with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for December 9
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.—PROV. 21:3.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?—Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.—To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.—Mary . . . sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. One thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
“Therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you.”
God often delays in answering prayer. We have several instances of this in sacred Scripture. Jacob did not get the blessing from the angel until near the dawn of day—he had to wrestle all night for it. The poor woman of Syrophoenicia was answered not a word for a long while. Paul besought the Lord thrice that “the thorn in the flesh” might be taken from him, and he received no assurance that it should be taken away, but instead thereof a promise that God’s grace should be sufficient for him. If thou hast been knocking at the gate of mercy, and hast received no answer, shall I tell thee why the mighty Maker hath not opened the door and let thee in? Our Father has reasons peculiar to himself for thus keeping us waiting. Sometimes it is to show his power and his sovereignty, that men may know that Jehovah has a right to give or to withhold. More frequently the delay is for our profit. Thou art perhaps kept waiting in order that thy desires may be more fervent. God knows that delay will quicken and increase desire, and that if he keeps thee waiting thou wilt see thy necessity more clearly, and wilt seek more earnestly; and that thou wilt prize the mercy all the more for its long tarrying. There may also be something wrong in thee which has need to be removed, before the joy of the Lord is given. Perhaps thy views of the Gospel plan are confused, or thou mayest be placing some little reliance on thyself, instead of trusting simply and entirely to the Lord Jesus. Or, God makes thee tarry awhile that he may the more fully display the riches of his grace to thee at last. Thy prayers are all filed in heaven, and if not immediately answered they are certainly not forgotten, but in a little while shall be fulfilled to thy delight and satisfaction. Let not despair make thee silent, but continue instant in earnest supplication.
30. Saying of Agur
1The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; the prophecy uttered by the man unto Ithiel, [even] unto Ithiel and Ucal: 2Truly *I* am more stupid than any one; and I have not a man`s intelligence. 3I have neither learned wisdom, nor have I the knowledge of the Holy. 4Who hath ascended up into the heavens, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a mantle? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son`s name, if thou knowest? 5Every word of +God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. 7Two things do I ask of thee; deny me [them] not before I die: 8Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the bread of my daily need: 9lest I be full and deny [thee], and say, Who is Jehovah? or lest I be poor and steal, and outrage the name of my God. 10Speak not too much about a servant to his master, lest he curse thee, and thou be held guilty. 11There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother; 12there is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, yet are not washed from their filthiness; 13there is a generation, -- how lofty are their eyes, how their eyelids are lifted up! 14-- a generation whose teeth are swords, and their jaw-teeth knives, to devour the afflicted from off the earth, and the needy from [among] men. 15The leech hath two daughters: Give, give. There are three [things] never satisfied; four which say not, It is enough: 16-- Sheol, and the barren womb; the earth which is not filled with water, and the fire which saith not, It is enough. 17The eye that mocketh at a father, and despiseth to obey a mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. 18There are three [things] too wonderful for me, and four that I know not: 19The way of an eagle in the heavens, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the way of a ship in the midst of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid. 20Such is the way of an adulterous woman: she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness. 21Under three [things] the earth is disquieted, and under four it cannot bear up: 22Under a servant when he reigneth, and a churl when he is filled with meat; 23under an odious [woman] when she is married, and a handmaid when she is heir to her mistress. 24There are four [things] little upon the earth, and they are exceeding wise: 25The ants, a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; 26the rock-badgers are but a feeble folk, yet they make their house in the cliff; 27the locusts have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands; 28thou takest hold of the lizard with the hands, yet is she in kings` palaces. 29There are three [things] which have a stately step, and four are comely in going: 30The lion, mighty among beasts, which turneth not away for any; 31a [horse] girt in the loins; or the he-goat; and a king, against whom none can rise up. 32If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, or if thou hast thought evil, [lay] the hand upon thy mouth. 33For the pressing of milk bringeth forth butter, and the pressing of the nose bringeth forth blood; and the pressing of anger bringeth forth strife.
24Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.
161SHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause; but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. 162I have joy in thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163I hate and abhor falsehood; thy law do I love. 164Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing doth stumble them. 166I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah, and have done thy commandments. 167My soul hath kept thy testimonies, and I love them exceedingly. 168I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies; for all my ways are before thee. 169TAU. Let my cry come near before thee, Jehovah: give me understanding according to thy word. 170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. 171My lips shall pour forth praise when thou hast taught me thy statutes. 172My tongue shall speak aloud of thy word; for all thy commandments are righteousness. 173Let thy hand be for my help; for I have chosen thy precepts. 174I have longed for thy salvation, O Jehovah, and thy law is my delight. 175Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176I have gone astray like a lost sheep: seek thy servant; for I have not forgotten thy commandments.