with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for January 22
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.—PSA. 94:19.
When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.—Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.
I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.—If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, . . . and it shall be given him.
Who is sufficient for these things?—I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.—My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee . . . Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; . . . when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
“Doth Job fear God for nought?”
This was the wicked question of Satan concerning that upright man of old, but there are many in the present day concerning whom it might be asked with justice, for they love God after a fashion because he prospers them; but if things went ill with them, they would give up all their boasted faith in God. If they can clearly see that since the time of their supposed conversion the world has gone prosperously with them, then they will love God in their poor carnal way; but if they endure adversity, they rebel against the Lord. Their love is the love of the table, not of the host; a love to the cupboard, not to the master of the house. As for the true Christian, he expects to have his reward in the next life, and to endure hardness in this. The promise of the old covenant was prosperity, but the promise of the new covenant is adversity. Remember Christ’s words—“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit”—What? “He purgeth it, that it may bring forth fruit.” If you bring forth fruit, you will have to endure affliction. “Alas!” you say, “that is a terrible prospect.” But this affliction works out such precious results, that the Christian who is the subject of it must learn to rejoice in tribulations, because as his tribulations abound, so his consolations abound by Christ Jesus. Rest assured, if you are a child of God, you will be no stranger to the rod. Sooner or later every bar of gold must pass through the fire. Fear not, but rather rejoice that such fruitful times are in store for you, for in them you will be weaned from earth and made meet for heaven; you will be delivered from clinging to the present, and made to long for those eternal things which are so soon to be revealed to you. When you feel that as regards the present you do serve God for nought, you will then rejoice in the infinite reward of the future.
6. Jerusalem Under Siege
O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and set up a sign of fire in Beth-haccerem: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction. 2I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. 3The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. 4Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces.
6For thus hath the Lord of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 8Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.
9Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 10To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. 12And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. 13For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 14They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. 16Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
18Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish. 22Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. 23They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion. 24We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail. 25Go not forth into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
26O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us. 27I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way. 28They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders: they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. 29The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.
14. Psalm 14
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
2The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the Lord.
5There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
6Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his refuge.
7Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.