Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert…
I. THE ESSENCE OF REVERENCE LIES IN OUR FORMING A TRUE ESTIMATE OF OUR PLACE AMONG THE POWERS AROUND US, AND SO UNDERSTANDING ARIGHT AND HABITUALLY FEELING WHAT IS OUR RELATION TO THEM. Now, to do this —
1. We must apprehend something of the mystery of life in ourselves and in others.
2. We must recognize the distinction of the different grades of being in those in whom life is, and seek to find and to keep our own due place in that mighty and marvellous scale of existences.
II. WE MUST BOW DOWN BEFORE HIM WHO IS THE FOUNTAIN OF ALL LIFE, THE LIFE OF ALL WHO LIVE. This adoration of the soul before Him is the central point of the grace of reverence, and its influence pervades and adjusts all our other relations, both towards Himself and towards the other creatures of His hand.
III. It is a question of the deepest moment to us all HOW, IN AN AGE ONE SPECIAL TEMPTATION OF WHICH IS CLEARLY TO LOSE ITS REVERENCE, THE GIFT CAN BE KEPT QUICK AND LIVING IN OURSELVES.
1. The first step must be the keeping guard against whatever tends to irreverence. All that professedly robs life of its mystery does this. So, even more directly, does all that robs revelation of its awfulness. Receiving God's Word as God's Word, striving to do it, striving to overcome temptations to doubt, not by crushing them out, but by turning them into occasions of prayer and of adoration, these efforts, and such as these, will keep us in an irreverent age from the great loss of irreverence.
2. Above all, we must pray for reverence as the gift of God; for such prayer not only draws down a certain answer, but even by its own action tends to put our spirits in the frame of reverence.
(Bp. S. Wilberforce.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.