‘Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.’ Exodus 14:13
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 37:1–9
In what way are we to stand still, dear friends? Surely it means among other things, that we are to wait awhile. Time is precious, but there are occasions when the best use we can make of it, is to let it run on. If time flies, that is no reason why I am always to fly. Every experienced man knows that by being wrongly busy for one hour, he may make mischief which a lifetime would hardly rectify. If I run without waiting to enquire the way, I may run upon my ruin. Many who have been very busy in helping themselves, would have done better waiting upon their Lord. Prayer is never a waste of time. A man who would ride post-haste, had better wait till he is perfectly mounted, or he may slip from the saddle. He who glorifies God by standing still, is better employed than he who diligently serves his own self-will. Wait awhile then. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; wait in faith, for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord. Believe that if he shall keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not murmuring because you are under the affliction, but blessing God for it; never murmuring against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it stands, and put it as it stands simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God.
For meditation: There is a time to be swift and a time to be slow (James 1:19). The Christian should be active, but not an activist; advancing in faith, but not rushing ahead (Proverbs 21:5). ‘Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?’ (2 Kings 6:33) is the language of unbelief. ‘He that believeth shall not make haste’ (Isaiah 28:16). Does your busy timetable allow for you to be still and know that the Lord is God (Psalm 46:10)?
Sermon no. 541
22 November (1863)