with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for November 17
Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.—GAL. 6:7.
They that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.—They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.—He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.
To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.—He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.—The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.—He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
“He that cleaveth wood shall be endangered thereby.”
Oppressors may get their will of poor and needy men as easily as they can split logs of wood, but they had better mind, for it is a dangerous business, and a splinter from a tree has often killed the woodman. Jesus is persecuted in every injured saint, and he is mighty to avenge his beloved ones. Success in treading down the poor and needy is a thing to be trembled at: if there be no danger to persecutors here there will be great danger hereafter.
To cleave wood is a common every-day business, and yet it has its dangers; so then, reader, there are dangers connected with your calling and daily life which it will be well for you to be aware of. We refer not to hazards by flood and field, or by disease and sudden death, but to perils of a spiritual sort. Your occupation may be as humble as log splitting, and yet the devil can tempt you in it. You may be a domestic servant, a farm labourer, or a mechanic, and you may be greatly screened from temptations to the grosser vices, and yet some secret sin may do you damage. Those who dwell at home, and mingle not with the rough world, may yet be endangered by their very seclusion. Nowhere is he safe who thinks himself so. Pride may enter a poor man’s heart; avarice may reign in a cottager’s bosom; uncleanness may venture into the quietest home; and anger, and envy, and malice may insinuate themselves into the most rural abode. Even in speaking a few words to a servant we may sin; a little purchase at a shop may be the first link in a chain of temptations; the mere looking out of a window may be the beginning of evil. O Lord, how exposed we are! How shall we be secured! To keep ourselves is work too hard for us: only thou thyself art able to preserve us in such a world of evils. Spread thy wings over us, and we, like little chickens, will cower down beneath thee, and feel ourselves safe!
Isaiah's Vision of the Lord
1In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train11Or hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one called to another and said:
4And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. 5And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
Isaiah's Commission from the Lord
8And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” 9And he said, “Go, and say to this people:
“‘Keep on hearing,33Or Hear indeed but do not understand;
keep on seeing,44Or see indeed but do not perceive.’
10Make the heart of this people dull,55Hebrew fat
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”
11Then I said, “How long, O Lord?”
And he said:
“Until cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
12and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned66Or purged again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.”
The holy seed77Or offspring is its stump.
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
16For he did not remember to show kindness,
but pursued the poor and needy
and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
17He loved to curse; let curses come22Revocalization; Masoretic Text curses have come upon him!
He did not delight in blessing; may it be far33Revocalization; Masoretic Text it is far from him!
18He clothed himself with cursing as his coat;
may it soak44Revocalization; Masoretic Text it has soaked into his body like water,
like oil into his bones!
19May it be like a garment that he wraps around him,
like a belt that he puts on every day!
20May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
of those who speak evil against my life!
21But you, O God my Lord,
deal on my behalf for your name's sake;
because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
22For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is stricken within me.
23I am gone like a shadow at evening;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24My knees are weak through fasting;
my body has become gaunt, with no fat.
25I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they wag their heads.
26Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
27Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!
28Let them curse, but you will bless!
They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
29May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!
30With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
31For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.