with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for October 13
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.—MATT. 6:10.
Understanding what the will of the Lord is.
It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
This is the will of God, even your sanctification.—That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.—Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth: wherefore lay apart all filthiness.
Be ye holy; for I am holy.—[Jesus] said, Whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.—Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.—The world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
“Love is strong as death.”
Whose love can this be which is as mighty as the conqueror of monarchs, the destroyer of the human race? Would it not sound like satire if it were applied to my poor, weak, and scarcely living love to Jesus my Lord? I do love him, and perhaps by his grace, I could even die for him, but as for my love in itself, it can scarcely endure a scoffing jest, much less a cruel death. Surely it is my Beloved’s love which is here spoken of—the love of Jesus, the matchless lover of souls. His love was indeed stronger than the most terrible death, for it endured the trial of the cross triumphantly. It was a lingering death, but love survived the torment; a shameful death, but love despised the shame; a penal death, but love bore our iniquities; a forsaken, lonely death, from which the eternal Father hid his face, but love endured the curse, and gloried over all. Never such love, never such death. It was a desperate duel, but love bore the palm. What then, my heart? Hast thou no emotions excited within thee at the contemplation of such heavenly affection? Yes, my Lord, I long, I pant to feel thy love flaming like a furnace within me. Come thou thyself and excite the ardour of my spirit.
“For every drop of crimson blood
Thus shed to make me live,
O wherefore, wherefore have not I
A thousand lives to give?”
Why should I despair of loving Jesus with a love as strong as death? He deserves it: I desire it. The martyrs felt such love, and they were but flesh and blood, then why not I? They mourned their weakness, and yet out of weakness were made strong. Grace gave them all their unflinching constancy—there is the same grace for me. Jesus, lover of my soul, shed abroad such love, even thy love in my heart, this evening.
Eliphaz Speaks: Job Undermines Religion
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
“Should the wise answer with windy knowledge,
and fill themselves with the east wind?
Should they argue in unprofitable talk,
or in words with which they can do no good?
But you are doing away with the fear of God,
and hindering meditation before God.
For your iniquity teaches your mouth,
and you choose the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I;
your own lips testify against you.
“Are you the firstborn of the human race?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
Have you listened in the council of God?
And do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that is not clear to us?
The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
those older than your father.
Are the consolations of God too small for you,
or the word that deals gently with you?
Why does your heart carry you away,
and why do your eyes flash,
so that you turn your spirit against God,
and let such words go out of your mouth?
What are mortals, that they can be clean?
Or those born of woman, that they can be righteous?
God puts no trust even in his holy ones,
and the heavens are not clean in his sight;
how much less one who is abominable and corrupt,
one who drinks iniquity like water!
“I will show you; listen to me;
what I have seen I will declare—
what sages have told,
and their ancestors have not hidden,
to whom alone the land was given,
and no stranger passed among them.
The wicked writhe in pain all their days,
through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless.
Terrifying sounds are in their ears;
in prosperity the destroyer will come upon them.
They despair of returning from darkness,
and they are destined for the sword.
They wander abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’
They know that a day of darkness is ready at hand;
distress and anguish terrify them;
they prevail against them, like a king prepared for battle.
Because they stretched out their hands against God,
and bid defiance to the Almighty,
running stubbornly against him
with a thick-bossed shield;
because they have covered their faces with their fat,
and gathered fat upon their loins,
they will live in desolate cities,
in houses that no one should inhabit,
houses destined to become heaps of ruins;
they will not be rich, and their wealth will not endure,
nor will they strike root in the earth;
they will not escape from darkness;
the flame will dry up their shoots,
and their blossom will be swept away by the wind.
Let them not trust in emptiness, deceiving themselves;
for emptiness will be their recompense.
It will be paid in full before their time,
and their branch will not be green.
They will shake off their unripe grape, like the vine,
and cast off their blossoms, like the olive tree.
For the company of the godless is barren,
and fire consumes the tents of bribery.
They conceive mischief and bring forth evil
and their heart prepares deceit.”
17Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 18If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 19Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath of God: for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. 20But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Prayer for Judgment on Israel’s Foes
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
Even now your enemies are in tumult;
those who hate you have raised their heads.
They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against those you protect.
They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
They conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Assyria also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot.Selah
Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor,
who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, “Let us take the pastures of God
for our own possession.”
O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane.
Fill their faces with shame,
so that they may seek your name, O Lord.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace.
Let them know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the Most High over all the earth.