Psalm 78:13

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 13. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through. A double wonder, for when the waters were divided the bottom of the sea would naturally be in a very unfit state for the passage of so vast a host as that of Israel; it would in fact have been impassable, had not the Lord made the road for his people. Who else has ever led a nation through a sea? Yet the Lord has done this full often for his saints in providential deliverances, making a highway for them where nothing short of an almighty arm could have done so.

And he made the waters to stand as an heap. He forbade a drop to fall upon his chosen, they felt no spray from the crystal walls on either hand. Fire will descend and water stand upright at the bidding of the Lord of all. The nature of creatures is not their own intrinsically, but is retained or altered at the will of him who first created them. The Lord can cause those evils which threaten to overwhelm us to suspend their ordinary actions, and become innocuous to us.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 13. He made the waters to stand as an heap. The original word imports, those great heaps which are made use of as dykes or banks to restrain the waters. But the Jews have not only understood these expressions literally, but have likewise taken upon them to add particular circumstances, as if the history had been so concise, that it wanted to be supplied therewith. They say, that the sea had formed, as it were, twelve roads or causeways, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites. James Saurin.

Verse 13. He made the waters to stand as an heap. God did not wish altogether to take the sea from the gaze of the Hebrews, but to interrupt and divide it, that like a wall it might stand firm on either side of the way. This was done, first, that the miracle might be evident, for in that sea there is no tidal rise or fall of the waters. Secondly, that the people might have greater joy at the sight of so great a miracle. Thirdly, that in their whole passage they might depend more upon the providence of God, who, in a single moment, could allow the sea to return to its bed and drown all of them. It is God's will than we should flee to him the more ardently as the aspect of present danger. Fourthly and lastly, that the people might pass over the more rapidly, since they knew not how long God wished the miracle to last. Thomas Le Blanc.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 12-16. God revealed in his deeds. The wonder working God -- Psalms 78:12-16 . The avenging God -- Psalms 78:12 . The interposing God -- Psalms 78:13 . The guiding God -- Ps 78:14. The Father God -- Psalms 78:14-16 . C. D.

Verse 12-17. Obstinacy of unbelief. It makes head against God's majesty -- Psalms 78:17 ; his gracious providence -- Psalms 78:14-16 ; his interposing care -- Psalms 78:13 ; his avenging justice -- Psalms 78:12 ; his distinguishing grace -- Psalms 78:12-16 . C. D.

Verse 12-17. Prodigies cannot convert the soul. Luke 16:31 . C. D.