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.”
17. Water from the Rock
1And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their journeys, according to the commandment of Jehovah, and encamped in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Wherefore the people stove with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why strive ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt Jehovah? 3And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore hast thou brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 4And Moses cried unto Jehovah, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They are almost ready to stone me. 5And Jehovah said unto Moses, Pass on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and they rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thy hand, and go. 6Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the striving of the children of Israel, and because they tempted Jehovah, saying, Is Jehovah among us, or not?
8Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. 10So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi; 16And he said, Jehovah hath sworn: Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.
69. Psalm 69
1Save 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 with 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 my head:
They that would cut me off, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:
That which I took not away I have to restore.
5O God, thou knowest my foolishness;
And my sins are not hid from thee.
6Let not them that wait for thee be put to shame through me, O Lord Jehovah of hosts:
Let not those that seek thee be brought to dishonor through me, 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 thy house hath eaten me up;
And the reproaches of them that reproach thee are fallen upon me.
10When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting,
That was to my reproach.
11When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword unto them.
12They that sit in the gate talk of me;
And I am the song of the drunkards.
13But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Jehovah, in an acceptable time:
O God, in the abundance of thy lovingkindness,
Answer 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 overwhelm me,
Neither let the deep shallow me up;
And let not the pit shut its mouth upon me.
16Answer me, O Jehovah; for thy lovingkindness is good:
According to the multitude of thy tender mercies turn thou unto me.
17And hide not thy face from thy servant;
For I am in distress; answer me speedily.
18Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it:
Ransom me because of mine enemies.