with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for January 22
This God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.—PSA. 48:14.
O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.—The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.—Thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.—Our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.—The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
“Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?”
These words are for the humbling of God’s people; they are called God’s vine, but what are they by nature more than others? They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord hath trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to his glory; but what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that thou hast no ground for it. Whatever thou art, thou hast nothing to make thee proud. The more thou hast, the more thou art in debt to God; and thou shouldst not be proud of that which renders thee a debtor. Consider thine origin; look back to what thou wast. Consider what thou wouldst have been but for divine grace. Look upon thyself as thou art now. Doth not thy conscience reproach thee? Do not thy thousand wanderings stand before thee, and tell thee that thou art unworthy to be called his son? And if he hath made thee anything, art thou not taught thereby that it is grace which hath made thee to differ? Great believer, thou wouldst have been a great sinner if God had not made thee to differ. O thou who art valiant for truth, thou wouldst have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon thee. Therefore, be not proud, though thou hast a large estate—a wide domain of grace, thou hadst not once a single thing to call thine own except thy sin and misery. Oh! strange infatuation, that thou, who hast borrowed everything, shouldst think of exalting thyself; a poor dependent pensioner upon the bounty of thy Saviour, one who hath a life which dies without fresh streams of life from Jesus, and yet proud! Fie on thee, O silly heart!
The Holy Stones Lie Scattered
1How the gold has grown dim,
how the pure gold is changed!
The holy stones lie scattered
at the head of every street.
2The precious sons of Zion,
worth their weight in fine gold,
how they are regarded as earthen pots,
the work of a potter's hands!
3Even jackals offer the breast;
they nurse their young,
but the daughter of my people has become cruel,
like the ostriches in the wilderness.
4The tongue of the nursing infant sticks
to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
the children beg for food,
but no one gives to them.
5Those who once feasted on delicacies
perish in the streets;
those who were brought up in purple
embrace ash heaps.
6For the chastisement11Or iniquity of the daughter of my people has been greater
than the punishment22Or sin of Sodom,
which was overthrown in a moment,
and no hands were wrung for her.33The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
8Now their face is blacker than soot;
they are not recognized in the streets;
their skin has shriveled on their bones;
it has become as dry as wood.
9Happier were the victims of the sword
than the victims of hunger,
who wasted away, pierced
by lack of the fruits of the field.
10The hands of compassionate women
have boiled their own children;
they became their food
during the destruction of the daughter of my people.
11The Lord gave full vent to his wrath;
he poured out his hot anger,
and he kindled a fire in Zion
that consumed its foundations.
12The kings of the earth did not believe,
nor any of the inhabitants of the world,
that foe or enemy could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.
13This was for the sins of her prophets
and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed in the midst of her
the blood of the righteous.
14They wandered, blind, through the streets;
they were so defiled with blood
that no one was able to touch
15“Away! Unclean!” people cried at them.
“Away! Away! Do not touch!”
So they became fugitives and wanderers;
people said among the nations,
“They shall stay with us no longer.”
17Our eyes failed, ever watching
vainly for help;
in our watching we watched
for a nation which could not save.
18They dogged our steps
so that we could not walk in our streets;
our end drew near; our days were numbered,
for our end had come.
19Our pursuers were swifter
than the eagles in the heavens;
they chased us on the mountains;
they lay in wait for us in the wilderness.
20The breath of our nostrils, the Lord's anointed,
was captured in their pits,
of whom we said, “Under his shadow
we shall live among the nations.”
21Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom,
you who dwell in the land of Uz;
but to you also the cup shall pass;
you shall become drunk and strip yourself bare.
22The punishment of your iniquity, O daughter of Zion, is accomplished;
he will keep you in exile no longer;77Or he will not exile you again
but your iniquity, O daughter of Edom, he will punish;
he will uncover your sins.
You Will Not Abandon My Soul
1Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
5The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.44Hebrew my kidneys instruct me
8I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being55Hebrew my glory rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.66Or see the pit
11You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.