with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for October 7
The meek will he teach his way.—PSA. 25:9.
Blessed are the meek.
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill.—A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.—Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.
“Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant?”
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts his servants to glorify himself, for he is greatly glorified in the graces of his people, which are his own handiwork. When “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which his vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.
9. Job Replies
Then Job answered and said, 2I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? 3If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. 4He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? 5Which removeth the mountains, and they know not: which overturneth them in his anger. 6Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. 7Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars. 8Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea. 9Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. 10Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number. 11Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. 12Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou? 13If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him. 14How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? 15Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. 16If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice. 17For he breaketh me with a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause. 18He will not suffer me to take my breath, but filleth me with bitterness. 19If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead? 20If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. 21Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life. 22This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. 23If the scourge slay suddenly, he will laugh at the trial of the innocent. 24The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, and who is he? 25Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good. 26They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. 27If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: 28I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent. 29If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain? 30If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; 31Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me. 32For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. 33Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. 34Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: 35Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.
33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! 34For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36For of him, and through him, and unto him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever. Amen.
56Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:
57But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
60So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
61And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.
62He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.
63The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
64Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
66And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.
67Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
68But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
69And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:
71From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.