with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for November 20
When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.—MIC. 7:8.
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.—I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.—What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.—The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
“O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.”
Observe how positively the prophet speaks. He doth not say, “I hope, I trust, I sometimes think, that God hath pleaded the causes of my soul;” but he speaks of it as a matter of fact not to be disputed. “Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul.” Let us, by the aid of the gracious Comforter, shake off those doubts and fears which so much mar our peace and comfort. Be this our prayer, that we may have done with the harsh croaking voice of surmise and suspicion, and may be able to speak with the clear, melodious voice of full assurance. Notice how gratefully the prophet speaks, ascribing all the glory to God alone! You perceive there is not a word concerning himself or his own pleadings. He doth not ascribe his deliverance in any measure to any man, much less to his own merit; but it is “thou”—“O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.” A grateful spirit should ever be cultivated by the Christian; and especially after deliverances we should prepare a song for our God. Earth should be a temple filled with the songs of grateful saints, and every day should be a censor smoking with the sweet incense of thanksgiving. How joyful Jeremiah seems to be while he records the Lord’s mercy. How triumphantly he lifts up the strain! He has been in the low dungeon, and is even now no other than the weeping prophet; and yet in the very book which is called “Lamentations,” clear as the song of Miriam when she dashed her fingers against the tabor, shrill as the note of Deborah when she met Barak with shouts of victory, we hear the voice of Jeremy going up to heaven—“Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.” O children of God, seek after a vital experience of the Lord’s lovingkindness, and when you have it, speak positively of it; sing gratefully; shout triumphantly.
The Nazirite Vow
1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite,11Nazirite means one separated, or one consecrated to separate himself to the Lord, 3he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried. 4All the days of his separation22Or Naziriteship he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, not even the seeds or the skins.
5“All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head. Until the time is completed for which he separates himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. He shall let the locks of hair of his head grow long.
6“All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead body. 7Not even for his father or for his mother, for brother or sister, if they die, shall he make himself unclean, because his separation to God is on his head. 8All the days of his separation he is holy to the Lord.
9“And if any man dies very suddenly beside him and he defiles his consecrated head, then he shall shave his head on the day of his cleansing; on the seventh day he shall shave it. 10On the eighth day he shall bring two turtledoves or two pigeons to the priest to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 11and the priest shall offer one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, and make atonement for him, because he sinned by reason of the dead body. And he shall consecrate his head that same day 12and separate himself to the Lord for the days of his separation and bring a male lamb a year old for a guilt offering. But the previous period shall be void, because his separation was defiled.
13“And this is the law for the Nazirite, when the time of his separation has been completed: he shall be brought to the entrance of the tent of meeting, 14and he shall bring his gift to the Lord, one male lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish as a sin offering, and one ram without blemish as a peace offering, 15and a basket of unleavened bread, loaves of fine flour mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and their grain offering and their drink offerings. 16And the priest shall bring them before the Lord and offer his sin offering and his burnt offering, 17and he shall offer the ram as a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread. The priest shall offer also its grain offering and its drink offering. 18And the Nazirite shall shave his consecrated head at the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall take the hair from his consecrated head and put it on the fire that is under the sacrifice of the peace offering. 19And the priest shall take the shoulder of the ram, when it is boiled, and one unleavened loaf out of the basket and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them on the hands of the Nazirite, after he has shaved the hair of his consecration, 20and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. They are a holy portion for the priest, together with the breast that is waved and the thigh that is contributed. And after that the Nazirite may drink wine.
21“This is the law of the Nazirite. But if he vows an offering to the Lord above his Nazirite vow, as he can afford, in exact accordance with the vow that he takes, then he shall do in addition to the law of the Nazirite.”
22The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
27“So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
6. Miracles and Teachings of Jesus
1After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick. 3And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4Now the passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude cometh unto him, saith unto Philip, Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat? 6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. 7Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings' worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9There is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes: but what are these among so many?
Great Are the Lord's Works
111This psalm is an acrostic poem, each line beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!