we may turn from without, and listen calmly to that voice which speaks to us from within, of love, and righteousness, and peace.
III. LET US APPLY THE SAME PRINCIPLE TO OUR OWN LIVES. We need to see ourselves as we truly are, in all our relations to God and to our fellow-men. We need to carry into the whole of life that presence of mind which is required of the warrior who in the hour of conflict is calm, and sees what he foresaw.
(B. Jowett, M. A.)
II. It is for instruction only that we may ask WHY GOD SHOULD SO HAVE ANNEXED THE BLESSING OF CONQUEST TO ENDURING SUFFERING, AND MADE PATIENCE MIGHTIER THAN WHAT MEN CALL ACTIVE VIRTUES.
1. It may be that it has some mysterious connection with the sufferings of Christ. Vicarious suffering may be so far well-pleasing to God as having a communion with the sufferings of His beloved Son, and doubtless it may make those who are partakers of it more capable of the communication of the merits and influence of His passion.
2. Then, also, it may be needful, in the wisdom of God, for the perfecting of His saints. As all trial implies pain, so the trial of the most precious vessels, it may be, is to be accompanied by pains proportionate.
3. It is evident, that so God's power and glory are most shown in averting suffering, or in crowning the enduring faith by His blessing.
4. Since man's self-will was the cause of his fall, God would thus teach him to renounce dependence upon himself, to quit his own wisdom and his own schemes, and do God's will.
(E. B. Pusey, D. D.)
2. God much contends by His ministers to remove the unbelieving fears of His people.
3. Stability in faith is God's command to cure fears in unbelief.
4. Jehovah's salvation is worth the looking unto by His poor creatures in faith.
5. Present salvation God can and will give to His people to quiet them. in believing.
6. God's command for faith carries proportionable reason for it in all cases.
7. Causes of fear which hinder faith God removeth at His pleasure.
8. In God's great redemption, typical and real, the Church is passive, not a word to it.
9. In such appearances of God it is but just with men to be silent from murmuring (ver. 14).
(G. Hughes, B. D.)
I. Let us observe, first, THE TRIUMPH OF FEAR OR FEELING OVER FAITH.
1. Faith is often opposed and conquered when immediate danger appears, and when it cannot point to immediate deliverance.
2. When the superficial inclination of man is opposed and self-denial demanded, faith often is vanquished, and feeling triumphs.
3. Faith is often conquered by sense or feeling when reason cannot comprehend and explain things in God's dealings towards His creatures.
4. Feeling often overcomes faith when religion appears to militate against what men consider their present interest.
5. Feeling sometimes gets the advantage over faith on the ground of ease and indulgence.
6. Faith also is often conquered for want of free and open heart and mind to receive truth and conviction. Prejudice and narrowness of mind are deadly enemies to faith, as they are to the advancement of truth and right life everywhere.
7. I mention another ground on which faith is too often conquered by feeling — namely, because it looks to the future for its full reward. Feeling has no patience to wait; it must be satisfied with its objects now; whilst faith rises above the visible and the present to the unseen and the future.
II. We shall now notice THE TRIUMPH OF FAITH OVER SENSE AND FEELING. Though faith is above feeling, it is not necessarily opposed to it; it works through it, and makes it subordinate to its influence and end. The unity of the two is essential to make men strong and happy; when they are divided the happiness of men is marred, and their strength of heart and character is shorn.
1. When the mind is profoundly convinced of truth it conquers. In the degree the mind is capable of deep conviction, it is strong, and this also is one of the strongholds of faith. When the mind becomes thoroughly imbued with the importance and truth of anything, it possesses the first qualification of conquest over all opposition and difficulty; and never till then can great things be accomplished.
2. Another condition under which faith proves itself triumphant is a deep conviction of need. Conviction of need, either personally or relatively, is both the reason and power of any and every effort, and no great sacrifice and conquest will be accomplished without.
3. For the development and triumph of faith, it is requisite as a condition that the soul should be convinced of the failure and insufficiency of all sensuous and finite things to satisfy its requirements.
4. It is requisite that the moral perception and feeling of the soul should be opened and awakened to see and feel things as they are before faith can conquer. Though faith is a power of confidence in the dark, it is nevertheless a power that thrives in light, and demands all the evidence the case in hand permits.
5. Faith conquers whilst the soul lives in close union with God, and carries with it a consciousness of His presence; for conscious communion with God is the power as well as the life of the soul, and so long as this is enjoyed faith is triumphant.
III. We come now to THE TRIUMPH OF GOD OVER NATURE — "See the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you to-day." Such a salvation was not wrought in the ordinary course of nature. Apparently the forces and laws of nature were against the possibility of it; it was a Divine display of Divine triumph of God over nature.
1. The event is represented as authentic and real. It is not an allegory, or any ideal manifestation representing a potential possibility, or a thing to excite human fancy.
2. The event was a manifestation, and produced in subordination to the purpose of mercy.
3. The event was produced for a moral and religious end. God had repeatedly promised to deliver them, and the act was a fulfilment of an old and repeated engagement. The promise was made and performed on the ground of religion.
4. The event is in harmony with its conditions. The event is not professed to be the production of ordinary power, which would be inconsistent; for it is an extraordinary one, and there must be some equality between the power of production and the production itself. The event is professed to be an extraordinary manifestation of an infinite power; and unless this power itself is denied in the fact of its existence, it is hard to guess how the event can be considered impossible. The event is professed to have been produced for a wise and sufficient reason.Lessons:
1. The dealings of God are suitable always to the occasion. He works in the right time and place, when and where the thing is needed.
2. It is possible to be in a condition which is beyond all human and natural deliverance.
3. God sometimes delays His deliverance to an extreme hour.
4. Where duty is clear, difficulties should not prevent an effort to perform it.
5. The difference between the real and the unreal is seen most clearly in extreme conditions.
6. There are things in life which we meet once, and we pass on and never meet again.
7. Genuine and deep-rooted faith shows its superiority in circumstances that baffle sensuous reasoning.
I. Take our text first as A PICTURE OF THE BELIEVER WHEN HE IS REDUCED TO GREAT STRAITS. Then God's command to him is, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." In this brief sentence there are two things very conspicuous: first, what is to be done, "Stand still"; and secondly, what is to be seen, "See the salvation of the Lord."
1. What is to be done? Faith hears the bidding of her faithful God, and is not willing to be shut up in the iron cage of despair; nay, she defies the old giant to put so much as a finger upon her. Lie down and die? that she never will while her God bids her stand. See the word "stand." What does it mean? Keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice. But in what way are we to "stand still"? Surely it means, among other things, that we are to wait awhile. Time is precious, but there are occasions when the best use we can make of it is to let it run on. A man who would ride post.haste had better wait till he is perfectly mounted, or he may slip from the saddle. He who glorifies God by standing still is better employed than he who diligently serves his own self-will.(1) Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God and spread the case before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of aid.(2) Wait in faith, for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He shall keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet He will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry.(3) Wait in quiet patience, not murmuring because you are under the affliction, but blessing God for it.
2. But now, secondly, what is to be seen? You are to see the salvation of God. In your present temporal trials you are to see God's power and love manifested. Now, I think I hear you say, "Well, one thing I know, I cannot deliver myself out of the dilemma in which I am now placed. I had some dependence once upon my own judgment and upon my own ability, but that dependence is entirely gone." It is a good thing for you sometimes, Christian, to be wholly weaned from yourself. But you are saying, "What shall I see?" Well, I know not precisely what you shall see, except I am sure of this, you shall see the salvation of God, and in that salvation you shall see two or three things, just as the children of Israel saw them.(1) You shall see, if needs be, all nature and all providence subservient to God's love.(2) You will see again, if you will but stand still and see it, that the Lord reigneth. You shall have such a picture of Jehovah sitting upon His throne, controlling and overruling all things, that you shall extol Him with your whole heart as your God and King for ever. You shall see most distinctly, if you will but wait and look for it, how He can make you a wonder.(3) You shall be a wonder to yourself, and marvel how it is that God supports you. You shall be a wonder to your enemies. You shall do what they cannot do; you shall walk through the depths of the sea, which the Egyptians, assaying to do, were drowned.(4) You shall see your enemies utterly destroyed, if you will but wait.
II. I intend to take the text in reference to THE SINNER BROUGHT INTO THE SAKE CONDITION IN A MORAL SENSE.
1. "Stand still" in the renunciation of all thine own righteousness, and of all attempts to seek a righteousness by thine own doings.
2. But now the sinner says, "Suppose, then, I give up all hope, and do no more by way of trusting to myself, what shall I see?" Do remark that all the sinner can do, is to see the salvation. He is not to work it out, he is not to help it on, but he is to see it; yet, mark you, that sinner cannot even find out that salvation of itself, for if you notice, the next sentence to our text is, "which He will show you to-day." God must show it to us, or else we cannot see it. I will tell thee of it.(1) First, it was ordained of old, like the deliverance of the Red Sea. If God's election comes to those who are without merit, without hope, without strength, here is hope for thee.(2) In the next place, the salvation which God shows is one wrought by a mediator.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)debris high in the air, which was followed by a dense volume of smoke rolling up from the shaft. The Indians checked their horses, appalled by the unexpected and to them mysterious eruption, then, with a yell of terror, wheeled round and galloped off in the direction whence they came. But for the coincidence of the blast igniting at that particular moment, the man would, doubtless, have been tortured to death in the true Apache style. In the Christian life there come times when destruction seems inevitable, as it seemed to the miner, but those who trust in God experience deliverance as unexpected as his.
(Bp. F. D. Huntington.)
(Bp. F. D. Huntington.)
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Ye shall see them again no more for ever
Homilist.Although the Israelites beheld the next morning the Egyptian host dead upon the beach, they saw them no more in their pomp and power, fierceness and anger; they saw them no more in this world for ever. Let us look at the fact in three aspects.
I. AS AFFORDING A GLIMPSE OF THE MORAL GOVERNMENT OF GOD. A signal interposition displaying justice towards the oppressor, and mercy towards the oppressed.
1. Moral government takes cognizance of man's conduct.
2. Moral government righteously visits man's conduct.
II. AS ILLUSTRATING SEPARATIONS THAT ARE GOING ON BETWEEN MEN EVERY DAY.
1. Every day we see men that we shall see no more in this world for ever.
2. Every day we see men that we shall see no more in their present circumstances for ever.
3. Every day we see men that we shall see no more in their present character for ever.
III. As FORESHADOWING THAT FINAL SEPARATION WHICH MUST TAKE PLACE BETWEEN THE WICKED AND THE RIGHTEOUS.
1. This takes place really at death. No more sensualists with their seductions, sceptics with their insinuations, devil with his temptations.
2. This takes place publicly in the day of judgment.
(Homilist.)I. THEN WICKED MEN SHALL PERISH IN THE VERY HOUR OF THEIR SPLENDOUR AND PRIDE. II. THEN WICKED MEN ARE OFTEN POWERLESS TO INFLICT THE INJURY THEY DESIRE UPON THE GOOD. If we are injured by these enemies of the soul, it is because of our unbelief.
III. THEN THE WICKED AND THE GOOD WILL BE ETERNALLY SEPARATED IN THE LIFE TO COME.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
1. Perhaps it was one whom I was bound to love on whom my words fell. If it were, may God forgive me! for if they burned and seared that heart, far more deeply will they burn and sear mine, when I find that the ear that listened so eagerly for love, and shrank so agonizingly from unkindness, is now closed in death.
2. Perhaps it was one whom I was bound to protect, and whom with words of cunning I have overreached. If so, may God forgive me, for I have thus sent direct to His throne of justice this accusation against myself! Never again! And yet again when I go forth to-morrow there is at least one other whom I will meet whom I may meet never again! Guard my tongue and my heart, O God, that my account as to him may be just before Thee!
(G. Howard James.)
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