with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for March 31
What communion hath light with darkness?—II COR. 6:14.
Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.—Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
Darkness hath blinded his eyes.—Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.—Love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness
Ye were sometime darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.
“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.”
If the love of a woman to her slain sons could make her prolong her mournful vigil for so long a period, shall we weary of considering the sufferings of our blessed Lord? She drove away the birds of prey, and shall not we chase from our meditations those worldly and sinful thoughts which defile both our minds and the sacred themes upon which we are occupied? Away, ye birds of evil wing! Leave ye the sacrifice alone! She bore the heats of summer, the night dews and the rains, unsheltered and alone. Sleep was chased from her weeping eyes: her heart was too full for slumber. Behold how she loved her children! Shall Rizpah thus endure, and shall we start at the first little inconvenience or trial? Are we such cowards that we cannot bear to suffer with our Lord? She chased away even the wild beasts, with courage unusual in her sex, and will not we be ready to encounter every foe for Jesus’ sake? These her children were slain by other hands than hers, and yet she wept and watched: what ought we to do who have by our sins crucified our Lord? Our obligations are boundless, our love should be fervent and our repentance thorough. To watch with Jesus should be our business, to protect his honour our occupation, to abide by his cross our solace. Those ghastly corpses might well have affrighted Rizpah, especially by night, but in our Lord, at whose cross-foot we are sitting, there is nothing revolting, but everything attractive. Never was living beauty so enchanting as a dying Saviour. Jesus, we will watch with thee yet awhile, and do thou graciously unveil thyself to us; then shall we not sit beneath sackcloth, but in a royal pavilion.
13. Man of God from Judah
1And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of Jehovah unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2And he cried against the altar by the word of Jehovah, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall they burn upon thee. 3And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. 4And it came to pass, when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Beth-el, that Jeroboam put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back again to him. 5The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of Jehovah. 6And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the favor of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God entreated Jehovah, and the king's hand was restored him again, and became as it was before. 7And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. 8And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place; 9for so was it charged me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest. 10So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el.
11Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and one of his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them also they told unto their father. 12And their father said unto them, What way went he? Now his sons had seen what way the man of God went, that came from Judah. 13And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass; and he rode thereon. 14And he went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak; and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread. 16And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee; neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17for it was said to me by the word of Jehovah, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest. 18And he said unto him, I also am a prophet as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied unto him. 19So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water.
20And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of Jehovah came unto the prophet that brought him back; 21and he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, Forasmuch as thou hast been disobedient unto the mouth of Jehovah, and hast not kept the commandment which Jehovah thy God commanded thee, 22but camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy body shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers. 23And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his body was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it; the lion also stood by the body. 25And, behold, men passed by, and saw the body cast in the way, and the lion standing by the body; and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
26And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the mouth of Jehovah: therefore Jehovah hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of Jehovah, which he spake unto him. 27And he spake to his sons, saying, Saddle me the ass. And they saddled it. 28And he went and found his body cast in the way, and the ass and the lion standing by the body: the lion had not eaten the body, nor torn the ass. 29And the prophet took up the body of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back; and he came to the city of the old prophet, to mourn, and to bury him. 30And he laid his body in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother! 31And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. 32For the saying which he cried by the word of Jehovah against the altar in Beth-el, and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria, shall surely come to pass.
33After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again from among all the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, that there might be priests of the high places. 34And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth.
5. Faith in the Son of God
1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2Hereby we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and do his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith. 5And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
75. Psalm 75
1We give thanks unto thee, O God;
We give thanks, for thy name is near:
Men tell of thy wondrous works.
2When I shall afind the set time, I will judge uprightly.
3aThe earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved:
I have aset up the pillars of it.
4I said unto the aarrogant, Deal not arrogantly;
And to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5Lift not up your horn on high;
Speak not awith a stiff neck.
6For neither from the east, nor from the west,
Nor yet afrom the asouth, cometh lifting up.
7But God is the judge:
He putteth down one, and lifteth up another.
8For in the hand of Jehovah there is a cup, and the wine afoameth;
It is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same:
Surely the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall drain them, and drink them.
9But I will declare for ever,
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off;
But the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.