Thy way is in the sea - Thou didst walk through the sea, thy path was through a multitude of waters.
Thy footsteps are not known - It was evident from the effects that God was there: but his track could not be discovered; still he is the Infinite Spirit, without parts, limits, or passions. No object of sense.
Thy way is in the sea - Probably the literal meaning here is, that God had shown his power and faithfulness in the sea (that is, the Red Sea), in delivering his people; it was there that his true character was seen, as possessing almighty power, and as being able to deliver his people. But this seems to have suggested, also, another idea - that the ways of God, in his providential dealings, were like walking through the sea, where no permanent track would be made, where the waves would close on the path, and where it would be impossible by any footprints to ascertain the way which he had taken. So in regard to his doings and his plans. There is nothing by which man can determine in regard to them. There are no traces by which he can follow out the divine designs - as none can follow one whose path is through the trackless waters. The subject is beyond man‘s reach, and there should be no rash or harsh judgment of the Almighty.
And thy path in the great waters - The additional idea here may be, that the ways or plans of God are vast - like the ocean. Even in shallow waters, when one wades through them, the path closes at once, and the way cannot be traced; but God‘s goings are like those of one who should move through the great ocean - over a boundless sea - where none could hope to follow him.
And thy footsteps are not known - The word rendered “footsteps” means properly the print made by the “heel,” and the print made by the foot. The idea here is, that there are no traces in regard to many of the dealings of God, which appear most incomprehensible to us, and which trouble us most, as there can be no footprints left in the waters. We should not venture, therefore, to sit in judgment on the doings of God, or presume that we can understand them.
Then hope returned to the hearts of Israel. And Moses lifted up his voice unto the Lord. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto Me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” PP 287.1
The psalmist, describing the passage of the sea by Israel, sang, “Thy way was in the sea, and Thy paths in the great waters, and Thy footsteps were not known. Thou leddest Thy people like a flock, by the hand of Moses and Aaron.” Psalm 77:19, 20, R.V. As Moses stretched out his rod the waters parted, and Israel went into the midst of the sea, upon dry ground, while the waters stood like a wall upon each side. The light from God's pillar of fire shone upon the foam-capped billows, and lighted the road that was cut like a mighty furrow through the waters of the sea, and was lost in the obscurity of the farther shore. PP 287.2
“The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.” The mysterious cloud changed to a pillar of fire before their astonished eyes. The thunders pealed and the lightnings flashed. “The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound: Thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of Thy thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightning lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.” Psalm 77:17, 18, R.V. PP 287.3Read in context »