O God, when you went forth before your people, when you did march through the wilderness; Selah:…
I. IT COMMENCES WITH THE DIVINELY TERRIBLE (vers. 7, 8). As a rule, if not always, the very first step of the soul on its moral march is preceded by visions of God that startle and alarm. God seems to enwrap the soul in "blackness" and "darkness" and "tempests," to roll thunders and flash lightnings on the conscience, as on Sinai of old; so that the soul cries out, "Lord, what shall I do to be saved?" (Isaiah; St. Paul; people on day of Pentecost.)
II. IT PROCEEDS UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF GOD HIMSELF.
1. He supplied Israel's needs (ver. 9).
2. He conquered their enemies (vers. 11, 12). And this is what God is always doing for His people. No moral progress can we make unless He leads us on, supplying our needs and striking down our foes.
III. EVERY STAGE CONDUCTS TO HIGHER PRIVILEGES. Three stages in the march of the Hebrews are indicated here. From Egypt they advanced to the wilderness, and the wilderness, with all its trials and inconveniences, was better than the land of despotism. From the wilderness they entered Canaan. Every stage that a man reaches in moral progress is better than the preceding. He moves on "from strength to strength," from "glory to glory." The glories reached are nothing to be compared to the glories yet to be enjoyed.
Parallel VersesKJV: O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: