with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for February 19
The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.—PROV. 2:6.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.—If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbradeth not; and it shall be given him.—The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.—God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.—Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.
All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.—Never man spake like this man.—Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
“Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.”
Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history, and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded by supplication. You have found this true in your own personal experience. God has given you many an unsolicited favour, but still great prayer has always been the prelude of great mercy with you. When you first found peace through the blood of the cross, you had been praying much, and earnestly interceding with God that he would remove your doubts, and deliver you from your distresses. Your assurance was the result of prayer. When at any time you have had high and rapturous joys, you have been obliged to look upon them as answers to your prayers. When you have had great deliverances out of sore troubles, and mighty helps in great dangers, you have been able to say, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing's shadow. When the sunlight of God’s mercies rises upon our necessities, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain. Or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, he himself shines behind them, and he casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.
“Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw;
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love;
Brings every blessing from above.”
34. Warning to Zedekiah
The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth of his dominion, and all the people, fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities thereof, saying, 2Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire: 3And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon. 4Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah; Thus saith the Lord of thee, Thou shalt not die by the sword: 5But thou shalt die in peace: and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord! for I have pronounced the word, saith the Lord. 6Then Jeremiah the prophet spake all these words unto Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, 7When the king of Babylon’s army fought against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish, and against Azekah: for these defenced cities remained of the cities of Judah.
8This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them; 9That every man should let his manservant, and every man his maidservant, being an Hebrew or an Hebrewess, go free; that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother. 10Now when all the princes, and all the people, which had entered into the covenant, heard that every one should let his manservant, and every one his maidservant, go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, then they obeyed, and let them go. 11But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids.
12Therefore the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 13Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying, 14At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear. 15And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: 16But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. 17Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 18And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, 19The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; 20I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth. 21And Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which are gone up from you. 22Behold, I will command, saith the Lord, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without an inhabitant.
46And they come to Jericho: and as he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the way side. 47And when he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. 48And many rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me. 49And Jesus stood still, and said, Call ye him. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good cheer: rise, he calleth thee. 50And he, casting away his garment, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus answered him, and said, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? And the blind man said unto him, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight. 52And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And straightway he received his sight, and followed him in the way.
37. Psalm 37
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.
10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
12The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
13The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
14The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
15Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
16A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholdeth the righteous.
18The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
19They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
20But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.