HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
“ He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.” Psalm 78:15
The psalmist is here reviewing the providence of God that sustained the children of Israel in the desert. That providence had made a deep impression on him, and he delights to dwell upon its wonders. There is a sense, I believe, in which the poet is really the best of all historians. He sees by the gift of a trained imagination into the hearts of men and the character of movements. And though he may lack the minute and critical knowledge that is in the keeping of laborious students, yet he often brings us nearer to the truth than the man who discovers and refutes his errors.
One often feels that it is so with the psalmist, and especially when he is dealing with the Exodus. For him the miracles that marked that journey were not isolated and solitary splendours. They were rather the discoveries of that power which is everywhere present and everywhere upholding; only in other lives they dealt with small numbers of people while here in the Exodus they are with large numbers.
Take for example the water from the rock of which the psalmist is speaking in our text. The wonder that God gave them water as out of the great depths comes to him in a flash. He sees the Israelites crowding around the rock and saying in their hearts, “This cannot last long.” He sees them watching for the supply to fail as, of course, coming from a rock, it must soon do. And then he sees their look of wild surprise when it dawns on them that the stream is inexhaustible and is fed by channels they know nothing of, from boundless and unfathomable reservoirs.
What the people crave for is a draught of water, and God in His mercy gives them their desire. But He fills their cups, not from a little cistern, but as from some illimitable ocean. And the psalmist knows that is always true, for whenever the Almighty satisfies His creatures, He gives them to drink as out of the great depths.
TO BE CONTINUED …………