“And the Lord appeared unto Isaac the same night.” (Gen. 26:24.)
APPEARED the same night,” the night on which he went to Beer-sheba. Do you think this revelation was an accident? Do you think the time of it was an accident? Do you think it could have happened on any other night as well as this? If so, you are grievously mistaken. Why did it come to Isaac in the night on which he reached Beer-sheba? Because that was the night on which he reached rest. In his old locality, he had been tormented. There had been a whole series of petty quarrels about the possession of paltry wells. There are no worries like little worries, particularly if there is an accumulation of them. Isaac felt this. Even after the strife was past, the place retained a disagreeable association. He determined to leave. He sought change of scene. He pitched his tent away from the place of former strife. That very night the revelation came. God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the hush of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God sweep by. His still night was his starry night.
My soul, hast thou pondered these words, “Be still, and know”? In the hour of perturbation, thou canst not hear the answer to thy prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come long after! The heart got no response in the moment of its crying—in its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But when the crying ceased, when the stillness fell, when thy hand desisted from knocking on the iron gate, when the interest of other lives broke the tragedy of thine own, then appeared the long-delayed reply. Thou must rest, O soul, if thou wouldst have thy heart’s desire. Still the beating of thy pulse of personal care. Hide thy tempest of individual trouble behind the altar of a common tribulation and, that same night, the Lord shall appear to thee. The rainbow shall span the place of the subsiding flood, and in thy stillness thou shalt hear the everlasting music.—George Matheson.
Tread in solitude thy pathway, Quiet heart and undismayed. Thou shalt know things strange, mysterious, Which to thee no voice has said. While the crowd of petty hustlers Grasps at vain and paltry things, Thou wilt see a great world rising Where soft mystic music rings. Leave the dusty road to others, Spotless keep thy soul and bright, As the radiant ocean’s surface When the sun is taking flight.
—(From the German of V. Schoffel) H. F.
Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 17–18). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.