May Your work be shown to Your servants, and Your splendor to their children.
glory which could only come to the children of the Mosaic generation. But Moses could properly pray that what God was actually then doing - his work by his disciplinary dispensations - might at once be revealed to his servants. To know what God is doing with us is our best help in bearing what burdens God lays upon us. And when we do know, we can even pray God to keep on his corrective work, whatever it may cost us, and let our children realize the issues. The "beauty" of the Lord may be taken as the Divine favour; or it may be a figure for the glory of the Divine presence. The prayer seems to embrace two things.
I. THAT GOD'S PURPOSE SHOULD BE MADE TO APPEAR. "Thy work." That prayer is constantly rising from the hearts of men. We are always wanting to know the meaning of life; the meaning of our lives; the meaning of our lives at particular times. What is God doing with us? Unto what, into what, is God leading us? This is only made known in answer to prayer, which reveals to God an attitude of mind and feeling to which his purpose and his work can be explained. God holds the key to every life story.
II. THAT MAN'S WORK SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED. This is the prayer of those who feel the uncertainty of life, and fear that they will be unable to complete what they have begun. The prayer may take two forms.
1. Permit me to finish the work I have started.
2. Let my children carry on to completion my work. Do not let it be lost and useless, as an unfinished thing. "Establish thou the work of our hands upon us" "When Moses prays that the 'children' of the present generation may see God's glory, he perhaps has in mind the exclusion of the latter from entrance into the land of Canaan. It was only to their children that this, the culminating and most glorious blessing, was to be vouchsafed." - R.T.
I. THE "WORK" OF GOD, as mentioned here, denotes, primarily, the establishment of Israel in the promised land of Canaan; ultimately, the preparation of the way for the Messiah and His Church.
Let Thy work appear unto Thy servants, and Thy glory unto their children.
Evangelist.I. TRUTHS SUGGESTED IN THIS PRAYER.
1. That real religion, wherever it exists, is a Divine production in the human mind. "Thy works," etc. It is a work, and a work of God. God begins it.
2. That they who have experienced its power and preciousness themselves are anxious for its prevalence among those most dear to them. "Their children."
3. That the preservation of religion in families is a leading object of God's dispensations.
4. That it becomes the young, as they rise to years of consciousness and maturity, to unite their prayers with the prayers that are offered on their behalf. O satisfy us with Thy mercy.
II. ENCOURAGEMENTS TO PRESENT THIS PRAYER.
1. It is a point in which God's glory, and man's good, are found to meet and centre. You do not run counter to the tide of Divine designs, but in unison. It is God's work, and God's glory.
2. It is a subject to which the richest promises are made.
3. It has been amply answered in every age.
III. PRACTICAL. HINTS FOR OUR OWN CONDUCT.
1. Aim to be the instrument of fulfilling your own prayer. Show them God's glory.
2. Take heed there is nothing in your conduct to counteract your instruction.
3. Ascribe to God all the glory of success.
II. WHEN THIS "WORK" MAY BE SAID TO "APPEAR." It may be described as appearing anew in different periods; as a work, delayed at times, yet "revived in the midst of the years." Often, after seeming to have let alone His work, has the Divine Being awoke, laid bare His arm, and set His hand a second time to His unfinished work. The degree of piety prevailing at any time is the gauge by which we may measure that progress of this work in the prosperity of Israel.
III. WHY IT IS SO DESIRABLE THAT THIS PRAYER SHOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED. The first concern of a Christian is, that his own life may be given to him as a prey; that He who has begun may perform the good work of His grace in his own soul: the second is, that the same good work may extend to others; that they also may be sharers with ourselves of the same salvation.
1. This desire is the dictate of piety, — of a regard to the glory of God.
2. It is equally the dictate of benevolence, — of a regard for the happiness of others.
(R. Hall, M.A.)
I. "SHOW THY SERVANTS THY WORK" God worketh everywhere and always. Above all in Christ, in the Holy Ghost, and in all the operations of His grace. But man sees it not. Many things hide it. God must show it to him. And here Moses prays that his people may be made to see God's work. Let us, as we need to, make the prayer our own.
II. "AND THEIR CHILDREN THY GLORY." The glory spoken of is the self-manifestation of God. There might, in conception at least, have been God and no glory. But it pleased Him not thus to be. He came forth to communicate, to recreate, to redeem. That forthcoming was outshining. And Moses prayed not only for the generation then living, but for their children. What better prayer can parents offer for their children than this? What better defence against the anxiety on their behalf which they feel so often and so keenly? And God has, in large degree, answered for us this prayer. Let us be grateful for the blessing, and let us hand it on. Never consent that your children should receive a Godless education. The prayer of the patriot, like that of the saint, must be, "Show the children Thy glory."
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