with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for April 1
Jehovah-shalom: (The Lord send peace.)—JUDG. 6:24.
Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.—Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.—My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
He is our peace.—This man shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.
“It is time to seek the Lord.”
This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish ere you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Ye who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord. Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now—be thankful for that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.
20. David and Jonathan
And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? 2And he said unto him, God forbid; thou shalt not die: behold, my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it me: and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. 3And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. 4Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. 5And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 6If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 7If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be very wroth, then be sure that evil is determined by him. 8Therefore thou shalt deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of the Lord with thee: notwithstanding, if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? 9And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee: for if I knew certainly that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee? 10Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? or what if thy father answer thee roughly?
11And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field. 12And Jonathan said unto David, O Lord God of Israel, when I have sounded my father about to morrow any time, or the third day, and, behold, if there be good toward David, and I then send not unto thee, and shew it thee; 13The Lord do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the Lord be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the Lord, that I die not: 15But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the Lord hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies. 17And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18Then Jonathan said to David, To morrow is the new moon: and thou shalt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. 19And when thou hast stayed three days, then thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. 20And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 21And, behold, I will send a lad, saying, Go, find out the arrows. If I expressly say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee, take them; then come thou: for there is peace to thee, and no hurt; as the Lord liveth. 22But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the Lord hath sent thee away. 23And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, the Lord be between thee and me for ever.
24So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat meat. 25And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. 26Nevertheless Saul spake not any thing that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 27And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? 28And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem: 29And he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favour in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he cometh not unto the king’s table. 30Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? 31For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. 32And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore shall he be slain? what hath he done? 33And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David. 34So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no meat the second day of the month: for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 36And he said unto his lad, Run, find out now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 38And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39But the lad knew not any thing: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city.
41And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 42And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
15And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, and said (and there was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty), 16Brethren, it was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry. 18(Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms,
Let his habitation be made desolate,
And let no man dwell therein:
His office let another take.
21Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. 23And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
75. Psalm 75
Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
2When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
3The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
4I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
9But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.