with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for February 18
Thou art my hope in the day of evil.—JER. 17:17.
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.—I will sing of thy power; yea I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning; for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. I cried to thee, O Lord: and unto the Lord I made supplication. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.
For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Reeemer.—Sorrow shall be turned into joy.—Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
“Shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.”
Perhaps, O tried soul, the Lord is doing this to develop thy graces. There are some of thy graces which would never be discovered if it were not for thy trials. Dost thou not know that thy faith never looks so grand in summer weather as it does in winter? Love is too often like a glow-worm, showing but little light except it be in the midst of surrounding darkness. Hope itself is like a star—not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. Afflictions are often the black foils in which God doth set the jewels of his children’s graces, to make them shine the better. It was but a little while ago that on thy knees thou wast saying, “Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith.” Was not this really, though perhaps unconsciously, praying for trials?—for how canst thou know that thou hast faith until thy faith is exercised? Depend upon it, God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery, real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains his soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers, and climb mountains, and walk many a long mile with heavy knapsacks of sorrow on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which thou art passing? Is not the Lord bringing out your graces, and making them grow? Is not this the reason why he is contending with you?
“Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to his feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there.”
Prophecy Against Tyre
1In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 2“Son of man, because Tyre said concerning Jerusalem, ‘Aha, the gate of the peoples is broken; it has swung open to me. I shall be replenished, now that she is laid waste,’ 3therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. 4They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. 5She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord God. And she shall become plunder for the nations, 6and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
7“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar11Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar; so throughout Ezekiel king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. 8He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. 9He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. 11With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. 12They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. 13And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. 14I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the Lord; I have spoken, declares the Lord God.
15“Thus says the Lord God to Tyre: Will not the coastlands shake at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan, when slaughter is made in your midst? 16Then all the princes of the sea will step down from their thrones and remove their robes and strip off their embroidered garments. They will clothe themselves with trembling; they will sit on the ground and tremble every moment and be appalled at you. 17And they will raise a lamentation over you and say to you,
“‘How you have perished,
you who were inhabited from the seas,
O city renowned,
who was mighty on the sea;
she and her inhabitants imposed their terror
on all her inhabitants!
18Now the coastlands tremble
on the day of your fall,
and the coastlands that are on the sea
are dismayed at your passing.’
19“For thus says the Lord God: When I make you a city laid waste, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you, and the great waters cover you, 20then I will make you go down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of old, and I will make you to dwell in the world below, among ruins from of old, with those who go down to the pit, so that you will not be inhabited; but I will set beauty in the land of the living. 21I will bring you to a dreadful end, and you shall be no more. Though you be sought for, you will never be found again, declares the Lord God.”
19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He that taketh the wise in their craftiness: 20and again, The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise that they are vain. 21Wherefore let no one glory in men. For all things are yours; 22whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
23The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
when he delights in his way;
24though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong,
for the Lord upholds his hand.
25I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or his children begging for bread.
26He is ever lending generously,
and his children become a blessing.
27Turn away from evil and do good;
so shall you dwell forever.
28For the Lord loves justice;
he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29The righteous shall inherit the land
and dwell upon it forever.
30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks justice.
31The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.
32The wicked watches for the righteous
and seeks to put him to death.
33The Lord will not abandon him to his power
or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.
34Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.
35I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
spreading himself like a green laurel tree.44The identity of this tree is uncertain
36But he passed away,55Or But one passed by and behold, he was no more;
though I sought him, he could not be found.
37Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
for there is a future for the man of peace.
38But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.