with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for September 24
It is good for me to draw near to God.—PSA. 73:28.
Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.—A day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.—Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.
The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.—Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us: . . . let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.
“For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.”
A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but a holy shame-facedness would not allow Ezra to seek one. He feared lest the heathen king should think his professions of faith in God to be mere hypocrisy, or imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve his own worshippers. He could not bring his mind to lean on an arm of flesh in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, guarded by him who is the sword and shield of his people. It is to be feared that few believers feel this holy jealousy for God; even those who in a measure walk by faith, occasionally mar the lustre of their life by craving aid from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Caesar’s aid? as if the Lord could not supply the needs of his own cause! Should we run so hastily to friends and relations for assistance, if we remembered that the Lord is magnified by our implicit reliance upon his solitary arm? My soul, wait thou only upon God. “But,” says one, “are not means to be used?” Assuredly they are; but our fault seldom lies in their neglect: far more frequently it springs out of foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the creature’s arm; but very many sin greatly in making too much of it. Learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them thou wouldst dishonour the name of the Lord.
3. Further Benefits of Wisdom
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
5Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. 8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
11My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: 12For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. 17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. 19The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.
27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. 28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous.
33The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
22And straightway he constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before him unto the other side, till he should send the multitudes away. 23And after he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain apart to pray: and when even was come, he was there alone. 24But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters. 29And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32And when they were gone up into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And they that were in the boat worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
34And when they had crossed over, they came to the land, unto Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place knew him, they sent into all that region round about, and brought unto him all that were sick, 36and they besought him that they might only touch the border of his garment: and as many as touched were made whole.
19Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine adversaries are all before thee.
20Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
22Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake.
24Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold of them.
25Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief of those whom thou hast wounded.
27Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy righteousness.
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.
29But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.
32The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.
33For the Lord heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.
35For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.
36The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.