with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for April 1
The fruit of the Spirit is joy.—GAL. 5:22.
Joy in the Holy Ghost.—Unspeakable and full of glory.
Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; . . . exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.—We glory in tribulations.
Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; . . . for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.—These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be fuIl.—As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.—The joy of the Lord is your strength.
In thy presence is fulness of joy: at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.—For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth.”
For several days we have been dwelling upon the Saviour’s passion, and for some little time to come we shall linger there. In beginning a new month, let us seek the same desires after our Lord as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse. See how she leaps at once to him; there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention his name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of him who was the only him in the world to her. How bold is her love! It was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint his feet with spikenard—it was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at his feet and learn of him—but here, love, strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard, and closer signs of fellowship. Esther trembled in the presence of Ahasuerus, but the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love knows no fear. If we have received the same free spirit, we also may ask the like. By kisses we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus. The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was sweet as honey dropping from the comb. The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that he hath accepted our persons and our works through rich grace. The kiss of daily, present communion is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day, till it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth, and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of heaven. Faith is our walk, but fellowship sensibly felt is our rest. Faith is the road, but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks. O lover of our souls, be not strange to us; let the lips of thy blessing meet the lips of our asking; let the lips of thy fulness touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected.
20. David and Jonathan
1And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is mine iniquity? and what is my sin before thy father, that he seeketh my life? 2And he said unto him, Far from it; thou shalt not die: behold, my father doeth nothing either great or small, but that he discloseth it unto me; and why should my father hide this thing from me? it is not so. 3And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father knoweth well that I have found favor in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death. 4Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee. 5And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to-morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. 6If thy father miss me at all, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Beth-lehem his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family. 7If he say thus, It is well; thy servant shall have peace: but if he be wroth, then know that evil is determined by him. 8Therefore deal kindly with thy servant; for thou hast brought thy servant into a covenant of Jehovah with thee: but if there be in me iniquity, slay me thyself; for why shouldest thou bring me to thy father? 9And Jonathan said, Far be it from thee; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come upon thee, then would not I tell it thee? 10Then said David to Jonathan, Who shall tell me if perchance thy father answer thee roughly? 11And Jonathan said unto David, Come, and let us go out into the field. And they went out both of them into the field.
12And Jonathan said unto David, Jehovah, the God of Israel, be witness: when I have sounded my father about this time to-morrow, or the third day, behold, if there be good toward David, shall I not then send unto thee, and disclose it unto thee? 13Jehovah do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do thee evil, if I disclose it not unto thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and Jehovah be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14And thou shalt not only while yet I live show me the lovingkindness of Jehovah, that I die not; 15but also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever; no, not when Jehovah hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 16So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And Jehovah will require it at the hand of David's enemies.
17And Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18Then Jonathan said unto him, To-morrow is the new moon: and thou wilt be missed, because thy seat will be empty. 19And when thou hast stayed three days, thou shalt go down quickly, and come to the place where thou didst hide thyself when the business was in hand, and shalt remain by the stone Ezel. 20And I will shoot three arrows on the side thereof, as though I shot at a mark. 21And, behold, I will send the lad, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I say unto the lad, Behold, the arrows are on this side of thee; take them, and come; for there is peace to thee and no hurt, as Jehovah liveth. 22But if I say thus unto the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way; for Jehovah hath sent thee away. 23And as touching the matter which thou and I have spoken of, behold, Jehovah is between thee and me for ever.
24So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat food. 25And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul's side: but David's place was empty. 26Nevertheless Saul spake not anything that day: for he thought, Something hath befallen him, he is not clean; surely he is not clean. 27And it came to pass on the morrow after the new moon, which was the second day, that David's place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to-day? 28And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Beth-lehem: 29and he said, Let me go, I pray thee; for our family hath a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he hath commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in thine eyes, let me get away, I pray thee, and see my brethren. Therefore he is not come unto the king's table.
30Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of a perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own shame, and unto the shame of thy mother's nakedness? 31For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die. 32And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said unto him, Wherefore should he be put to death? what hath he done? 33And Saul cast his spear at him to smite him; whereby Jonathan knew that is was determined of his father to put David to death. 34So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and did eat no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
35And it came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad with him. 36And he said unto his lad, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. And as the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37And when the lad was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the lad, and said, Is not the arrow beyond thee? 38And Jonathan cried after the lad, Make speed, haste, stay not. And Jonathan's lad gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39But the lad knew not anything: only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40And Jonathan gave his weapons unto his lad, and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city. 41And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded. 42And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of Jehovah, saying, Jehovah shall be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed, for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.
15And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, and said (and there was a multitude of persons gathered together, about a hundred and twenty), 16Brethren, it was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry. 18(Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.) 20For it is written in the book of Psalms,
Let his habitation be made desolate,
And let no man dwell therein:
His office let another take.
21Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. 23And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, 25to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
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.