He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him…
How Israel was found, led, taught, kept.
I. WHERE GOD FOUND HIM. (Ver. 10.) Partly metaphorical - the state of Israel in Egypt being likened to that of a man perishing in the desert; partly literal - it being in the desert that God found the people when he took them into covenant. An image of the helpless and hopeless condition of the sinner. Cut off from life, without shelter, provision, resting-place, or final home.
II. HOW GOD DEALT WITH HIM. (Vers. 10, 11.) That Israel was kept in the wilderness so long was his own fault. But grace overruled the discipline for good. The long sojourn in the desert made Israel's case, also, a better type of our own. There are ends to be served by this sojourn (John 17:15). God showed himself:
1. Condescending to Israel's feebleness (Hosea 11:3, 4).
2. Mindful of his ignorance. "Instructed him."
3. Watchful of his safety. "Kept him."
4. Careful of his training (ver. 11).
The love and solicitude implied in such phrases as, "kept him as the apple of his eye" (ver. 10), and "as an eagle stirreth up," etc. (ver. 11), specially deserve notice. The apple of the eye is a sensitive part, which we protect with the utmost care, and from the slightest injuries. (On the eagle, see below.)
III. WHITHER GOD CONDUCTED HIM. (Vers. 13, 14.) To a land of plenty and rest. Made his defense the munitions of rocks. Provided him with all that heart could desire. So does God bring the believer to a large and wealthy place - a place of "fullness of joy," of richest satisfactions, of most perfect delights. Spiritually, even here, where the most unpropitious circumstances yield him unexpected blessings. Eternally and in perfected form hereafter. Note: God alone did all this for Israel. (ver. 12). - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.