with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for January 23
Hope maketh not ashamed.—ROM. 5:5.
I am the Lord: . . . they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.—Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.—Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.—My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.—I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed.
God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 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; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.
“I have exalted one chosen out of the people.”
Why was Christ chosen out of the people? Speak, my heart, for heart-thoughts are best. Was it not that he might be able to be our brother, in the blest tie of kindred blood? Oh, what relationship there is between Christ and the believer! The believer can say, “I have a Brother in heaven; I may be poor, but I have a Brother who is rich, and is a King, and will he suffer me to want while he is on his throne? Oh, no! He loves me; he is my Brother.” Believer, wear this blessed thought, like a necklace of diamonds, around the neck of thy memory; put it, as a golden ring, on the finger of recollection, and use it as the King’s own seal, stamping the petitions of thy faith with confidence of success. He is a brother born for adversity, treat him as such.
Christ was also chosen out of the people that he might know our wants and sympathize with us. “He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” In all our sorrows we have his sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness, poverty—he knows them all, for he has felt all. Remember this, Christian, and let it comfort thee. However difficult and painful thy road, it is marked by the footsteps of thy Saviour; and even when thou reachest the dark valley of the shadow of death, and the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, thou wilt find his footprints there. In all places whithersoever we go, he has been our forerunner; each burden we have to carry, has once been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel.
“His way was much rougher and darker than mine
Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine?”
Take courage! Royal feet have left a blood-red track upon the road, and consecrated the thorny path forever.
1. The Birth of Samuel
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.
4And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb. 6And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. 7And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. 8Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
9So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. 10And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. 11And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 12And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth. 13Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. 15And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 17Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 18And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
19And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. 20Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord. 21And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. 22But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide for ever. 23And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the Lord establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
24And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh: and the child was young. 25And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. 27For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there.
2. Favoritism Forbidden
1My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2For if there come into your synagogue a man with a gold ring, in fine clothing, and there come in also a poor man in vile clothing; 3and ye have regard to him that weareth the fine clothing, and say, Sit thou here in a good place; and ye say to the poor man, Stand thou there, or sit under my footstool; 4Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
16. Psalm 16
Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
2O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
3But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
5The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
7I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.