with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for September 24
Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.—II COR. 8:9.
The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.—Thou are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips.—All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.
Ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.—He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.—We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.
O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.—I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.—Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.—As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.”
Paradoxes abound in Christian experience, and here is one—the spouse was asleep, and yet she was awake. He only can read the believer’s riddle who has ploughed with the heifer of his experience. The two points in this evening’s text are—a mournful sleepiness and a hopeful wakefulness. I sleep. Through sin that dwelleth in us we may become lax in holy duties, slothful in religious exercises, dull in spiritual joys, and altogether supine and careless. This is a shameful state for one in whom the quickening Spirit dwells; and it is dangerous to the highest degree. Even wise virgins sometimes slumber, but it is high time for all to shake off the bands of sloth. It is to be feared that many believers lose their strength as Samson lost his locks, while sleeping on the lap of carnal security. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel; with eternity so near at hand, it is madness. Yet we are none of us so much awake as we should be; a few thunder-claps would do us all good, and it may be, unless we soon bestir ourselves, we shall have them in the form of war, or pestilence, or personal bereavements and losses. O that we may leave forever the couch of fleshly ease, and go forth with flaming torches to meet the coming Bridegroom! My heart waketh. This is a happy sign. Life is not extinct, though sadly smothered. When our renewed heart struggles against our natural heaviness, we should be grateful to sovereign grace for keeping a little vitality within the body of this death. Jesus will hear our hearts, will help our hearts, will visit our hearts; for the voice of the wakeful heart is really the voice of our Beloved, saying, “Open to me.” Holy zeal will surely unbar the door.
“Oh lovely attitude! He stands
With melting heart and laden hands;
My soul forsakes her every sin;
And lets the heavenly stranger in.”
6. Mordecai Honored
On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 2And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. 3And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
4And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. 6So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? 7And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, 8Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: 9And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 10Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 11Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
12And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. 13And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. 14And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
27And Isaiah crieth concerning Israel, If the number of the children of
Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that shall be saved:
28for the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it
and cutting it short. 29And, as Isaiah hath said before,
27And Isaiah crieth concerning Israel, If the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that shall be saved: 28for the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short. 29And, as Isaiah hath said before,
Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We had become as Sodom, and had been made like unto Gomorrah.
69. Psalm 69
Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.
3I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
4They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.
5O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
6Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother’s children.
9For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards.
13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16Hear me, O Lord; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily.
18Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.