The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.…
We can see His presence more clearly when we look back over a long connected stretch of days, and when the excitement of feeling the agony or rapture have passed, than we could whilst they were hot, and life was all hurry and bustle. The men on the deck of a ship see the beauty of the city that they have left behind better than when they were stumbling through its narrow streets. And though the view from the far-off waters of the receding houses may be an illusion, our view of the past, if we see God brooding over it all and working in it all, is no illusion. The meannesses are hidden, the narrow places are invisible, all the pain and suffering is quieted, and we are able to behold more truly than when we were in the midst of it the bearing, the purpose, and the blessedness alike of our sorrows and of our joys. Some of us are like people who, when they get better of their sicknesses, grudge the doctor's bill. We forget the mercies as soon as they are past, because we only enjoyed the sensuous sweetness of them while it tickled our palate; and forgot, in the enjoyment of them, of whose love it was that they spoke to us. Sorrows and joys, bring them all in your thanksgivings, and "forget not the works of God."
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.