"The brook in the way"

In speaking about the messenger of God and his experiences, the psalmist says, "He shall drink of the brook in the way." The human mind seeks a literal and personal interpretation of prophecy. Consequently an endeavor had been made to show that Jesus, on the night of the arrest, when he was being hustled by the crowd of disorderly officials, halted at a brook which had to be crossed, and that he drank of its flowing stream. But of course the psalmist had something more universal in mind than such an incident as this.

The writers of Scripture, having themselves received a vision of divine truth and order, were constantly endeavoring to express this through the medium of human language and imagery. Nothing is so well known in the Orient as the traveled paths or ways, beaten hard by the passage of many feet, so that one would expect the imagery of the way to be continually used. There will be a right way which will take a man from starting point to destination, but if he should wander to right or left, and so turn in a wrong direction, he may get into many complications. A word that is very frequently used in regard to wrong doing is exactly applicable to this. When we say that a man is "in error," what we really mean is that he has erred or wandered out of the right way. Sometimes those who are satisfied with themselves express great severity against those who, as they say, are in error; and yet what does the ordinary kind of citizen do to one who has missed his way? Is it not the usual and natural thing to feel satisfaction in guiding aright the man who has wandered? One does not usually desire further to mislead him or to condemn him for being in the wrong way, so long as it is evident that he is seeking the right way.

Loyalty to God
August 18, 1917

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