with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for February 18
Thou art my hope in the day of evil.—JER. 17:17.
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.—I will sing of thy power; yea I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning; for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O Lord: and unto the Lord I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Reeemer.—Sorrow shall be turned into joy.—Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
“Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.”
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children’s graces, to make them shine the better. It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.” Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?—for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why he is contending with you?
“Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.”
26. Prophecy Against Tyre
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, because that Tyrus hath said against Jerusalem, Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste: 3Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. 4And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. 5It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. 6And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the Lord.
7For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. 8He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. 9And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. 10By reason of the abundance of his horses their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. 11With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. 12And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water. 13And I will cause the noise of thy songs to cease; and the sound of thy harps shall be no more heard. 14And I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon; thou shalt be built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
15Thus saith the Lord GOD to Tyrus; Shall not the isles shake at the sound of thy fall, when the wounded cry, when the slaughter is made in the midst of thee? 16Then all the princes of the sea shall come down from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off their broidered garments: they shall clothe themselves with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at thee. 17And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which wast strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! 18Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. 19For thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; 20When I shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land of the living; 21I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, saith the Lord GOD.
19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He that taketh the wise in their craftiness: 20and again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are vain. 21Wherefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours; 22whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
21The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
22For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
23The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
24Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
26He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.
27Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28For the Lord loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
30The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
31The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
32The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33The Lord will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
34Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
35I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
36Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
37Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
38But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
39But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
40And the Lord shall help them and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.