with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for April 2
If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only.—I SAM. 7:3.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.—Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.—Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
Thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.—Serve him with a perfect heart with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.
Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.—Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.—Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
“He answered him to never a word.”
He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men, but he would not say a single word for himself. “Never man spake like this man,” and never man was silent like him. Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice? Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us? Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin? Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge. Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence. The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom. Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning. Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.
15. Kings of Judah
1Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat began Abijam to reign over Judah. 2Three years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with Jehovah his God, as the heart of David his father. 4Nevertheless for David's sake did Jehovah his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem; 5because David did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
7And the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 8And Abijam slept with his fathers; and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead.
9And in the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Asa to reign over Judah. 10And forty and one years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, as did David his father. 12And he put away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13And also Maacah his mother he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 14But the high places were not taken away: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect with Jehovah all his days. 15And he brought into the house of Jehovah the things that his father had dedicated, and the things that himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
16And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants; and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying, 19There is a league between me and thee, between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 20And Ben-hadad hearkened unto king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel, and smote Ijon, and Dan, and Abel-beth-maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21And it came to pass, when Baasha heard thereof, that he left off building Ramah, and dwelt in Tirzah. 22Then king Asa made a proclamation unto all Judah; none was exempted: and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber thereof, wherewith Baasha had builded; and king Asa built therewith Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah.
23Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24And Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead.
25And Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah; and he reigned over Israel two years. 26And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin. 27And Baasha the son of Ahijah, of the house of Issachar, conspired against him; and Baasha smote him at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines; for Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. 28Even in the third year of Asa king of Judah did Baasha slay him, and reigned in his stead. 29And it came to pass that, as soon as he was king, he smote all the house of Jeroboam: he left not to Jeroboam any that breathed, until he had destroyed him; according unto the saying of Jehovah, which he spake by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite; 30for the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and wherewith he made Israel to sin, because of his provocation wherewith he provoked Jehovah, the God of Israel, to anger.
31Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 32And there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
33In the third year of Asa king of Judah began Baasha the son of Ahijah to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, and reigned twenty and four years. 34And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin.
13These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, even unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God. 14And this is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: 15and if we know that he heareth us whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him. 16If any man see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not concerning this do I say that he should make request. 17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. 18We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not; but he that was begotten of God keepeth himself, and the evil one toucheth him not. 19We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in the evil one. 20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. 21My little children, guard yourselves from idols.
77. Psalm 77
1I will cry unto God with my voice,
Even unto God with my voice; and he will give ear unto me.
2In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord:
My hand was stretched out in the night, and slacked not;
My soul refused to be comforted.
3I remember God, and am disquieted:
I complain, and my spirit is aoverwhelmed.
4Thou holdest mine eyes watching:
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
6I call to remembrance my song in the night:
I commune with mine own heart;
And my spirit maketh diligent search.
7Will the Lord cast off for ever?
And will he be favorable no more?
8Is his lovingkindness clean gone for ever?
Doth his promise fail for evermore?
9Hath God forgotten to be gracious?
Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?
10And I said, This is my infirmity;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.
11I will make mention of the deeds of aJehovah;
For I will remember thy wonders of old.
12I will meditate also upon all thy work,
And muse on thy doings.
13Thy way, O God, is ain the sanctuary:
Who is a great god like unto God?
14Thou art the God that doest wonders:
Thou hast made known thy strength among the peoples.
15Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.
16The waters saw thee, O God;
The waters saw thee, they awere afraid:
The depths also trembled.
17The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound:
Thine arrows also went abroad.
18The voice of thy thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lightened the world:
The earth trembled and shook.
19Thy way was in the sea,
And thy paths in the great waters,
And thy footsteps were not known.
20Thou leddest thy people like a flock,
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.