with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for March 4
He bowed his shoulder to bear.—GEN. 49:15.
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.—Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.—Aaron held his peace.—It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.—Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
“They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house.”
Sheba’s queen was amazed at the sumptuousness of Solomon’s table. She lost all heart when she saw the provision of a single day; and she marvelled equally at the company of servants who were feasted at the royal board. But what is this to the hospitalities of the God of grace? Ten thousand thousand of his people are daily fed; hungry and thirsty, they bring large appetites with them to the banquet, but not one of them returns unsatisfied; there is enough for each, enough for all, enough for evermore. Though the host that feed at Jehovah’s table is countless as the stars of heaven, yet each one has his portion of meat. Think how much grace one saint requires, so much that nothing but the Infinite could supply him for one day; and yet the Lord spreads his table, not for one, but many saints, not for one day, but for many years; not for many years only, but for generation after generation. Observe the full feasting spoken of in the text, the guests at mercy’s banquet are satisfied, nay, more “abundantly satisfied;” and that not with ordinary fare, but with fatness, the peculiar fatness of God’s own house; and such feasting is guaranteed by a faithful promise to all those children of men who put their trust under the shadow of Jehovah’s wings. I once thought if I might but get the broken meat at God’s back door of grace I should be satisfied; like the woman who said, “The dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from the master’s table;” but no child of God is ever served with scraps and leavings; like Mephibosheth, they all eat from the king’s own table. In matters of grace, we all have Benjamin’s mess—we all have ten times more than we could have expected, and though our necessities are great, yet are we often amazed at the marvellous plenty of grace which God gives us experimentally to enjoy.
10. David Defeats the Ammorites
And it came to pass after this, that the king of the children of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his stead. 2Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon. 3And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it? 4Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5When they told it unto David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed: and the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.
6And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David, the children of Ammon sent and hired the Syrians of Bethrehob, and the Syrians of Zoba, twenty thousand footmen, and of king Maacah a thousand men, and of Ishtob twelve thousand men. 7And when David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the host of the mighty men. 8And the children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the entering in of the gate: and the Syrians of Zoba, and of Rehob, and Ishtob, and Maacah, were by themselves in the field. 9When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians: 10And the rest of the people he delivered into the hand of Abishai his brother, that he might put them in array against the children of Ammon. 11And he said, If the Syrians be too strong for me, then thou shalt help me: but if the children of Ammon be too strong for thee, then I will come and help thee. 12Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good. 13And Joab drew nigh, and the people that were with him, unto the battle against the Syrians: and they fled before him. 14And when the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians were fled, then fled they also before Abishai, and entered into the city. So Joab returned from the children of Ammon, and came to Jerusalem.
15And when the Syrians saw that they were smitten before Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16And Hadarezer sent, and brought out the Syrians that were beyond the river: and they came to Helam; and Shobach the captain of the host of Hadarezer went before them. 17And when it was told David, he gathered all Israel together, and passed over Jordan, and came to Helam. And the Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 18And the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen, and smote Shobach the captain of their host, who died there. 19And when all the kings that were servants to Hadarezer saw that they were smitten before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the children of Ammon any more.
2. False Teachers
1But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their lascivious doings; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.
50. Psalm 50
The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
7Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
17Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
18When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
19Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
20Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
21These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
23Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.