with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for October 12
Thy kingdom come.—MATT. 6:10.
In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.—A stone . . . cut out without hands.—Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.—The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Be ye . . . ready: for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.
The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come.
“The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost.”
This age is peculiarly the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, in which Jesus cheers us, not by his personal presence, as he shall do by-and-by, but by the indwelling and constant abiding of the Holy Ghost, who is evermore the Comforter of the church. It is his office to console the hearts of God’s people. He convinces of sin; he illuminates and instructs; but still the main part of his work lies in making glad the hearts of the renewed, in confirming the weak, and lifting up all those that be bowed down. He does this by revealing Jesus to them. The Holy Spirit consoles, but Christ is the consolation. If we may use the figure, the Holy Spirit is the Physician, but Jesus is the medicine. He heals the wound, but it is by applying the holy ointment of Christ’s name and grace. He takes not of his own things, but of the things of Christ. So if we give to the Holy Spirit the Greek name of Paraclete, as we sometimes do, then our heart confers on our blessed Lord Jesus the title of Paraclesis. If the one be the Comforter, the other is the Comfort. Now, with such rich provision for his need, why should the Christian be sad and desponding? The Holy Spirit has graciously engaged to be thy Comforter: dost thou imagine, O thou weak and trembling believer, that he will be negligent of his sacred trust? Canst thou suppose that he has undertaken what he cannot or will not perform? If it be his especial work to strengthen thee, and to comfort thee, dost thou suppose he has forgotten his business, or that he will fail in the loving office which he sustains towards thee? Nay, think not so hardly of the tender and blessed Spirit whose name is “the Comforter.” He delights to give the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Trust thou in him, and he will surely comfort thee till the house of mourning is closed forever, and the marriage feast has begun.
God Blesses and Renames Jacob
1God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.
5And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel,11El-bethel means God of Bethel because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. 8And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth.22Allon-bacuth means oak of weeping
9God appeared33Or had appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11And God said to him, “I am God Almighty:44Hebrew El Shaddai be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.55Hebrew from your loins 12The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac
16Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance66Or about two hours' distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;77Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow, or son of my strength but his father called him Benjamin.88Benjamin means son of the right hand 19So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this day. 21Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.
22While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine. And Israel heard of it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.
27And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
15Through him then let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which make confession to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 17Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them: for they watch in behalf of your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with grief: for this were unprofitable for you. 18Pray for us: for we are persuaded that we have a good conscience, desiring to live honorably in all things. 19And I exhort you the more exceedingly to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. 20Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an eternal covenant, even our Lord Jesus, 21make you perfect in every good thing to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 22But I exhort you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written unto you in few words. 23Know ye that our brother Timothy hath been set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. 24Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. 25Grace be with you all. Amen.
Restore Us, O God
To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm.
1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh,
stir up your might
and come to save us!
4O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5You have fed them with the bread of tears
and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6You make us an object of contention for our neighbors,
and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved!
8You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.
9You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.
10The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches.
11It sent out its branches to the sea
and its shoots to the River.22That is, the Euphrates
12Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18Then we shall not turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call upon your name!
19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
Let your face shine, that we may be saved!