with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for December 8
The dust shall return to the earth as it was.—ECCL. 12:7.
It is sown in corruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is sown in weakness; it is sown a natural body.—The first man is of the earth, earthy.
Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.—One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet. And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
My flesh . . . shall rest in hope.—Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.—The Lord Jesus Christ shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.—So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
“Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.”
All God’s gifts are prepared gifts laid up in store for wants foreseen. He anticipates our needs; and out of the fulness which he has treasured up in Christ Jesus, he provides of his goodness for the poor. You may trust him for all the necessities that can occur, for he has infallibly foreknown every one of them. He can say of us in all conditions, “I knew that thou wouldst be this and that.” A man goes a journey across the desert, and when he has made a day’s advance, and pitched his tent, he discovers that he wants many comforts and necessaries which he has not brought in his baggage. “Ah!” says he, “I did not foresee this: if I had this journey to go again, I should bring these things with me, so necessary to my comfort.” But God has marked with prescient eye all the requirements of his poor wandering children, and when those needs occur, supplies are ready. It is goodness which he has prepared for the poor in heart, goodness and goodness only. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
Reader, is your heart heavy this evening? God knew it would be; the comfort which your heart wants is treasured in the sweet assurance of the text. You are poor and needy, but he has thought upon you, and has the exact blessing which you require in store for you. Plead the promise, believe it and obtain its fulfilment. Do you feel that you never were so consciously vile as you are now? Behold, the crimson fountain is open still, with all its former efficacy, to wash your sin away. Never shall you come into such a position that Christ cannot aid you. No pinch shall ever arrive in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ shall not be equal to the emergency, for your history has all been foreknown and provided for in Jesus.
27. Deliverance of Israel
In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 3I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 6He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.
7Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? 8In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. 9By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. 10Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.
12And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
27. Conviction and Crucifixion
1Now when morning was come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.
3Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying, I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood. But they said, What is that to us? see thou to it. 5And he cast down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. 6And the chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood. 7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8Wherefore that field was called, the field of blood, unto this day. 9Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was priced, whom certain of the children of Israel did price; 10and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.
161Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
162I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
163I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.
164Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.
165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
166Lord, I have hoped for thy salvation, and 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.
169Let my cry come near before thee, O Lord: give me understanding according to thy word.
170Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
171My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
172My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.
173Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; 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 do not forget thy commandments.