Chapters From the New Apocrypha/God's Presence With His People
While they tarried by the seaside a certain Pharisee saith unto him, Master, we know that God is gracious and doeth all things well.
Because we have heard with our ears and our fathers have told unto us His loving kindness of old;
How He led His people out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage;
How He fed them with manna in the wilderness, and gave them water to drink out of the rock;
How He sent His ravens with food unto Elijah, the Tishbite;
And commanded in the house of the widow of
Zarephath that the barrel of meal should not waste nor the cruse of oil fail.
But as it was in the days of old it is not now;
For the flood cometh alike upon the evil and the good;
And the pestilence walketh in darkness, upon the righteous man and the sinner;
And the lightning smiteth, and the hail stones, and the stormy wind, both him that doeth good and him that doeth evil.
Where now is the Lord our God that He hath not caused His face to shine upon us?
Hath He forgotten His people? Hath He remembered them no more in mercy?
Jesus, answering, saith unto the Pharisee, There was a man espoused a wife, and she conceived, and bare children;
And while they were yet little children both the man and his wife served them and ministered unto them;
But when they came to man's estate they went into the fields and fed their flocks;
And some went into far countries.
Tell me, I pray thee, do the shepherds who feed their flocks see the face of their father at noonday?
Nay, but rather they wait until the even.
And do they who have journeyed behold their mother while they are yet journeying?
Nay, rather they wait until the end of the journey.
And then shall they behold the face of both father and mother.
Verily I say unto you, even as a father sendeth his children who are no longer of tender years into his fields and upon long journeys,
So doth now the Lord thy God deal with His people Israel.
Who now shall say unto the shepherd, Thy father hath forgotten thee?
Or who shall say unto him that journeyeth, Thy mother hath forsaken thee?
Behold I say unto thee: Feed thy flocks, and go thy way on thy journey; for there is a time for all things, but love endureth forever.