Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
They do not need to be agreed about everything. The two whom the prophet would fain see walking together are God and Israel. Two may walk together, but they have to be .agreed thus far, at any rate, that both shall wish to be together, and both be going the same road.
I. THAT BLESSED COMPANIONSHIP THAT MAY CHEER A LIFE. "Walking with God" means ordering the daily life under the continual sense that we are ever in the great Taskmaster's eye. "Walking after God" means conforming the will and active efforts to the rule that He has laid down. High above these conceptions of a devout life is the idea of "walking with God." For to walk before Him may have in it some tremor, and may be undertaken in the spirit of a slave. And walking after Him may be a painful effort to keep His distant figure in sight. But to walk with Him implies a constant quiet sense of the Divine presence, which forbids that we should ever feel lonely. As the companions pace along side by side, words may be spoken by either, or blessed silence may be eloquent of perfect trust and rest. Such a life of friendship with God is possible for every one of us. If we are so walking, it is no piece of fanaticism to say that there will be mutual communications. The two may walk together. That is the end of all religion. All culminates in this true, constant fellowship between men and God. Get side by side with God. Fellowship with Him is the climax of all religion. It is also the secret of all blessedness, the only thing that will make a life absolutely sovereign over sorrow, and fixedly imperturbed by all tempests, and invulnerable to all "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." Hold fast by God, and you have an amulet against every evil, and a shield against every foe, and a mighty power that will calm and satisfy your whole being.
II. THE SADLY INCOMPLETE REALITY, IN MUCH CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE, WHICH CONTRASTS WITH THIS POSSIBILITY. Perhaps few so-called Christians habitually feel, as they might do, the depth and blessedness of this communion. And only a very small percentage of us have anything like the continuity of companionship which the text suggests as possible. There may be, and therefore there should be, running unbroken through a Christian life, one long bright line of communion with God, and happy inspiration from the sense of His presence with us. Is it a line in my life, or is there but a dot here and a dot there, and long breaks between?
III. AN EXPLANATION OF THE FAILURE TO REALISE THIS CONTINUAL PRESENCE. The explanation is that the two are not agreed. That is why they are not walking together. The consciousness of God's presence with us is a very delicate thing. At bottom, there is only one thing that separates a soul from God, and that is sin of some sort. Remember that very little divergence will, if the two paths are prolonged far enough, part their other ends by a world. There may be scarcely any conscious ness of parting company at the beginning. Take care of little divergencies that are habitual.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Can two walk together, except they be agreed?