Streams in the Desert
God is Not Unobservant
"I will be still, and I will behold in my dwelling place" (Isa. 18:4, RV).
Assyria was marching against Ethiopia, the people of which are described as tall and smooth. And as the armies advance, God makes no effort to arrest them; it seems as though they will be allowed to work their will. He is still watching them from His dwelling place, the sun still shines on them; but before the harvest, the whole of the proud army of Assyria is smitten as easily as when sprigs are cut off by the pruning hook of the husbandman.
Is not this a marvelous conception of God--being still and watching? His stillness is not acquiescence. His silence is not consent. He is only biding His time, and will arise, in the most opportune moment, and when the designs of the wicked seem on the point of success, to overwhelm them with disaster. As we look out on the evil of the world; as we think of the apparent success of wrong-doing; as we wince beneath the oppression of those that hate us, let us remember these marvelous words about God being still and beholding.
There is another side to this. Jesus beheld His disciples toiling at the oars through the stormy night; and watched though unseen, the successive steps of the anguish of Bethany, when Lazarus slowly passed through the stages of mortal sickness, until he succumbed and was borne to the rocky tomb. But He was only waiting the moment when He could interpose most effectually. Is He still to thee? He is not unobservant; He is beholding all things; He has His finger on thy pulse, keenly sensitive to all its fluctuations. He will come to save thee when the precise moment has arrived. --Daily Devotional Commentary
Whatever His questions or His reticences, we may be absolutely sure of an unperplexed and undismayed Saviour.
"O troubled soul, beneath the rod, Thy Father speaks, be still, be still; Learn to be silent unto God, And let Him mould thee to His will.
"O praying soul, be still, be still, He cannot break His plighted Word; Sink down into His blessed will, And wait in patience on the Lord.
"O waiting soul, be still, be strong, And though He tarry, trust and wait; Doubt not, He will not wait too long, Fear not, He will not come too late."
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