The Strength-Giving Look
* And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might.’—Judges vi. 14.
FOR the might of a look of the Lord is enough
r for anything! Only, we must meet His look; our eyes must be ever toward the Lord,1 and then we shall not miss it: for He says, ‘I will set Mine eyes upon them for good.’2 So, if we are indeed His people, we can never look up to Him without His look of grace and goodness and guidance meeting ours.
It will not trouble us as it ‘troubled the Egyptians ‘ * when that mysterious look of the Lord fell upon them ‘through the pillar of fire and of the cloud;’ that look of judgment is not for His Israel.
Yet for them there is the solemn look of searching, when He ‘ lookethon the heart.’*
For them, too, the look of expectation, when He comes to His vineyard and looks ‘that it should bring forth grapes ; ‘5 when He comes to ‘see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear,’ with the beautiful promise in His hand, ‘There will I give thee My loves.”
1 Ps. XXV. 15. 2 Jer. xxiv. 6. s Ex. xiv. 24.
* I Sam. xvi. 7. 6 Jsa. v. 2.
For them the unspeakable power and tenderness of His look of recall.2 One who, after denial of the faith, had felt the might of that look, said to a lad who stood awed by the manly tears: ‘Ah, Willie, it’s forgiven sin that breaks a man’s heart!’ How many a wanderer has been called back even by the record that ‘the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.’
Then the look of healing and help? Have we as simple faith as the father who besought Jesus to look upon his only son, as if even a look from the dimly recognized Master should be enough ?* And so it was! the ‘word only,’ the touch, the look, were enough for health and cure in cases to which this was a terrible climax.6
Then the look of blessingand love. ‘Look down . . .and bless Thy people,’6 prayed Moses. And what a look of blessing that was when Jesus ‘looked round about on them which sat about Him,’ and ‘stretched forth His hand toward’ them, and gave them the right of the nearest and dearest relationships!1 Oh! let us take time (make time, if need be) to ‘sit about Him ‘ 8 and listen to His teaching and meet His look.
And, last of the seven, there is for His people the special look of strengthening? There is so much in it. Suppose you are called to take part in some busy and complicated arrangements; it is all new
1 Cant. vii. 12. 2 Luke xxii. 61. 3 Mark ix. 24.
* Luke ix. 38. 6 Matt. viii. 8; Mark v. 28; ib. ix. 20, 21.
6 Deut. xxvi. 15. 7 Mark iii. 34; Matt. xii. 49.
s l)eut. xxxiii. 3; Luke x; 39. 8 Judg. vi. 14.
to you; you are not quite sure you are doing the right thing in the right way; you hesitate and go on slowly and uncertainly, with no sense of freedom and power. All at once you catch the eye of the one who is leading and organizing !1 The look is enough; there is direction, approval, confidence, encouragement, in that one glance, and you work away altogether differently. Very graciously does the Master sometimes give this strengthening look— giving, in a way no one could convey to another, just what we needed for our special work. We know that our Lord has looked upon us, and the look has flashed electric strength into heart and hand; and we go on our way rejoicing, not at all in feeling any more able than before, but in the brightness of His power, saying, ‘I will go in the strength of the Lord God.” And then His own strength is ours, and He says, ‘Go in this thy might,’ for ‘thy God hath commanded thy strength ;’3 and yet we know more distinctly than ever that it is His strength which is made perfect in our weakness.4 Who is it that shall have the strengthening look of the Lord ?’ To this man will I look,’ saith Jehovah, ‘even to him that is poof and of a contrite spirit.’6 It was he who said, ‘What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?’ who ‘ did ea*. continually at the king’s table.”
1 Ps. xxxii. 8. 2 Ps. xliv. 3; ib. Ixxi. 16; ib. Ixxxvi. 16.
3 Ps. Ixviii. 28. 4 Isa. xlv. 4; 2 Cor. xii. 9.
5 Isa. Ixvi. 2. ‘2 Sam, ix. 8; ib. ix. 13.