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.
25. Moab Seduces Israel
1And Israel abode in Shittim; and the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab: 2for they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods; and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3And Israel joined himself unto Baal-peor: and the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel. 4And Jehovah said unto Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto Jehovah before the sun, that the fierce anger of Jehovah may turn away from Israel. 5And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that have joined themselves unto Baal-peor.
6And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; 8and he went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9And those that died by the plague were twenty and four thousand.
10And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 11Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.
14Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites. 15And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head of the people of a fathers' house in Midian.
16And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 17Vex the Midianites, and smite them; 18for they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of the prince of Midian, their sister, who was slain on the day of the plague in the matter of Peor.
161Princes have persecuted me without a cause;
But my heart standeth in awe of thy words.
162I rejoice at thy word,
As one that findeth great spoil.
163I hate and abhor falsehood;
But thy law do I love.
164Seven times a day do I praise thee,
Because of thy righteous ordinances.
165Great peace have they that love thy law;
And they have no occasion of stumbling.
166I have hoped for thy salvation, O Jehovah,
And have done thy commandments.
167My soul hath observed thy testimonies;
And I love them exceedingly.
168I have observed thy precepts and thy testimonies;
For all my ways are before thee.
169Let my cry come near before thee, O Jehovah:
Give me understanding according to thy word.
170Let my supplication come before thee:
Deliver me according to thy word.
171Let my lips utter praise;
For thou teachest me thy statutes.
172Let my tongue sing of thy word;
For all thy commandments are righteousness.
173Let thy hand be ready to help me;
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 thine ordinances help me.
176I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
Seek thy servant;
For I do not forget thy commandments.