24th September 2020
“His going forth is prepared as the morning.” Hosea 6:3
It is to the living soul walking in darkness, and unable to find God, that this text speaks: “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” There is an appointed time for the Lord to go forth and this is sweetly compared to the rising of the sun. Does not “the dayspring know his place?” (Job 38:12.) Does not the sun rise every day according to the minute before appointed? Is he ever before his time, or ever after his time? Did the free will of the creature ever hurry or retard his rising for a single second? Thus it is with the going forth of the Lord for the salvation of his people, the going forth of the Lord in the revelation of his presence and his power, the going forth of the Lord from the place where he has for a while hidden himself, to come down with light and life into the soul. All his glorious goings forth are as much prepared, and the moment is as much appointed, as the time is fixed every morning for the sun to rise.
But what is the state of things naturally before the sun rises? Does not midnight precede the dawn, does not darkness come before light? And when it is midnight naturally, can we bid the sun arise and disperse the darkness? Is there not, as the Psalmist says, a waiting for the morning, naturally? “My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning.” Is not the invalid tossing on his restless couch, waiting for the morning? Is not the shipwrecked mariner driven on the rocks, waiting anxiously for the morning, to know what is his prospect of safety, what friendly sail may be in sight? Is not the man benighted on the downs waiting for the morning, that the sun may arise, and he find his way homeward? But with all their waiting they cannot bid the sun arise; they must wait till the appointed time. So the going forth of the Sun of righteousness, the appearance of Christ in the heart, the sweet revelation of the Son of God, the lifting up of the light of his blessed countenance, is “prepared as the morning”—as fixed, as appointed in the mind of God as the morning to come in its season; but no more to be hurried than the sun is to be hurried up the sky. Aye, and it is as much an impossibility for us to bring the Lord into our souls before the appointed time, or keep him there when he is come, as for us to play the part of Joshua, and say, “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, moon, in the valley of Ajalon.”
But “his going forth is prepared as the morning,” and when he goes forth, he goes forth “conquering and to conquer,” mounted on the white horse spoken of in Revelation. He goes forth to conquer our enemies, to overcome our temptations, to lay our souls at his footstool, to arise like the sun in his strength, and to come into the heart with healing in his wings.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869