And I sought the LORD at that time, saying,…
"Thou hast begun." That is all He can do. Always beginning, never ending that is the mystery and that is the glory of the Divine revelation. When we come to see that all things are but in the bud, and can never get out of it, we shall begin to see the greatness of God. How pitiable is the condition of the man who has worn out anything that has in it real life, poetry, meaning, and application to the affairs and destinies of life! We must not take our life line from such vagrants. We must be made to see and feel that everything has eternity in it. We shall be real students and worshippers when we say about the moors so desolate, and the sea so melancholy, and the forest even in December, "Lo! God is here, and I knew it not; this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." We should be wiser if we were not so clever. If we could consider that all things are yet in plasm and beginning and outline and suggestion, we should remit to a longer day the discussion and the settlement of questions which now constitute the mystery and torment of our intellectual life. A beautiful period of life is that in which a man begins to see the shaping of a Divine purpose in his own existence. Some can remember the time when the meaning of words first came really to the mind. What a light it was, how content was the brain; the whole mind rose up and said, "This is something really gained, and can never be lost." A similar sensation comes to men who live wisely. In their childhood they did not know what God meant them to be, so they proposed many things to their own imagination; then early life came, and things began to settle into some kind of hazy outline; then manhood came, with all its experiences and with all its conflicts, and at last there was, as it were, a man's hand building the life, putting it into square and shape and proportion, and flushing it with colour. Then we began to see what God meant to be the issue of our life. He made us great, small, strong, weak, rich, poor; but if we have lain in His hands quietly, gently, obediently, and lovingly, we see that poverty is wealth and weakness is strength. A holy thought of this kind has sanctified the whole purview and issue of life, so that men can now say, "That is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." When the Lord undertakes the outbuilding and shaping of a life, none can hinder it. "O Lord God, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness." Throughout the Bible God is never represented as a dwindling quantity. God, in other words, does not grow less and less, but more and more. When our imagination is exhausted God's light has already begun to shine. Age after age has come and has written upon its record these words, "He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." God has always reserved to Himself the use of the instrument of education which we call surprise. We have never anticipated God. When we have gone out early in the day it has been by the assistance of His light. If He had not kindled the lamp we could not have taken a step upon our journey. God surprises us with goodness. We think we have partaken of the very best He can give us, and, lo! when we have drunk again of the goblet of Divine love we say, "Thou hast kept the good wine until now. It is in that spirit of hopefulness, in that everlasting genesis, we must live; then we shall be young for ever.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And I besought the LORD at that time, saying,