with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for March 5
O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.—ISA. 38:14.
Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God.—Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings.—Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storms.
Christ . . . suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
“Let us not sleep, as do others.”
There are many ways of promoting Christian wakefulness. Among the rest, let me strongly advise Christians to converse together concerning the ways of the Lord. Christian and Hopeful, as they journeyed towards the Celestial City, said to themselves, “To prevent drowsiness in this place, let us fall into good discourse.” Christian enquired, “Brother, where shall we begin?” And Hopeful answered, “Where God began with us.” Then Christian sang this song—
“When saints do sleepy grow, let them come hither,
And hear how these two pilgrims talk together;
Yea, let them learn of them, in any wise,
Thus to keep open their drowsy slumb'ring eyes.
Saints’ fellowship, if it be managed well,
Keeps them awake, and that in spite of hell.”
Christians who isolate themselves and walk alone, are very liable to grow drowsy. Hold Christian company, and you will be kept wakeful by it, and refreshed and encouraged to make quicker progress in the road to heaven. But as you thus take “sweet counsel” with others in the ways of God, take care that the theme of your converse is the Lord Jesus. Let the eye of faith be constantly looking unto him; let your heart be full of him; let your lips speak of his worth. Friend, live near to the cross, and thou wilt not sleep. Labour to impress thyself with a deep sense of the value of the place to which thou art going. If thou rememberest that thou art going to heaven, thou wilt not sleep on the road. If thou thinkest that hell is behind thee, and the devil pursuing thee, thou wilt not loiter. Would the manslayer sleep with the avenger of blood behind him, and the city of refuge before him? Christian, wilt thou sleep whilst the pearly gates are open—the songs of angels waiting for thee to join them—a crown of gold ready for thy brow? Ah! no; in holy fellowship continue to watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.
48. Message About Moab
Against Moab thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed. 2There shall be no more praise of Moab: in Heshbon they have devised evil against it; come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue thee. 3A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction. 4Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. 5For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. 6Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness.
7For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together. 8And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord hath spoken. 9Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein. 10Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
11Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. 12Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles. 13And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence.
14How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war? 15Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts. 16The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast. 17All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod! 18Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds. 19O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say, What is done? 20Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; and tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled, 21And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath, 22And upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim, 23And upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon, 24And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near. 25The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the Lord.
26Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the Lord: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 27For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy. 28O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth. 29We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart. 30I know his wrath, saith the Lord; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it. 31Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kir- heres. 32O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage. 33And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting. 34From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate. 35Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the Lord, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to his gods. 36Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kir-heres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished. 37For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. 38There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the Lord. 39They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him. 40For thus saith the Lord; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab. 41Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. 42And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the Lord. 43Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the Lord. 44He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. 45They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones. 46Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives. 47Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.
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.