After all Moses and Israel had gone through, Moses began to sing. On December 25, 1887, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon from the text “As the small rain upon the tender herb” (32:2). He made this application: “The rain is seasonable, and in accordance with its surroundings. The rain does not fall while a burning sun is scorching the plants, or it might kill them; neither is it always falling, or it might injure them. Do not bring in your exhortations when they would be out of place, and do not be incessantly talking even the best of truth, lest you weary with chatter those whom you desire to convince with argument. If you will wait upon the Lord for guidance, He will send you forth when you will be most useful, even as He does the rain. God will direct you as to time and place, if you put yourself at His disposal.”
In other words, God is good and wise and, as with Israel, he deals with us according to our stations in life and according to our needs. We might think we need this or that but God knows precisely what we need: discipline when we sin, encouragement when we despair, firmness when necessary, and gentleness when a tender touch is needed. That is, his wisdom is far greater than ours. Remember God’s declaration through Isaiah? “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). We should trust him. And so, with Sarah Adams, we draw near to him.
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me,
still all my song shall be,
nearer, my God, to thee;
nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee! -- Sarah Flower Adams (1841)