with a daily devotion
Morning Meditations for July 23
Then cometh the end.—I COR. 15:24.
Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.—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.—The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. The judge standeth before the door.—Surely I come quickly.
Seeing . . . that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?
The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.—Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
“Even thou wast as one of them.”
Brotherly kindness was due from Edom to Israel in the time of need, but instead thereof, the men of Esau made common cause with Israel’s foes. Special stress in the sentence before us is laid upon the word thou; as when Caesar cried to Brutus, “and thou Brutus”; a bad action may be all the worse, because of the person who has committed it. When we sin, who are the chosen favourites of heaven, we sin with an emphasis; ours is a crying offence, because we are so peculiarly indulged. If an angel should lay his hand upon us when we are doing evil, he need not use any other rebuke than the question, “What thou? What dost thou here?” Much forgiven, much delivered, much instructed, much enriched, much blessed, shall we dare to put forth our hand unto evil? God forbid!
A few minutes of confession may be beneficial to thee, gentle reader, this morning. Hast thou never been as the wicked? At an evening party certain men laughed at uncleanness, and the joke was not altogether offensive to thine ear, even thou wast as one of them. When hard things were spoken concerning the ways of God, thou wast bashfully silent; and so, to on-lookers, thou wast as one of them. When worldlings were bartering in the market, and driving hard bargains, wast thou not as one of them? When they were pursuing vanity with a hunter’s foot, wert thou not as greedy for gain as they were? Could any difference be discerned between thee and them? Is there any difference? Here we come to close quarters. Be honest with thine own soul, and make sure that thou art a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when this is sure, walk jealously, lest any should again be able to say, “Even thou wast as one of them.” Thou wouldst not desire to share their eternal doom, why then be like them here? Come not thou into their secret, lest thou come into their ruin. Side with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.
Cain and Abel
1Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten11Cain sounds like the Hebrew for gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” 2And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7If you do well, will you not be accepted?22Hebrew will there not be a lifting up [of your face]? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for33Or against you, but you must rule over it.”
8Cain spoke to Abel his brother.44Hebrew; Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate add Let us go out to the field And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. 9Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” 10And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. 11And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.55Or My guilt is too great to bear 14Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,66Nod means wandering east of Eden.
17Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. 18To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. 19And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. 20Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. 22Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
23Lamech said to his wives:
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;
you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:
I have killed a man for wounding me,
a young man for striking me.
24If Cain's revenge is sevenfold,
then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold.”
25And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, “God has appointed77Seth sounds like the Hebrew for he appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the Lord.
How Long, O Lord?
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.