with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for April 30
He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding.—PROV. 14:29.
The Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering.—The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Be ye . . . followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love.—The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.—This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. Christ . . . suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
Be ye angry, and sin not.
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God.”
Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is always thinking upon us, never turns aside his mind from us, has us always before his eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our heavenly Father. His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: hence it is a choice delight to remember them. The Lord always did think upon his people: hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured; he always will think upon them: hence their final perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us—we never roam beyond the Shepherd’s eye. In our sorrows he observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes him; in our toils he marks all our weariness, and writes in his book all the struggles of his faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the great God.
Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter. The Lord liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. The notice of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is well, and we may rejoice evermore.
Manasseh Reigns in Judah
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah. 2And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” 5And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6And he burned his son as an offering11Hebrew made his son pass through the fire and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. 8And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 9But they did not listen, and Manasseh led them astray to do more evil than the nations had done whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
Manasseh's Idolatry Denounced
10And the Lord said by his servants the prophets, 11“Because Manasseh king of Judah has committed these abominations and has done things more evil than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such disaster22Or evil that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria, and the plumb line of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.”
16Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
17Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 18And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.
Amon Reigns in Judah
19Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and worshiped them. 22He abandoned the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23And the servants of Amon conspired against him and put the king to death in his house. 24But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25Now the rest of the acts of Amon that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place.
12And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; 13and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. 14And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; 16and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand?
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
A Psalm for giving thanks.
1Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
2Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
5For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.