And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing…
"At Thy word" has been the password of all good men from the beginning until now. Saints have acted upon these three words, and found their marching orders in them. An ark is builded on dry land, and the ribald crowd gather about the hoary patriarch, laughing at him; but he is not ashamed, for, lifting his face to heaven, he saith, "I have builded this great vessel, O Jehovah, at Thy word." Abraham quits the place of his childhood, leaves his family, and goes with Sarah to a land of which he knows nothing, crossing the broad Euphrates, and entering upon a country possessed by the Canaanite, in which he roams as a stranger and a sojourner all his days. He dwells in tents with Isaac and Jacob. If any scoff at him for thus renouncing the comforts of settled life, he lifts also his calm face to heaven, and smilingly answers to the Lord, "It is at Thy word." Ay, and even when his brow is furrowed, and the hot tear is ready to force itself from beneath the patriarch's eyelid, as he lifts his hand with the knife to stab Isaac to the heart, if any charge him with murder, or think him mad, he lifts the same placid face towards the majesty of the Most High and saith, "It is at Thy word." At that word he joyfully sheathes the sacrificial knife, for he has proved his willingness to go to the utmost at the word of the Lord his God. If I were to introduce you to a thousand of the faithful ones who have shown the obedience of faith, in every case they would justify their acts by telling you that they did them " at God's word." Moses lifts his rod in presence of haughty Pharaoh, "at Thy word," great God! Nor does he lift that rod in vain at Jehovah's word, for thick and heavy fall the plagues upon the children of Ham. They are made to know that God's word returneth not to Him void, but fulfilleth His purpose, whether it be of threatening or of promise. See Moses lead the people out of Egypt, the whole host in its myriads! Mark how he has brought them to the Red Sea, where the wilderness doth shut them in. The heights frown on either side, and the rattle of Egypt's war-chariots is behind. How came Moses so to play the fool and bring them here? Were there no graves in Egypt that thus he brought them forth to die on the Red Sea shore? The answer of Moses is the quiet reflection that he did it at Jehovah's word, and God justifies that word, for the sea opens wide a highway for the elect of God, and they march joyfully through, and with timbrels and dances on the other side they sing unto the Lord who hath triumphed gloriously. If in after days you find Joshua compassing Jericho, and not assailing it with battering rams, but only with one great blast of trumpets, his reason is that God has spoken to him by His word. And so right on, for time would fail me to speak of Samson, and Jephthah, and Barak: these men did what they did at God's word; and, doing it, the Lord was with them.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
WEB: Simon answered him, "Master, we worked all night, and took nothing; but at your word I will let down the net."