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.
A Lament for the Princes of Israel
1And you, take up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2and say:
What was your mother? A lioness!
Among lions she crouched;
in the midst of young lions
she reared her cubs.
3And she brought up one of her cubs;
he became a young lion,
and he learned to catch prey;
he devoured men.
4The nations heard about him;
he was caught in their pit,
and they brought him with hooks
to the land of Egypt.
5When she saw that she waited in vain,
that her hope was lost,
she took another of her cubs
and made him a young lion.
6He prowled among the lions;
he became a young lion,
and he learned to catch prey;
he devoured men,
7and seized11Hebrew knew their widows.
He laid waste their cities,
and the land was appalled and all who were in it
at the sound of his roaring.
8Then the nations set against him
from provinces on every side;
they spread their net over him;
he was taken in their pit.
9With hooks they put him in a cage22Or in a wooden collar
and brought him to the king of Babylon;
they brought him into custody,
that his voice should no more be heard
on the mountains of Israel.
10Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard33Some Hebrew manuscripts; most Hebrew manuscripts in your blood
planted by the water,
fruitful and full of branches
by reason of abundant water.
11Its strong stems became
it towered aloft
among the thick boughs;44Or the clouds
it was seen in its height
with the mass of its branches.
12But the vine was plucked up in fury,
cast down to the ground;
the east wind dried up its fruit;
they were stripped off and withered.
As for its strong stem,
fire consumed it.
13Now it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land.
14And fire has gone out from the stem of its shoots,
has consumed its fruit,
so that there remains in it no strong stem,
no scepter for ruling.
This is a lamentation and has become a lamentation.
67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
For he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of his servant David
70(As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old),
71Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72To show mercy towards, our fathers,
And to remember his holy covenant;
73The oath which he spake unto Abraham our father,
74To grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
Should serve him without fear,
75In holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76Yea and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High:
For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways;
77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people
In the remission of their sins,
78Because of the tender mercy of our God,
Whereby the dayspring from on high shall visit us,
79To shine upon them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.
Who Can Stand Before You?
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
1In Judah God is known;
his name is great in Israel.
2His abode has been established in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.
3There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
4Glorious are you, more majestic
than the mountains of prey.
5The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
they sank into sleep;
all the men of war
were unable to use their hands.
6At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
both rider and horse lay stunned.
7But you, you are to be feared!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?
8From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
9when God arose to establish judgment,
to save all the humble of the earth. Selah
10Surely the wrath of man shall praise you;
the remnant11Or extremity of wrath you will put on like a belt.
11Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them;
let all around him bring gifts
to him who is to be feared,
12who cuts off the spirit of princes,
who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.