with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for June 14
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things.—LUKE 10:41.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap. Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not. Seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.
Having food and raiment let us be therewith content . . . They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face ... because we have sinned against thee.”
A deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness, and the punishment which it deserves, should make us lie low before the throne. We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. Who is there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past? As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love—light which has really penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced. Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply compared with the sin of one of God’s own elect ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus’ bosom. Look at David! Many will talk of his sin, but I pray you look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp! We have erred: let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence. Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter’s denying his Master. Remember, it is written, “He wept bitterly.” Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning. My soul, bow down under a sense of thy natural sinfulness, and worship thy God. Admire the grace which saves thee—the mercy which spares thee—the love which pardons thee!
17. Israel Exiled
1In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years. 2And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, yet not as the kings of Israel that were before him. 3Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute. 4And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. 5Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 6In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away unto Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
7And it was so, because the children of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, 8and walked in the statutes of the nations, whom Jehovah cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made. 9And the children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against Jehovah their God: and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city; 10and they set them up pillars and Asherim upon every high hill, and under every green tree; 11and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the nations whom Jehovah carried away before them; and they wrought wicked things to provoke Jehovah to anger; 12and they served idols, whereof Jehovah had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. 13Yet Jehovah testified unto Israel, and unto Judah, by every prophet, and every seer, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like to the neck of their fathers, who believed not in Jehovah their God. 15And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified unto them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations that were round about them, concerning whom Jehovah had charged them that they should not do like them. 16And they forsook all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 18Therefore Jehovah was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
19Also Judah kept not the commandments of Jehovah their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. 20And Jehovah rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. 21For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Jehovah, and made them sin a great sin. 22And the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; 23until Jehovah removed Israel out of his sight, as he spake by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
24And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof. 25And so it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not Jehovah: therefore Jehovah sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the law of the god of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the law of the god of the land.
27Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land. 28So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Beth-el, and taught them how they should fear Jehovah. 29Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. 30And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32So they feared Jehovah, and made unto them from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. 33They feared Jehovah, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34Unto this day they do after the former manner: they fear not Jehovah, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law or after the commandment which Jehovah commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; 35with whom Jehovah had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them: 36but Jehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, him shall ye fear, and unto him shall ye bow yourselves, and to him shall ye sacrifice: 37and the statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods: 38and the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods: 39but Jehovah your God shall ye fear; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner. 41So these nations feared Jehovah, and served their graven images; their children likewise, and their children's children, as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
124. Psalm 124
1If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side,
Let Israel now say,
2If it had not been Jehovah who was on our side,
When men rose up against us;
3Then they had swallowed us up alive,
When their wrath was kindled against us;
4Then the waters had overwhelmed us,
The stream had gone over our soul;
5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
6Blessed be Jehovah,
Who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers:
The snare is broken, and we are escaped.
8Our help is in the name of Jehovah,
Who made heaven and earth.