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.
11. David and Bathsheba
1And it came to pass, at the return of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem.
2And it came to pass at eventide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3And David send and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned unto her house. 5And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
6And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7And when Uriah was come unto him, David asked of him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 8And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of food from the king. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 10And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Art thou not come from a journey? wherefore didst thou not go down unto thy house? 11And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. 12And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to-day also, and to-morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. 13And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. 16And it came to pass, when Joab kept watch upon the city, that he assigned Uriah unto the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people, even of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19and he charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling all the things concerning the war unto the king, 20it shall be that, if the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore went ye so nigh unto the city to fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? 21who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast an upper millstone upon him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? why went ye so nigh the wall? then shalt thou say, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
22So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23And the messenger said unto David, The men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entrance of the gate. 24And the shooters shot at thy servants from off the wall; and some of the king's servants are dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 25Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another; make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
26And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. 27And when the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Jehovah.
51. Psalm 51
1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:
According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
3For I know my transgressions;
And my sin is ever before me.
4Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
And done that which is evil in thy sight;
That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest,
And be clear when thou judgest.
5Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity;
And in sin did my mother conceive me. 6
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts;
And in the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom.
7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me to hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9Hide thy face from my sins,
And blot out all mine iniquities.
10Create in me a clean heart, O God;
And renew a right spirit within me.
11Cast me not away from thy presence;
And take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation;
And uphold me with a willing spirit.
13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways;
And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation;
And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15O Lord, open thou my lips;
And my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16For thou delightest not in sacrifice; else would I give it:
Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion:
Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then will thou delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,
In burnt-offering and in whole burnt-offering:
Then will they offer bullocks upon thine altar.