24th June 2020
“They go from strength to strength.” Psalm 84:7
“They go from strength to strength.” It is in the margin, “from company to company.” I rather think, that the meaning implied is, “they go from halting place to halting place.” There were certain fixed spots where the whole company rested at night; as we read, when the infant Jesus tarried at Jerusalem, his parents knew it not: they supposed that he was “in the company;” that is, had gone on with the travelling pilgrims; but when night came, and they looked for him, he was not there.
These halting places were certain spots where the caravan of the travelling pilgrims rested at night; by these successive haltings their strength was recruited, and they were enabled to bear the long journey, rising in the morning refreshed with their night’s rest.
The Psalmist viewing it spiritually says, “They go from strength to strength.” At each halting place they received fresh strength to pursue their journey onward. And is not this true in grace? There are halting places in the divine life, spots of rest, where the true pilgrims renew their strength. For instance, every manifestation of the Lord is a communication of divine strength, a recruiting place, where the soul renews its strength to travel onward. Every promise that comes with sweet power is another halting place where the traveller may rest. Every discovery of interest in Christ; every glimpse of the grace and glory of Jesus; every word from the Lord’s lips; every smile from the Lord’s face; every token for good; every thing that encourages, supports, blesses, and comforts the soul, enabling it to go onwards towards its heavenly home, is a halting place, where the pilgrim rests, and where he recruits his weary limbs. And where can we rest, except where God rests? But does not God “rest in his love?” And can we rest anywhere short of God’s love shed abroad in our heart? Does not God rest in his dear Son? Did not this voice come from the excellent glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased?” All the satisfaction of God centres in Jesus; all the delight of the Father rests in the Son of his love. “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth!” Can we then rest anywhere but where God rests? Is it not spiritually with us as with the Israelites of old? When the cloud tarried, they tarried; when the cloud went, they went; when the cloud moved onward, they followed it; and when the cloud stopped, they halted, and rested beneath its shadow.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869