with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for October 7
O Lord God, . . . with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.—II SAM. 7:29.
Thou blessest, O Lord,and it shall be blessed for ever.—The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It more blessed to give than to receive.—When thou makest a feast call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.—Come, ye blessed my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord God is a sun and shield.
“Now on whom dost thou trust?”
Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours. “On whom dost thou trust?” “I trust,” says the Christian, “in a triune God. I trust the Father, believing that he has chosen me from before the foundations of the world; I trust him to provide for me in providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to his own house where the many mansions are. I trust the Son. Very God of very God is he—the man Christ Jesus. I trust in him to take away all my sins by his own sacrifice, and to adorn me with his perfect righteousness. I trust him to be my Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before his Father’s throne, and I trust him to be my Advocate at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust him for what he is, for what he has done, and for what he has promised yet to do. And I trust the Holy Spirit—he has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust him to drive them all out; I trust him to curb my temper, to subdue my will, to enlighten my understanding, to check my passions, to comfort my despondency, to help my weakness, to illuminate my darkness; I trust him to dwell in me as my life, to reign in me as my King, to sanctify me wholly, spirit, soul, and body, and then to take me up to dwell with the saints in light forever.”
Oh, blessed trust! To trust him whose power will never be exhausted, whose love will never wane, whose kindness will never change, whose faithfulness will never fail, whose wisdom will never be nonplussed, and whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution! Happy art thou, reader, if this trust is thine! So trusting, thou shalt enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter, and the foundation of thy trust shall never be removed.
1When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf,11Hebrew on my knees that even I may have children22Hebrew be built up, which sounds like the Hebrew for children through her.” 4So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. 5And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan.33Dan sounds like the Hebrew for judged 7Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings44Hebrew With wrestlings of God I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali.55Naphtali sounds like the Hebrew for wrestling
9When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Then Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad.66Gad sounds like the Hebrew for good fortune 12Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher.77Asher sounds like the Hebrew for happy
14In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.” 15But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son's mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar.88Issachar sounds like the Hebrew for wages, or hire
19And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.99Zebulun sounds like the Hebrew for honor 21Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.
22Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. 23She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” 24And she called his name Joseph,1010Joseph means May he add, and sounds like the Hebrew for taken away saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
25As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you.” 27But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that1111Or have become rich and the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28Name your wages, and I will give it.” 29Jacob said to him, “You yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30For you had little before I came, and it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I provide for my own household also?” 31He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and they shall be my wages. 33So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen.” 34Laban said, “Good! Let it be as you have said.” 35But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36And he set a distance of three days' journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban's flock.
37Then Jacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the watering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban's flock. 41Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban's, and the stronger Jacob's. 43Thus the man increased greatly and had large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.
7It is for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? 8But if ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. 11All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, even the fruit of righteousness. 12Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees; 13and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not turned out of the way, but rather be healed.
17Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.
19They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20He struck the rock so that water gushed out
and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
or provide meat for his people?”
21Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath;
a fire was kindled against Jacob;
his anger rose against Israel,
22because they did not believe in God
and did not trust his saving power.
23Yet he commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven,
24and he rained down on them manna to eat
and gave them the grain of heaven.
25Man ate of the bread of the angels;
he sent them food in abundance.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;
27he rained meat on them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28he let them fall in the midst of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
29And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.
30But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed the strongest of them
and laid low the young men of Israel.
32In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe.
33So he made their days vanish like33Hebrew in a breath,44Or vapor
and their years in terror.
34When he killed them, they sought him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.
35They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not faithful to his covenant.
38Yet he, being compassionate,
atoned for their iniquity
and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
and did not stir up all his wrath.
39He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and comes not again.