with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for February 19
The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.—PROV. 2:6.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.—If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbradeth not; and it shall be given him.—The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.—God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. That no flesh should glory in his presence.
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.—Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.
All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.—Never man spake like this man.—Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
“Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them.”
Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. Turn to sacred history, and you will find that scarcely ever did a great mercy come to this world unheralded by supplication. You have found this true in your own personal experience. God has given you many an unsolicited favour, but still great prayer has always been the prelude of great mercy with you. When you first found peace through the blood of the cross, you had been praying much, and earnestly interceding with God that he would remove your doubts, and deliver you from your distresses. Your assurance was the result of prayer. When at any time you have had high and rapturous joys, you have been obliged to look upon them as answers to your prayers. When you have had great deliverances out of sore troubles, and mighty helps in great dangers, you have been able to say, “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” Prayer is always the preface to blessing. It goes before the blessing as the blessing's shadow. When the sunlight of God’s mercies rises upon our necessities, it casts the shadow of prayer far down upon the plain. Or, to use another illustration, when God piles up a hill of mercies, he himself shines behind them, and he casts on our spirits the shadow of prayer, so that we may rest certain, if we are much in prayer, our pleadings are the shadows of mercy. Prayer is thus connected with the blessing to show us the value of it. If we had the blessings without asking for them, we should think them common things; but prayer makes our mercies more precious than diamonds. The things we ask for are precious, but we do not realize their preciousness until we have sought for them earnestly.
“Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw;
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw;
Gives exercise to faith and love;
Brings every blessing from above.”
Israel's Sin and the Servant's Obedience
1Thus says the Lord:
“Where is your mother's certificate of divorce,
with which I sent her away?
Or which of my creditors is it
to whom I have sold you?
Behold, for your iniquities you were sold,
and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.
2Why, when I came, was there no man;
why, when I called, was there no one to answer?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
Behold, by my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a desert;
their fish stink for lack of water
and die of thirst.
3I clothe the heavens with blackness
and make sackcloth their covering.”
4The Lord God has given me
the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with a word
him who is weary.
Morning by morning he awakens;
he awakens my ear
to hear as those who are taught.
5The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.
9Behold, the Lord God helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment;
the moth will eat them up.
10Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the voice of his servant?
Let him who walks in darkness
and has no light
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on his God.
11Behold, all you who kindle a fire,
who equip yourselves with burning torches!
Walk by the light of your fire,
and by the torches that you have kindled!
This you have from my hand:
you shall lie down in torment.
How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love
To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord.
1Transgression speaks to the wicked
deep in his heart;11Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Jerome (compare Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts in my heart
there is no fear of God
before his eyes.
2For he flatters himself in his own eyes
that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
4He plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil.
5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
6Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save, O Lord.
7How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
10Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12There the evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.