He goes before and behind

For ye shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rearward.
Isaiah 52:12 (English Revised Version)

I want to share the reading from Amy Carmichael's Edges of His Ways, a devotional I've mentioned before and one that always ministers to me. I found it so appropriate for a new month. This is the entry for September 30, though I'm just now getting to posting it. Here are Amy's words:

Have you ever looked back over a month and felt more than a little disheartened over the failures and mistakes - the blots on the page you had meant to keep so white?

There is a most beautiful and tender meaning in the word "rearward" which again and again has comforted me. It may be new to some of you. It means to gather. The Revised Version margin has, to gather you up. An army as it goes forth into new territory needs a Vanguard to protect the van, and a Rearguard to protect the rear, so our glorious God uses these two words in speaking of His loving work to us-ward. The Lord will go before us. Our Vanguard is the Lord. And the Lord God of Israel will be our Rearward - following after, not only to defend us, should the enemy attack in the rear, as he often does, but to gather us up if we flag and are weary because of the way. And if He gathers us up, He gathers up also the things we have dropped, our poor fallen resolutions, mistakes, everything, and deals with them Himself. There is eternal love and tenderness in these dear words, "The Lord God of Israel shall gather you up." Not only that, The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward (Isaiah 58:8).

So, as we travel on into another month we need not fear, Eternal Love is our Vanguard, the glory of Eternal Love is our Rearguard. The everlasting Arms of Everlasting Love shall gather us up.

May the Lord God go before and after you today and all this busy October month! Grace, grace, grace.


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