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.
9. To Us a Child Is Born
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. 2The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. 3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
8The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel. 9And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart, 10The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars. 11Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together; 12The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the Lord of hosts. 14Therefore the Lord will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. 15The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 16For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed. 17Therefore the Lord shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows: for every one is an hypocrite and an evildoer, and every mouth speaketh folly. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
18For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke. 19Through the wrath of the Lord of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. 20And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm: 21Manasseh, Ephraim; and Ephraim, Manasseh: and they together shall be against Judah. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
15When therefore ye see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand), 16then let them that are in Judaea flee unto the mountains: 17let him that is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house: 18and let him that is in the field not return back to take his cloak. 19But woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days! 20And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on a sabbath: 21for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Here; believe it not. 24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25Behold, I have told you beforehand.
112. Psalm 112
Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
6Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
8His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.