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.
1“You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. 2You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, 3nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.
4“If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. 5If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.
6“You shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. 7Keep far from a false charge, and do not kill the innocent and righteous, for I will not acquit the wicked. 8And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
9“You shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
Laws About the Sabbath and Festivals
10“For six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.
12“Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
13“Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.
14“Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. 16You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God.
18“You shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning.
19“The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.
“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
Conquest of Canaan Promised
20“Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; do not rebel against him, for he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.
22“But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
23“When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. 25You shall serve the Lord your God, and he11Septuagint, Vulgate I will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you. 26None shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27I will send my terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
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.
Help Me, O Lord My God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1Be not silent, O God of my praise!
2For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
3They encircle me with words of hate,
and attack me without cause.
4In return for my love they accuse me,
but I give myself to prayer.11Hebrew but I am prayer
5So they reward me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
6Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
8May his days be few;
may another take his office!
9May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
10May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15Let them be before the Lord continually,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!