The LORD Going Before

“Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is He which goeth over before thee.”
(Deuteronomy 9:3)

This describes what God does and will do for His people – that in all their concerns, and troubles, and difficulties, He will go before them; and it is our mercy to do nothing and go nowhere without Him, but to see that in every transaction of life He goes with us.

This He will do, if we are led to ask Him to do so; and we shall find
that with His help and guidance, no enemy will be too much for us.
And He will go through Jordan with us, as the ark of the covenant
went before Israel (Joshua 3:3-4). Death will be a sad, gloomy time
if we are without Him; but this ark is to teach us He will go before
His people there; so I have seen it.

But by what token may we know that He will be going before us then?

Why, if we are led in our daily troubles to have His help and presence, and are not driven away in confusion, saying we must do this, and then seek Him. But I say, if we do not find His help now in our troubles and difficulties, we shall not find it then. It is said they went over dry shod (Joshua 3:17; Isaiah 11:15; Exodus 14:22), to show how clearly the Lord brings His people out.

This must be our labour – to watch all day how the rain of His Spirit falls. For it is said this land is not like the garden of Egypt, a land watered by the foot – by all fleshly contrivances; but it is “a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain” (Deuteronomy 11:12-14).

Is not this a sweet consideration to get into your heart, that the Lord cares for us, His eyes are upon us all the year round?

When we have contracted guilt, and are burdened with sin and misery – yes, ten times more at that time than any other, His eye is on us, not for evil, but with care, tenderness, kindness and compassion.

How was it with David?

He did, we must allow, many things forbidden; but then he came to this – God brought him to it, “I have sinned”; and then the next words are, “The Lord also hath put away thy sin” (2 Samuel 12:13).

“The Lord thy God is He which goeth over before thee; as a
consuming fire He shall destroy them.”

God shall destroy our enemies by trouble and sorrow. Our conceit and pride are amazing, but God breaks the neck of these things, partly by bringing us before a broken law and keeping Christ out of sight, and still more, by revealing Christ. And how many times does He tell us that He does not do this for our righteousness, for we are a stiff-necked people, but that He may perform the word which He sware unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Deuteronomy 9:5-6).

By James Bourne – 1841

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