with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for November 19
I will make the place of my feet glorious.—ISA. 60:13.
Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth! Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts.
I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
“O that I knew where I might find him!”
In Job’s uttermost extremity he cried after the Lord. The longing desire of an afflicted child of God is once more to see his Father’s face. His first prayer is not “O that I might be healed of the disease which now festers in every part of my body!” nor even “O that I might see my children restored from the jaws of the grave, and my property once more brought from the hand of the spoiler!” but the first and uppermost cry is, “O that I knew where I might find Him, who is my God! that I might come even to his seat!” God’s children run home when the storm comes on. It is the heaven-born instinct of a gracious soul to seek shelter from all ills beneath the wings of Jehovah. “He that hath made his refuge God,” might serve as the title of a true believer. A hypocrite, when afflicted by God, resents the infliction, and, like a slave, would run from the Master who has scourged him; but not so the true heir of heaven, he kisses the hand which smote him, and seeks shelter from the rod in the bosom of the God who frowned upon him. Job’s desire to commune with God was intensified by the failure of all other sources of consolation. The patriarch turned away from his sorry friends, and looked up to the celestial throne, just as a traveller turns from his empty skin bottle, and betakes himself with all speed to the well. He bids farewell to earth-born hopes, and cries, “O that I knew where I might find my God!” Nothing teaches us so much the preciousness of the Creator, as when we learn the emptiness of all besides. Turning away with bitter scorn from earth’s hives, where we find no honey, but many sharp stings, we rejoice in him whose faithful word is sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. In every trouble we should first seek to realize God’s presence with us. Only let us enjoy his smile, and we can bear our daily cross with a willing heart for his dear sake.
23. Justice, Sabbath, Festivals
1Thou shalt not take up a false report: put not thy hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to turn aside after a multitude to wrest justice: 3neither shalt thou favor a poor man in his cause.
4If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, thou shalt forbear to leave him, thou shalt surely release it with him.
6Thou shalt not wrest the justice due to thy poor in his cause. 7Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 8And thou shalt take no bribe: for a bribe blindeth them that have sight, and perverteth the words of the righteous. 9And a sojourner shalt thou not oppress: for ye know the heart of a sojourner, seeing ye were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
10And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the increase thereof: 11but the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie fallow; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beast of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. 12Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest; that thine ox and thine ass may have rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the sojourner, may be refreshed. 13And in all things that I have said unto you take ye heed: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
14Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep: seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it thou camest out from Egypt); and none shall appear before me empty: 16and the feast of harvest, the first-fruits of thy labors, which thou sowest in the field: and the feast of ingathering, at the end of the year, when thou gatherest in thy labors out of the field. 17Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord Jehovah.
18Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my feast remain all night until the morning. 19The first of the first-fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring into the house of Jehovah thy God. Thou shalt not boil a kid in it mother's milk.
20Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee by the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21Take ye heed before him, and hearken unto his voice; provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgression: for my name is in him. 22But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23For mine angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Canaanite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: and I will cut them off. 24Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and break in pieces their pillars. 25And ye shall serve Jehovah your God, and he will bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26There shall none cast her young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 27I will send my terror before thee, and will discomfit all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. 28And I will send the hornet before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply against thee. 30By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. 31And I will set thy border from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness unto the River: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand: and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me; for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
4. Living for God
1Forasmuch then as Christ suffered in the flesh, arm ye yourselves also with the same mind; for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2that ye no longer should live the rest of your time in flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3For the time past may suffice to have wrought the desire of the Gentiles, and to have walked in lasciviousness, lusts, winebibbings, revellings, carousings, and abominable idolatries: 4wherein they think strange that ye run not with them into the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For unto this end was the gospel preached even to the dead, that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
109. Psalm 109
1Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;
2For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me:
They have spoken aunto me with a lying tongue.
3They have compassed me about also with words of hatred,
And fought against me without a cause.
4For my love they are my adversaries:
But I give myself unto prayer.
5And they have arewarded me evil for good,
And hatred for my love.
6Set thou a wicked man over him;
And let aan adversary stand at his right hand.
7When he is judged, let him come forth guilty;
And let his prayer abe turned into sin.
8Let his days be few;
And let another take his office.
9Let his children be fatherless,
And his wife a widow.
10Let his children be vagabonds, and beg;
And let them seek their bread aout of their desolate places.
11Let the extortioner acatch all that he hath;
And let strangers make spoil of his labor.
12Let there be none to aextend kindness unto him;
Neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless children.
13Let his posterity be cut off;
In the generation following let their name be blotted out.
14Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with Jehovah;
And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
15Let them be before Jehovah continually,
That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth;