4. Brought to God.
God's ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts. The compassion of man rejoices over the freed slave. It is a solace to him to think of the 'street' children of our great cities taken out of their degradation, rescued from their friendless lives, and nurtured in a home. Who would take the starving, evil-taught child out of his vile misery, and bring him into his own family to dwell amongst the children there? No, a moral barrier between man and man seems to say, thus far shalt thou come and no further. Christ died not only to cleanse us and to bring us out of our degradation and our sin, but to bring us to God — not as the starving child — not in the corruption of sin — not in the rags of our former alien state. No, by grace we are bought out of our old state, and far more than this we are brought into a new one.
The prodigal's reception:
The prodigal returning from the far country approached his father's house with the thought that there he should find bread, and a place amongst the servants. Such were not however his father's thoughts, for there was a feast prepared for the son, and a place for him at his father's table. The young man left his home with that portion of the goods which fell to him. He came back penniless, ragged, and starving. And to find the best robe and all things new and suited to his father's thoughts about him. We do not read that when in his father's presence the son said a word about the servant's place, which he had mentally assigned to himself: the love of his father prohibited the rising of such thoughts in his mind. The father's heart and the father's welcome henceforth occupied his soul. And we are so perfectly fitted for God by the work of His Son, that His presence is our dwelling-place.
How Israel was brought to God:
The mercy of God towards Israel did not cease when He saw the blood upon their door-posts, and passed over them. It did not cease in saving them from judgment, but He brought them up out of the land of Egypt, and from the house of bondage. And well did they realize this, for upon the wilderness shore of the Red Sea they lifted up their voices in mighty chorus, singing, “Thou in Thy mercy hast led forth the people which Thou hast redeemed; Thou hast guided them in Thy strength unto Thy holy habitation.” (Ex. 15:13.)
They were no longer in Egypt or of Egypt, but clean out of it; and, by faith, they saw themselves guided by Jehovah's strength unto His holy habitation.
How often do we hear a newly-converted soul speak of himself as if he were delivered from judgment in order to find his way to heaven. But though we are not yet brought to heaven, we are already brought to God.
A moral change is effected in the soul when being “brought to God” is known.
There is wonderful repose for the soul in the fact that we are “brought to God.” When this is realized a new view of spiritual things opens before us. Doubtless, Israel, upon the standpoint of the rocks of the Canaan side of the Red Sea, viewed God's good news to them very differently from when waiting with their loins girt within their houses in Egypt, eating the passover. They sang upon the other side of the Red Sea (we read of no song in Egypt), and right glorious is that song; so glorious that God has recorded in His book none other song of praise from human lips before it. There are numerous songs given after this redemption triumph, sweet and tender, victorious and exulting; some sung by men upon earth, and some by men in heaven; time songs and eternity songs, but not one before this grand utterance of perfect redemption. And what is true regarding the book is true regarding our lives. There is no real praise to God from the heart of man antecedent to the praise for perfect redemption.
Israel had groaned and cried upon the Egypt side of the sea. They thought that God had brought them to the borders of their land of toil to make for them a vast grave at the sea; but the grave they feared was for their enemies; for themselves it was the gateway of liberty. “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” They stood still. They saw His salvation. “The waters were a wall unto them, on their right hand and on their left.” They “walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea.” Within those waters Pharaoh's chariot and host were cast — his chosen captains drowned. “The depths covered them — they sank into the bottom as a stone.”
Satan may pursue — he may make to tremble — as did Pharaoh up to the Red Sea; but as at the sea Pharaoh's power was for ever broken, so at the resurrection of Christ the power of Satan finds its eternal end. God's people are saved, and great is God's salvation. The Lord is risen. He has passed through death for us, though death shall overwhelm the foe. The force of the enemy ceases at the grave of Christ. Resurrection ground he can not reach. The blood of the Lamb of God is our redemption: the resurrection of Christ is our liberty. The virtue of both is ours; and, in Him who died and rose again, we are reconciled to God. “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:18.) His grave is our gateway of freedom. The powers of darkness cannot pursue the saint beyond the borders of the grave of Jesus. We were redeemed when in the world; but now we are brought out of its judgment; we are brought to God in Christ.