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!”
32. Jacob Prepares to Meet Esau
And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim. 3And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. 4And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: 5And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight.
6And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, We came to thy brother Esau, and also he cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him. 7Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed: and he divided the people that was with him, and the flocks, and herds, and the camels, into two bands; 8And said, If Esau come to the one company, and smite it, then the other company which is left shall escape.
9And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. 11Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. 12And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. 13And he lodged there that same night; and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; 14Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, 15Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foals. 16And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. 17And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my brother meeteth thee, and asketh thee, saying, Whose art thou? and whither goest thou? and whose are these before thee? 18Then thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us. 19And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying, On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him. 20And say ye moreover, Behold, thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, I will appease him with the present that goeth before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me. 21So went the present over before him: and himself lodged that night in the company. 22And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. 23And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.
24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. 31And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh. 32Therefore the children of Israel eat not of the sinew which shrank, which is upon the hollow of the thigh, unto this day: because he touched the hollow of Jacob’s thigh in the sinew that shrank.
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 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.