with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for October 9
Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful.—NEH. 9:17.
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.—The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.
For this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.—Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?—Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
“Able to keep you from falling.”
In some sense the path to heaven is very safe, but in other respects there is no road so dangerous. It is beset with difficulties. One false step (and how easy it is to take that if grace be absent), and down we go. What a slippery path is that which some of us have to tread! How many times have we to exclaim with the Psalmist, “My feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped.” If we were strong, sure-footed mountaineers, this would not matter so much; but in ourselves, how weak we are! In the best roads we soon falter, in the smoothest paths we quickly stumble. These feeble knees of ours can scarcely support our tottering weight. A straw may throw us, and a pebble can wound us; we are mere children tremblingly taking our first steps in the walk of faith, our heavenly Father holds us by the arms or we should soon be down. Oh, if we are kept from falling, how must we bless the patient power which watches over us day by day! Think, how prone we are to sin, how apt to choose danger, how strong our tendency to cast ourselves down, and these reflections will make us sing more sweetly than we have ever done, “Glory be to him, who is able to keep us from falling.” We have many foes who try to push us down. The road is rough and we are weak, but in addition to this, enemies lurk in ambush, who rush out when we least expect them, and labour to trip us up, or hurl us down the nearest precipice. Only an Almighty arm can preserve us from these unseen foes, who are seeking to destroy us. Such an arm is engaged for our defence. He is faithful that hath promised, and he is able to keep us from falling, so that with a deep sense of our utter weakness, we may cherish a firm belief in our perfect safety, and say, with joyful confidence,
“Against me earth and hell combine,
But on my side is power divine;
Jesus is all, and he is mine!”
Jacob Fears Esau
3And Jacob sent22Or had sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, 4instructing them, “Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ‘I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. 5I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.’”
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, 8thinking, “If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.”
9And Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O Lord who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,’ 10I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. 11Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. 12But you said, ‘I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’”
13So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, 14two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 15thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 16These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, “Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.” 17He instructed the first, “When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?’ 18then you shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.’” 19He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, “You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, 20and you shall say, ‘Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.’” For he thought, “I may appease him33Hebrew appease his face with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.”44Hebrew he will lift my face 21So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.
Jacob Wrestles with God
22The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,55Or sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,66Israel means He strives with God, or God strives for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,77Peniel means the face of God saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.
22but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, 23to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better than that of Abel. 25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not when they refused him that warned them on earth, much more shall not we escape who turn away from him that warneth from heaven: 26whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more will I make to tremble not the earth only, but also the heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain. 28Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe: 29for our God is a consuming fire.
56Yet they tested and rebelled against the Most High God
and did not keep his testimonies,
57but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
they twisted like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.
60He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among mankind,
61and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.
62He gave his people over to the sword
and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63Fire devoured their young men,
and their young women had no marriage song.
64Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a strong man shouting because of wine.
66And he put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting shame.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.
69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71from following the nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Jacob his people,
Israel his inheritance.
72With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with his skillful hand.