with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for February 26
There was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.—REV. 4:3.
This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud,. . . and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.—An everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.—That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.
We declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto their children, in that He hath raised up Jesus again.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.
“Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague.”
Strange enough this regulation appears, yet there was wisdom in it, for the throwing out of the disease proved that the constitution was sound. This evening it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and in no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy; but when sin is seen and felt, it has received its deathblow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it. Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth; and if the Holy Spirit be at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips. What comfort does the text afford to truly awakened sinners: the very circumstance which so grievously discouraged them is here turned into a sign and symptom of a hopeful state! Stripping comes before clothing; digging out the foundation is the first thing in building—and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart. O thou poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from the text, and come as thou art to Jesus—
“For let our debts be what they may, however great or small,
As soon as we have nought to pay, our Lord forgives us all.
’Tis perfect poverty alone that sets the soul at large:
While we can call one mite our own, we have no full discharge.”
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13. Final Warnings
1This is the third time I am coming to you. At the mouth of two witnesses or three shall every word established. 2I have said beforehand, and I do say beforehand, as when I was present the second time, so now, being absent, to them that have sinned heretofore, and to all the rest, that, if I come again, I will not spare; 3seeing that ye seek a proof of Christ that speaketh in me; who to you-ward is not weak, but is powerful in you: 4for he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth through the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through the power of God toward you.