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Round-About Ways of God.

Round-About Ways of God.

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Published by glennpease
BY WILLIAM W. GUTH,

President College of
the Pacific.
BY WILLIAM W. GUTH,

President College of
the Pacific.

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Published by: glennpease on May 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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ROUD-ABOUT WAYS OF GOD.BY WILLIAM W. GUTH,President College of the Pacific.From Egypt to Palestine is a marcli of about ^ve days. It took the Israelitesforty years to make the journey. God ledthem by the round-about way. The nearway was through the land of the Philis-tines, a hardy and warlike people. The Is-raelites were not trained to fight. Theywere passing from a period of slavery toa land they were to conquer. They had noidea as yet what it meant to govern.Hence the forty years of training andGod's round-about way.The experience of the Children of Israelis our own. The ways are before us. Theyseem short. So far as we know they areeasy and delightful. But God says, **Youmust follow the round-about way.'' Paulwould have gone to Eome much earlier inhis experience. He felt confident he could115SPIRITUAL VALUES.render a service there. But twice we readthe Spirit restrained him from going. Westudy his career and discover he was notnearly so strong as he thought he was;had he come to Rome immediately, it musthave been by way of the Philistines, andhe might have been overcome. Then, too,he was not trained for his work. Heneeded the experience which he wentthrough to educate him for his great tasks.Although God's round-about way led himthrough misunderstanding and persecu-tion, it gave him the routine he needed as
 
a student of Christ's gospel. "When hefinally reached Rome it was as a graduatein the school of Christ.So we make experience. We ask our-selves frequently, **Why is it necessary forus to come to strength and knowledge onlyby the long, round-about way^' We ask these questions as grown-up people. Whenwe look at the child we are reminded of our own infancy and of our weakness andignorance, and we do not wonder it was116EOUD-ABOUT WAYS OF GOD.necessary for us to come by slow stagesof growth into the strength and knowledgeof maturity. But as the great questionscrowd about us, as we are dealing with theproblems of life, we ask why we can notmake more progress into strength and en-lightenment. It matters not whether theseproblems go to the very heart of the uni-verse and deal with the grave concerns of eternity and destiny, or whether they arethe more practical problems of success andfailure in our life's work. Whatever theyare, we are impatient of the slow progresswe make. The young man as he enters col-lege looks forward to his course with allthe eagerness and buoyancy of his youth-ful enthusiasm. He is apt to fret and tochafe under the routine and the necessarystages of his work. Why can he not takemore hours than are allotted him? Whymust the course be so long? But when theend comes he looks backward with the ex-perience he gained while prosecuting hisstudies. The years' wandering in the wil-117SPIRITUAL VALUES.
 
demess, as it were, seems a very brief period, and the training for Ms life's work all too short.Why does not G^od unveil His face?Why has He said, '*o one shall see Myface and live?" Why does He hold Hissecrets and mysteries so close within Hisown grasp? The way to the promisedland of divine knowledge ought to be nearif God is good. If He is mindful of the in-terests of His children, why does He notlead them straight to it? This was thethought of the early Israelites, who, as weare told, concluded to go the near way toGod. They would build a tower whichwould reach into the very heavens. Theywould project themselves into the verypresence of the Almighty. They wouldlearn His secrets. They would bring themdown to earth. Up the steps of this towermankind would freely pass, and all thatwas known in heaven would likewise beknown upon the earth. But God said:* *ot so. This is the way through the land118EOUD-ABOUT WAYS OF GOD.of the Philistines; you are not strongenough as yet to bear the knowledge whichthe Almighty reserves for you. If youshould peer into the heavens and look uponHis face you would be undone, and youcould never reach the mind of the Infinite."So God tumbled over the stones of thetower and took the people and led themby the round-about way through His schoolof life.The Old Testament is a history of thiseducation. From the heathen ideas of polytheism to the Hebrew idea of the oneGod, who in love and mercy visited His

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