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.”
Zedekiah to Die in Babylon
1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army and all the kingdoms of the earth under his dominion and all the peoples were fighting against Jerusalem and all of its cities: 2“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire. 3You shall not escape from his hand but shall surely be captured and delivered into his hand. You shall see the king of Babylon eye to eye and speak with him face to face. And you shall go to Babylon.’ 4Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah king of Judah! Thus says the Lord concerning you: ‘You shall not die by the sword. 5You shall die in peace. And as spices were burned for your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so people shall burn spices for you and lament for you, saying, “Alas, lord!”’ For I have spoken the word, declares the Lord.”
6Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah, in Jerusalem, 7when the army of the king of Babylon was fighting against Jerusalem and against all the cities of Judah that were left, Lachish and Azekah, for these were the only fortified cities of Judah that remained.
8The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to make a proclamation of liberty to them, 9that everyone should set free his Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should enslave a Jew, his brother. 10And they obeyed, all the officials and all the people who had entered into the covenant that everyone would set free his slave, male or female, so that they would not be enslaved again. They obeyed and set them free. 11But afterward they turned around and took back the male and female slaves they had set free, and brought them into subjection as slaves. 12The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 13“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 14‘At the end of seven years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; you must set him free from your service.’ But your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me. 15You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name, 16but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.
17“Therefore, thus says the Lord: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, declares the Lord. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 18And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make them like11Hebrew lacks them like the calf that they cut in two and passed between its parts— 19the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf. 20And I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth. 21And Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has withdrawn from you. 22Behold, I will command, declares the Lord, and will bring them back to this city. And they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without 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.
He Will Not Forsake His Saints
1Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
be not envious of wrongdoers!
2For they will soon fade like the grass
and wither like the green herb.
3Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.22Or and feed on faithfulness, or and find safe pasture
4Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
7Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
8Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
9For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.
10In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11But the meek shall inherit the land
and delight themselves in abundant peace.
12The wicked plots against the righteous
and gnashes his teeth at him,
13but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that his day is coming.
14The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose way is upright;
15their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.
16Better is the little that the righteous has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.
18The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will remain forever;
19they are not put to shame in evil times;
in the days of famine they have abundance.
20But the wicked will perish;
the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.