And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place…
I. A PICTURE OF THE STATE OF THE WORLD. We may view this picture of the world under four aspects —
1. A picture of the natural world. The four elements of nature are brought into view — earth, air, water, and fire; and each in its turn may become a blessing or a curse to man. Man has lost the dominion of nature, and is no longer at home in it. He fights an unequal battle, and is obliged to succumb.
2. A picture of the moral world. Although war, famine, and pestilence are physical evils, their causes are moral. They fall more directly on man than other natural evils. They are the storms of human society.
3. A picture of the spiritual world. This earth is the platform, not merely of a natural and political moral strife; it is the arena, as well, of a spiritual strife. To realise this, and to know it as the most certain of all facts, the soul must be awakened by the Spirit of God to the true meaning of life. We must feel the battle within ourselves in order to see it around us.
4. Something that reminds us of a condition of existence in the eternal world. All the storms of which we have spoken are but the foreshadowings of the wrath of God.
II. A PROPHECY OF THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. This is represented under the figure of a hiding-place, a covert, rivers of water, and the shadow of a great rock.
1. The blessedness of the prophecy. In proportion as we have realised the world to be what the word here describes it as being, Will the announcement of the text appear most acceptable and blessed.
2. The wonderfulness and apparent contradictoriness of the prophecy. It says that a "man" shall be a hiding-place. Man is the creature who is in want of salvation.
3. The prophecy itself, more directly and particularly. We accept the statement as at once referring primarily to Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Only in Him is the prophecy fully realised, and delivered from its apparently contradictory character. Believers look upon Him as the only one who can save from physical, moral, spiritual, and eternal evil.
4. How the man Christ Jesus is such a hiding-place.
Parallel VersesKJV: And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.