AUG 3 – THE RIGHT TO HOLY THINGS
But if the priest buy any soul with his money, he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. (Leviticus 22:11) Strangers, sojourners, and servants upon hire were not to eat of holy things. It is so in spiritual matters still. But two classes were free at the sacred table, those who were bought with the priest’s money and those who were born into the priest’s house. Bought and born, these were the two indisputable proofs of a right to holy things. Bought. Our great High Priest has bought with a price all those who put their trust in Him. They are His absolute property—altogether the Lord’s. Not for what they are in themselves, but for their owner’s sake they are admitted into the same privileges which He Himself enjoys, and “they shall eat of his meat.” He has meat to eat which worldlings know not of. “Because ye belong to Christ,” therefore shall ye share with your Lord. Born. This is an equally sure way to privilege. If born in the Priest’s house we take our place with the rest of the family. Regeneration makes us fellow-heirs and of the same body, and, therefore, the peace, the joy, the glory, which the Father has given to Christ, Christ has given to us. Redemption and regeneration have given us a double claim to the divine permit of this promise.
AUG 2 – SPEAK WHAT HE TEACHES
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. (Exodus 4:12) Many a true servant of the Lord is slow of speech, and when called upon to plead for his Lord, he is in great confusion lest he should spoil a good cause by his bad advocacy. In such a case it is well to remember that the Lord made the tongue which is so slow, and we must take care that we do not blame our maker. It may be that a slow tongue is not so great an evil as a fast one, and fewness of words may be more of a blessing than floods of verbiage. It is also quite certain that real saving power does not lie in human rhetoric, with its tropes, and pretty phrases, and grand displays. Lack of fluency is not so great a lack as it looks. If God be with our mouth, and with our mind, we shall have something better than the sounding brass of eloquence or the tinkling cymbal of persuasion. God’s teaching is wisdom; His presence is power. Pharaoh had more reason to be afraid of stammering Moses than of the most fluent talker in Egypt; for what he said had power in it; he spoke plagues and deaths. If the Lord be with us in our natural weakness we shall be girt with supernatural power. Therefore, let us speak for Jesus boldly, as we ought to speak.
AUG 1 – COVENANT REACHES CHILDREN
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (Genesis 17:7) O Lord, Thou hast made a covenant with me, Thy servant, in Christ Jesus my Lord; and now, I beseech Thee, let my children be included in its gracious provisions. Permit me to believe this promise as made to me as well as to Abraham. I know that my children are born in sin and shapen in iniquity, even as those of other men; therefore, I ask nothing on the ground of their birth, for well I know that “that which is born of the flesh is flesh” and nothing more. Lord, make them to be born under Thy covenant of grace by Thy Holy Spirit! I pray for my descendants throughout all generations. Be Thou their God as Thou art mine. My highest honor is that Thou hast permitted me to serve Thee; may my offspring serve Thee in all years to come. O God of Abraham, be the God of his Isaac! O God of Hannah, accept her Samuel! If, Lord, Thou hast favored me in my family, I pray Thee remember other households of Thy people which remain unblest. Be the God of all the families of Israel. Let not one of those who fear Thy name be tried with a godless and wicked household, for Thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
JUL 31 – AN APPEAL; DELIVERANCE
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:15) This is a promise indeed! Here is an urgent occasion—”the day of trouble.” It is dark at noon on such a day, and every hour seems blacker than the one which came before it. Then is this promise in season: it is written for the cloudy day. Here is condescending advice, “Call upon me.” We ought not to need the exhortation: it should be our constant habit all the day and every day. What a mercy to have liberty to call upon God! What wisdom to make good use of it! How foolish to go running about to men! The Lord invites us to lay our case before Him, and surely we will not hesitate to do so. Here is reassuring encouragement: “I will deliver thee.” Whatever the trouble may be, the Lord makes no exceptions but promises full, sure, happy deliverance. He will Himself work out our deliverance by His own hand. We believe it, and the Lord honors faith. Here is an ultimate result: “Thou shalt glorify me.” Ah, that we will do most abundantly. When He has delivered us we will loudly praise Him; and as He is sure to do it, let us begin to glorify Him at once.
JUL 30 – PROMISE OF FUTURE MEETING
I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice. (John 16:22) Surely He will come a second time, and then, when He sees us and we see Him, there will be rejoicings indeed. Oh, for that joyous return! But this promise is being daily fulfilled in another sense. Our gracious Lord has many “agains” in His dealings with us. He gave us pardon, and He sees us again and repeats the absolving word as fresh sins cause us grief. He has revealed to us our acceptance before God, and when our faith in that blessing grows a little dim, He comes to us again and again and says, “Peace be unto you,” and our hearts are glad. Beloved, all our past mercies are tokens of future mercies. If Jesus has been with us, He will see us again. Look upon no former favor as a dead and buried thing, to be mourned over; but regard it as a seed sown, which will grow, and push its head up from the dust, and cry, “I will see you again.” Are the times dark because Jesus is not with us as He used to be? Let us pluck up courage; for He will not be long away. His feet are as those of a roe or young hart, and they will soon bring Him to us. Wherefore let us begin to be joyous, since He saith to us even now, “I will see you again.”
JUL 29 – HE ROUTS OUR ENEMY
He hath cast out thine enemy. (Zephaniah 3:15) What a casting out was that! Satan has lost his throne in our nature even as he lost his seat in heaven. Our Lord Jesus has destroyed the enemy’s reigning power over us. He may worry us, but he cannot claim us as his own. His bonds are no longer upon our spirits: the Son has made us free, and we are free indeed. Still is the archenemy the accuser of the brethren; but even from this position our Lord has driven him. Our Advocate silences our accuser. The Lord rebukes our enemies and pleads the causes of our soul, so that no harm comes of all the devil’s revilings. As a tempter, the evil spirit still assails us and insinuates himself into our minds; but thence also is he cast out as to his former preeminence. He wriggles about like a serpent, but he cannot rule like a sovereign. He hurls in blasphemous thoughts when he has opportunity; but what a relief it is when he is told to be quiet and is made to slink off like a whipped cur! Lord, do this for any who are at this time worried and wearied by his barkings. Cast out their enemy, and be Thou glorious in their eyes. Thou hast cast him down; Lord, cast him out. Oh, that Thou wouldst banish him from the world!
JUL 28 – BOW DOWN; BE LIFTED UP
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. (1 Peter 5:6) This is tantamount to a promise: if we will bow down, the Lord will lift us up. Humility leads to honor; submission is the way to exaltation. That same hand of God which presses us down is waiting to raise us up when we are prepared to bear the blessing. We stoop to conquer. Many cringe before men and yet miss the patronage they crave; but he that humbles himself under the hand of God shall not fail to be enriched, uplifted, sustained, and comforted by the ever-gracious One. It is a habit of Jehovah to cast down the proud and lift up the lowly. Yet there is a time for the Lord’s working. We ought now to humble ourselves, even at this present moment; and we are bound to keep on doing so whether the Lord lays His afflicting hand upon us or not. When the Lord smites, it is our special duty to accept the chastisement with profound submission. But as for the Lord’s exaltation of us, that can only come “in due time,” and God is the best judge of that day and hour. Do we cry out impatiently for the blessing? Would we wish for untimely honor? What are we at? Surely we are not truly humbled, or we should wait with quiet submission. So let us do.
JUL 27 – MORE THAN MERE WORDS
I wilt give you the sure mercies of David. (Acts 13:34) Nothing of man is sure; but everything of God is so. Especially are covenant mercies sure mercies, even as David said “an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” We are sure that the Lord meant His mercy. He did not speak mere wards: there is substance and truth in every one of His promises. His mercies are mercies indeed. Even if a promise seems as if it must drop through by reason of death, yet it never shall, for the good Lord will make good His word. We are sure that the Lord will bestow promised mercies on all His covenanted ones. They shall come in due course to all the chosen of the Lord. They are sure to all the seed, from the least of them unto the greatest of them. We are sure that the Lord will continue His mercies to His own people. He does not give and take. What He has granted us is the token of much more. That which we have not yet received is as sure as that which has already come; therefore, let us wait before the Lord and be still. There is no justifiable reason for the least doubt. God’s love, and word, and faithfulness are sure. Many things are questionable, but of the Lord we sing— For his mercies shall endure Ever faithful, ever sure.
JUL 26 – A CHANGE OF NAME
And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali; for I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. (Hosea 2:16-17) That day has come. We view our God no more as Baal, our tyrant lord and mighty master, for we are not under law but under grace. We now think of Jehovah, our God, as our Ishi, our beloved husband, our lord in love, our next-of-kin in bonds of sacred relationship. We do not serve Him less obediently, but we serve Him for a higher and more endearing reason. We no longer tremble under His lash but rejoice in His love. The slave is changed into a child and the task into a pleasure. Is it so with thee, dear reader? Has grace cast out slavish fear and implanted filial love? How happy are we in such an experience! Now we call the Lord’s day a delight, and worship is never a weariness. Prayer is now a privilege, and praise is a holiday. To obey is heaven; to give to the cause of God is a banquet. Thus have all things become new. Our mouth is filled with singing and our heart with music. Blessed be our heavenly Ishi forever and ever.
JUL 25 – NOTHING TO ALARM US
But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (Daniel 12:13) We cannot understand all the prophecies, but yet we regard them with pleasure and not with dismay. There can be nothing in the Father’s decree which should justly alarm His child. Though the abomination of desolation be set up, yet the true believer shall not be defiled; rather shall he be purified, and made white, and tried. Though the earth be burned up, no smell of fire shall come upon the chosen. Amid the crash of matter and the wreck of worlds, the Lord Jehovah will preserve His own. Calmly resolute in duty, brave in conflict, patient in suffering, let us go our way, keeping to our road, and neither swerving from it nor loitering in it. The end will come; let us go our way till it does. Rest will be ours, All other things swing to and fro, but our foundation standeth sure. God rests in His love, and, therefore, we rest in it. Our peace is, and ever shall be, like a river. A lot in the heavenly Canaan is ours, and we shall stand in it, come what may. The God of Daniel will give a worthy portion to all who dare to be decided for truth and holiness as Daniel was. No den of lions shall deprive us of our sure inheritance.