with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for March 31
My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.—PHIL. 4:19.
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all … things shall be added unto you.—He that spared not his Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things?
All things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.—As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.—The Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly.—The living God, … giveth us richly all things to enjoy.—God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
“With his stripes we are healed.”
Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of his flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over his poor stricken body.
Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon him without tears, as he stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of his own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which his stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.
“See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in his lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands,
And spit in their Creator’s face.
With thorns his temples gor'd and gash'd
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back’s with knotted scourges lash'd.
But sharper scourges tear his heart.”
We would fain go to our chambers and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of his bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost him so dear.
Saul Tries to Kill David
1And Saul spoke to Jonathan his son and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David. 2And Jonathan told David, “Saul my father seeks to kill you. Therefore be on your guard in the morning. Stay in a secret place and hide yourself. 3And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you. And if I learn anything I will tell you.” 4And Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have brought good to you. 5For he took his life in his hand and he struck down the Philistine, and the Lord worked a great salvation for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced. Why then will you sin against innocent blood by killing David without cause?” 6And Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan. Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” 7And Jonathan called David, and Jonathan reported to him all these things. And Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.
8And there was war again. And David went out and fought with the Philistines and struck them with a great blow, so that they fled before him. 9Then a harmful spirit from the Lord came upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand. And David was playing the lyre. 10And Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.
11Saul sent messengers to David's house to watch him, that he might kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, told him, “If you do not escape with your life tonight, tomorrow you will be killed.” 12So Michal let David down through the window, and he fled away and escaped. 13Michal took an image and laid it on the bed and put a pillow of goats' hair at its head and covered it with the clothes. 14And when Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He is sick.” 15Then Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.” 16And when the messengers came in, behold, the image was in the bed, with the pillow of goats' hair at its head. 17Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me thus and let my enemy go, so that he has escaped?” And Michal answered Saul, “He said to me, ‘Let me go. Why should I kill you?’”
18Now David fled and escaped, and he came to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and lived at Naioth. 19And it was told Saul, “Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.” 20Then Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied. 22Then he himself went to Ramah and came to the great well that is in Secu. And he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” And one said, “Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23And he went there to Naioth in Ramah. And the Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night. Thus it is said, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”
Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause
1O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
2Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
4Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place;
they set up their own signs for signs.
5They were like those who swing axes
in a forest of trees.22The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
6And all its carved wood
they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they profaned the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it down to the ground.
8They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our signs;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is none among us who knows how long.
10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
11Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
Take it from the fold of your garment33Hebrew from your bosom and destroy them!
12Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the sea monsters44Or the great sea creatures on the waters.
14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15You split open springs and brooks;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
17You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and a foolish people reviles your name.
19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.
22Arise, O God, defend your cause;
remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
23Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!