with a daily devotion
Evening Meditations for September 25
God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.—ROM. 2:16.
Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.—The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: because he is the Son of man.—The Son of God . . . hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire.
They say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?—These things thou hast done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.—There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.—Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
“Who of God is made unto us wisdom.”
Man’s intellect seeks after rest, and by nature seeks it apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. Men of education are apt, even when converted, to look upon the simplicities of the cross of Christ with an eye too little reverent and loving. They are snared in the old net in which the Grecians were taken, and have a hankering to mix philosophy with revelation. The temptation with a man of refined thought and high education is to depart from the simple truth of Christ crucified, and to invent, as the term is, a more intellectual doctrine. This led the early Christian churches into Gnosticism, and bewitched them with all sorts of heresies. This is the root of Neology, and the other fine things which in days gone by were so fashionable in Germany, and are now so ensnaring to certain classes of divines. Whoever you are, good reader, and whatever your education may be, if you be the Lord's, be assured you will find no rest in philosophizing divinity. You may receive this dogma of one great thinker, or that dream of another profound reasoner, but what the chaff is to the wheat, that will these be to the pure word of God. All that reason, when best guided, can find out is but the A B C of truth, and even that lacks certainty, while in Christ Jesus there is treasured up all the fulness of wisdom and knowledge. All attempts on the part of Christians to be content with systems such as Unitarian and Broad-church thinkers would approve of, must fail; true heirs of heaven must come back to the grandly simple reality which makes the ploughboy’s eye flash with joy, and gladens the pious pauper’s heart—“Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.” Jesus satisfies the most elevated intellect when he is believingly received, but apart from him the mind of the regenerate discovers no rest. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” “A good understanding have all they that do his commandments.”
1Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. 2Now Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her home, 3along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner11Gershom sounds like the Hebrew word for sojourner in a foreign land”), 4and the name of the other, Eliezer22Eliezer means My God is help (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”). 5Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. 6And when he sent word to Moses, “I,33Hebrew; Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac behold your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” 7Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent. 8Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. 9And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
10Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”44Hebrew with them 12And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.
13The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. 14When Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” 15And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God; 16when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” 17Moses' father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. 18You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 19Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. 23If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.”
24So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. 25Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 26And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves. 27Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.
19You know my reproach,
and my shame and my dishonor;
my foes are all known to you.
20Reproaches have broken my heart,
so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none,
and for comforters, but I found none.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
22Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.33Hebrew; a slight revocalization yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome) a snare, and retribution and a trap
23Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them.
25May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.
26For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from you.44Hebrew may they not come into your righteousness
28Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29But I am afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33For the Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
34Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
35For God will save Zion
and build up the cities of Judah,
and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall dwell in it.