Psalm 136:14

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 14. And made Israel to pass through the midst of it. HE gave the people courage to follow the predestined track through the yawning abyss, which might well have terrified a veteran host. It needed no little generalship to conduct so vast and motley a company along a way so novel and apparently so dangerous. He made them to pass, by the untrodden road; he led them down into the deep and up again on the further shore in perfect order, keeping their enemies back by the thick darkness of the cloudy pillar. Herein is the glory of God set forth, as all his people see it in their own deliverance from sin. By faith we also give up all reliance upon works and trust ourselves to pass by a way which we have not known, even by the way of reliance upon the atoning blood: thus are we effectually sundered from the Egypt of our former estate, and our sins themselves are drowned. The people marched dry shod through the heart of the sea. Hallelujah!

For his mercy endureth for ever. Mercy cleared the road, mercy cheered the host, mercy led them down, and mercy brought them up again. Even to the depth of the sea mercy reaches, -- there is no end to it, no obstacle in the way of it, no danger to believers in it, while Jehovah is all around. "Forward?" be our watchword as it was that of Israel of old, for mercy doth compass us about;

Through the fire or through the sea
Still his mercy guards thee.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 14. And made Israel to pass through the midst of it, etc. Willingly, without reluctance; with great spirit and courage, fearless of danger, and with the utmost safety, so that not one was lost in the passage; see Psalms 78:53 ; and thus the Lord makes his people willing to pass through afflictions, he being with them; and able to bear them, he putting underneath the everlasting arms, even when in the valley of the shadow of death. He carries them safely through them, so that they are not hurt by them; the waters do not overflow them, nor the flames kindle upon them; nor are any suffered to be lost: but all come safe to land. --John Gill.

Verse 14. And made Israel to pass through the midst of it. It is a work of no less mercy and power to give his people grace to make use of an offered means of delivery, than to prepare the deliverance for them; but the constancy of God's mercy doth not only provide the means, but also giveth his people grace to make use thereof in all ages. --David Dickson.

Verse 14. And made Israel to pass through the midst of it. It is many times hail with the saints, when ill with the wicked. Abraham from the hill seeth Sodom on fire. -- John Trapp.