with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for April 1
Jehovah-shalom: (The Lord send peace.)—JUDG. 6:24.
Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
Behold, a greater than Solomon is here.—Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.—My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
He is our peace.—This man shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.
“It is time to seek the Lord.”
This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year. Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; be not out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? then, I entreat you, give your vigour to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could fain praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish ere you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Ye who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord. Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches, let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now—be thankful for that, but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks. Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord.” Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.
Prophecy Against Jeroboam
1At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. 2And Jeroboam said to his wife, “Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said of me that I should be king over this people. 3Take with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.”
4Jeroboam's wife did so. She arose and went to Shiloh and came to the house of Ahijah. Now Ahijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. 5And the Lord said to Ahijah, “Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.”
When she came, she pretended to be another woman. 6But when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with unbearable news for you. 7Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “Because I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel 8and tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, 9but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, 10therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11Anyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it.”’ 12Arise therefore, go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14Moreover, the Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, 15the Lord will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them beyond the Euphrates, because they have made their Asherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin.”
17Then Jeroboam's wife arose and departed and came to Tirzah. And as she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.
The Death of Jeroboam
19Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.
Rehoboam Reigns in Judah
21Now Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. 22And Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23For they also built for themselves high places and pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 24and there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.
25In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house. He took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold that Solomon had made, 27and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. 28And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.
29Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30And there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His mother's name was Naamah the Ammonite. And Abijam his son reigned in his place.
Who Can Stand Before You?
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
1In Judah God is known;
his name is great in Israel.
2His abode has been established in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.
3There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
4Glorious are you, more majestic
than the mountains of prey.
5The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
they sank into sleep;
all the men of war
were unable to use their hands.
6At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
both rider and horse lay stunned.
7But you, you are to be feared!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?
8From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still,
9when God arose to establish judgment,
to save all the humble of the earth. Selah
10Surely the wrath of man shall praise you;
the remnant11Or extremity of wrath you will put on like a belt.
11Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them;
let all around him bring gifts
to him who is to be feared,
12who cuts off the spirit of princes,
who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.