But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well near slipped.
The victorious general, in the hour of triumph, has not unfrequently reason to remember how nearly, through oversight or miscalculation, he had lost the day. A little more pressure on this wing or that, a trifling prolongation of the struggle, a few minutes' further delay in the arrival of reinforcements, and his proud banner had been dragged in the dust. The pilot, steering his barque safely into port, sometimes knows how, through lack of seamanship, he nearly made shipwreck. And the successful merchant remembers crises in his history when he found himself on the brink of ruin - when the last straw only was wanting to precipitate the catastrophe. And like narrow escapes occur in the spiritual life.
I. NOTE SOME OF THEM.
1. The doubt and darkness of unbelief caused by brooding over the mysteries of providence (cf. Jeremiah 48:11).
2. Terrible temptation. See Joseph in prison, Moses in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, the martyrs. "The righteous scarcely are saved."
3. When brought very low, as the prodigal son was, by our own sin. Then the crisis is when we have to decide whether we will turn back to God or go on in our sin. The prodigal went back to his father; Ephraim was joined to his idols, and, like Amon, "sinned more and more." How many are in heaven now who once were all but lost! David, Manasseh, Peter, the penitent thief, Mary Magdalene, and many more.
II. WHAT SUCH INSTANCES TEACH US.
1. Never to despair of any one. God can save them.
2. Never to presume for ourselves. "Let him that thinketh he standeth," etc.
3. Great thankfulness, if we are kept.
4. Deep sympathy with those who fall.
5. Ever to abide in Christ. - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.