with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for October 5
Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.—PSA. 50:15.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.—Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.—For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Jacob said unto his household, . . . Let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.—Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I on the name of the Lord.
“He arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights.”
All the strength supplied to us by our gracious God is meant for service, not for wantonness or boasting. When the prophet Elijah found the cake baked on the coals, and the cruse of water placed at his head, as he lay under the juniper tree, he was no gentleman to be gratified with dainty fare that he might stretch himself at his ease; far otherwise, he was commissioned to go forty days and forty nights in the strength of it, journeying towards Horeb, the mount of God. When the Master invited the disciples to “Come and dine” with him, after the feast was concluded he said to Peter, “Feed my sheep”; further adding, “Follow me.” Even thus it is with us; we eat the bread of heaven, that we may expend our strength in the Master’s service. We come to the passover, and eat of the paschal lamb with loins girt, and staff in hand, so as to start off at once when we have satisfied our hunger. Some Christians are for living on Christ, but are not so anxious to live for Christ. Earth should be a preparation for heaven; and heaven is the place where saints feast most and work most. They sit down at the table of our Lord, and they serve him day and night in his temple. They eat of heavenly food and render perfect service. Believer, in the strength you daily gain from Christ labour for him. Some of us have yet to learn much concerning the design of our Lord in giving us his grace. We are not to retain the precious grains of truth as the Egyptian mummy held the wheat for ages, without giving it an opportunity to grow: we must sow it and water it. Why does the Lord send down the rain upon the thirsty earth, and give the genial sunshine? Is it not that these may all help the fruits of the earth to yield food for man? Even so the Lord feeds and refreshes our souls that we may afterwards use our renewed strength in the promotion of his glory.
7. Job Speaks
1“Isn’t a man forced to labor on earth?
Aren’t his days like the days of a hired hand?
2As a servant who earnestly desires the shadow,
As a hireling who looks for his wages,
3So am I made to possess months of misery,
Wearisome nights are appointed to me.
4When I lie down, I say,
‘When shall I arise, and the night be gone?’
I toss and turn until the dawning of the day.
5My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust.
My skin closes up, and breaks out afresh.
6My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
7Oh remember that my life is a breath.
My eye shall no more see good.
8The eye of him who sees me shall see me no more.
Your eyes shall be on me, but I shall not be.
9As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away,
So he who goes down to Sheol shall come up no more.
10He shall return no more to his house,
Neither shall his place know him any more.
11“Therefore I will not keep silent.
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit.
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I a sea, or a sea monster,
That you put a guard over me?
13When I say, ‘My bed shall comfort me,
My couch shall ease my complaint;’
14Then you scare me with dreams,
And terrify me through visions:
15So that my soul chooses strangling,
Death rather than my bones.
16I loathe my life. I don’t want to live forever.
Leave me alone; for my days are but a breath.
17What is man, that you should magnify him,
That you should set your mind on him,
18That you should visit him every morning,
And test him every moment?
19How long will you not look away from me,
Nor leave me alone until I swallow down my spittle?
20If I have sinned, what do I do to you, you watcher of men?
Why have you set me as a mark for you,
So that I am a burden to myself?
21Why do you not pardon my disobedience, and take away my iniquity?
For now shall I lie down in the dust.
You will seek me diligently, but I shall not be.”
25For I would not, brethren, have you ignorant of this mystery, lest ye be wise in your own conceits, that a hardening in part hath befallen Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; 26and so all Israel shall be saved: even as it is written,
There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer;
He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27And this is my covenant unto them,
When I shall take away their sins.
17Yet they still went on to sin against him,
To rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18They tempted God in their heart
By asking food according to their desire.
19Yes, they spoke against God.
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, he struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide flesh for his people?”
21Therefore Yahweh heard, and was angry.
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
Anger also went up against Israel,
22Because they didn’t believe in God,
And didn’t trust in his salvation.
23Yet he commanded the skies above,
And opened the doors of heaven.
24He rained down manna on them to eat,
And gave them food from the sky.
25Man ate the bread of angels.
He sent them food to the full.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.
By his power he guided the south wind.
27He rained also flesh on them as the dust;
Winged birds as the sand of the seas.
28He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
Around their habitations.
29So they ate, and were well filled.
He gave them their own desire.
30They didn’t turn from their cravings.
Their food was yet in their mouths,
31When the anger of God went up against them,
Killed some of the fattest of them,
And struck down the young men of Israel.
32For all this they still sinned,
And didn’t believe in his wondrous works.
33Therefore he consumed their days in vanity,
And their years in terror.
34When he killed them, then they inquired after him.
They returned and sought God earnestly.
35They remembered that God was their rock,
The Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouth,
And lied to him with their tongue.
37For their heart was not right with him,
Neither were they faithful in his covenant.
38But he, being merciful, forgave iniquity, and didn’t destroy them.
Yes, many times he turned his anger away,
And didn’t stir up all his wrath.
39He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes away, and doesn’t come again.