with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for April 2
If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only.—I SAM. 7:3.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.—Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.—Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
Thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.—Serve him with a perfect heart with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts.
Behold, thou desireth truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.—Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.—Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
“He answered him to never a word.”
He had never been slow of speech when he could bless the sons of men, but he would not say a single word for himself. “Never man spake like this man,” and never man was silent like him. Was this singular silence the index of his perfect self-sacrifice? Did it show that he would not utter a word to stay the slaughter of his sacred person, which he had dedicated as an offering for us? Had he so entirely surrendered himself that he would not interfere in his own behalf, even in the minutest degree, but be bound and slain an unstruggling, uncomplaining victim? Was this silence a type of the defencelessness of sin? Nothing can be said in palliation or excuse of human guilt; and, therefore, he who bore its whole weight stood speechless before his judge. Is not patient silence the best reply to a gainsaying world? Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence. The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows. Did not the silent Lamb of God furnish us with a grand example of wisdom? Where every word was occasion for new blasphemy, it was the line of duty to afford no fuel for the flame of sin. The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean, will ere long overthrow and confute themselves, and therefore the true can afford to be quiet, and finds silence to be its wisdom. Evidently our Lord, by his silence, furnished a remarkable fulfilment of prophecy. A long defence of himself would have been contrary to Isaiah’s prediction: “He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” By his quiet he conclusively proved himself to be the true Lamb of God. As such we salute him this morning. Be with us, Jesus, and in the silence of our heart, let us hear the voice of thy love.
19. Lament for Israel's Princes
Moreover take thou up a lamentation for the princes of Israel, 2And say, What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. 3And she brought up one of her whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey; it devoured men. 4The nations also heard of him; he was taken in their pit, and they brought him with chains unto the land of Egypt. 5Now when she saw that she had waited, and her hope was lost, then she took another of her whelps, and made him a young lion. 6And he went up and down among the lions, he became a young lion, and learned to catch the prey, and devoured men. 7And he knew their desolate palaces, and he laid waste their cities; and the land was desolate, and the fulness thereof, by the noise of his roaring. 8Then the nations set against him on every side from the provinces, and spread their net over him: he was taken in their pit. 9And they put him in ward in chains, and brought him to the king of Babylon: they brought him into holds, that his voice should no more be heard upon the mountains of Israel.
10Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. 12But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground. 14And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
For he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of his servant David
70(As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets that have been from of old),
71Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72To show mercy towards, our fathers,
And to remember his holy covenant;
73The oath which he spake unto Abraham our father,
74To grant unto us that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies
Should serve him without fear,
75In holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76Yea and thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Most High:
For thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways;
77To give knowledge of salvation unto his people
In the remission of their sins,
78Because of the tender mercy of our God,
Whereby the dayspring from on high shall visit us,
79To shine upon them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.
76. Psalm 76
In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.
2In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.
3There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
4Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
5The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
6At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
10Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
11Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.
12He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.