Down Nature's Paths


More About Sand

WHEN MOSES was giving his parting blessing to the tribes of Israel, "on this side of Jordan," he promised Zebulon and Issachar that they would rejoice in, and profit by, "treasures hid in the sand." (Deuteronomy 33:18,19.) It is unthinkable that he referred to pirates' caches, to find which many people search the sands; or to gold dust, the search for which has loaded the record books of heaven with countless crimes. For the worshipful mind the Creator has many a spiritual treasure hid in the sand.

The Bible tells us that sand is a barrier to the proud waves of the sea, the power of God being demonstrated by His use of so flimsy and shifting a medium to control the mad sea's raging. But the sand, when thus used, is no longer flimsy and shifting. Held together by the capillary attraction of water, shifting sand becomes a smooth, solid foundation, a barrier to the sea, able to support the weight and wear and tear of the automobile speed tests. Sand gives no flimsy effect to one who walks over the "measured mile" on Daytona Beach where Sir Malcolm Campbell won his racing laurels. Sand bound together by water becomes substantial.

To grasp the spiritual lessons hid in the sand one needs to start from God's simile of sand and the saved. The redeemed, He repeats in the Bible, are like the sand of the sea. "In number," He frequently adds, and we usually take the figure simply for His ecstatic joy over "bringing many sons unto glory." But not every time God likens the saved to sand does He mention mere quantity; quality is involved. The redeemed, He says, are "as the sand"—like it in qualities and characteristics.

That is why the sand of the sea can successfully oppose the fury of the waves. Composed of grains each one of which is utterly powerless in itself, the mass of sand can be held together by an interpenetration of water that coats each grain and holds it tight against its neighbors until the sand becomes this mighty barrier against the sea. The powerful capillary adhesion is exerted by an element we think of as fluid and unstable—"unstable as water." Yet the combination of the two movable constituents, sand grains and water drops, forms this wall against the waves.

Thus it is when the Holy Spirit has His way with human beings. The usual translation that appears in our Bible as "filled with the Spirit" carries in the original the idea of "clothed with the Spirit." The Holy Spirit is the water; we individual children of God are the weak and shifting sand grains. If we allow the Holy Spirit to clothe us, cover us, swallow up our weakness in His power, He will bind us one to another and to Himself until God's true Israel becomes a mighty wall before which all Satan's waves fall back defeated. One sand grain does not do it alone; but God and I will win—bound up with God's true children.