“And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.” — 2Sa 21:10
If the love of a woman to her slain sons could make her prolong her mournful vigil for so long a period, shall we weary of considering the sufferings of our blessed Lord? She drove away the birds of prey, and shall not we chase from our meditations those worldly and sinful thoughts which defile both our minds and the sacred themes upon which we are occupied? Away, ye birds of evil wing! Leave ye the sacrifice alone! She bore the heats of summer, the night dews and the rains, unsheltered and alone. Sleep was chased from her weeping eyes: her heart was too full for slumber. Behold how she loved her children! Shall Rizpah thus endure, and shall we start at the first little inconvenience or trial? Are we such cowards that we cannot bear to suffer with our Lord? She chased away even the wild beasts, with courage unusual in her sex, and will not we be ready to encounter every foe for Jesus' sake? These her children were slain by other hands than hers, and yet she wept and watched: what ought we to do who have by our sins crucified our Lord? Our obligations are boundless, our love should be fervent and our repentance thorough. To watch with Jesus should be our business, to protect his honour our occupation, to abide by his cross our solace. Those ghastly corpses might well have affrighted Rizpah, especially by night, but in our Lord, at whose cross-foot we are sitting, there is nothing revolting, but everything attractive. Never was living beauty so enchanting as a dying Saviour. Jesus, we will watch with thee yet awhile, and do thou graciously unveil thyself to us; then shall we not sit beneath sackcloth, but in a royal pavilion.
~ Charles H. Spurgeon ~
“When it pleased God . . . .” —GALATIANS 1:15
As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him—to give God “elbow room.” We plan and figure and predict that this or that will happen, but we forget to make room for God to come in as He chooses. Would we be surprised if God came into our meeting or into our preaching in a way we had never expected Him to come? Do not look for God to come in a particular way, but do look for Him. The way to make room for Him is to expect Him to come, but not in a certain way. No matter how well we may know God, the great lesson to learn is that He may break in at any minute. We tend to overlook this element of surprise, yet God never works in any other way. Suddenly, God meets our life—“when it pleased God.”
Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.
“Lord, breathe on me until my frame is knit to Your thought. Lift me until I see Your face and trust Your Almightiness without fear or insidious unbelief.”
~ Oswald Chambers ~
For you will have a pact with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. And you will know that your home will be secure, and when you inspect your domains, you will not be missing anything.
– Job 5:23-24 NET
Love had he found in huts where poor men lie;
His daily teachers had been woods and rills,
The silence that is in the starry sky,
The sleep that is among the lonely hills.
That spirit which suffices quiet hearts, which seems to come forth to such from every dry knoll of sere grass, from every pine-stump, and half-embedded stone, on which the dull March sun shines, comes forth to the poor and hungry, and to such as are of simple taste. If thou fill thy brain with Boston and New York, with fashion and covetousness, and wilt stimulate thy jaded senses with wine and French coffee, thou shall find no radiance of wisdom in the lonely waste of the pine-woods.
And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Thank You for dying to give us life, and for rising again to give us an unshakable hope for eternal life with You!
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
The ceremonial law governed the form of Israel’s worship. When Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled that law as well as the judicial. Sacrifice was the heart of all Old Testament worship, and as the perfect sacrifice, Jesus brought all the other sacrifices to an end. While He was on the cross, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matt. 27:51). Christ Himself became the new and perfect way into the Holy of Holies, into which any man could come by faith.
In this way, the Levitical, priestly, sacrificial system ended. Though the temple was not destroyed until A.D. 70, every offering made on its altar after Jesus died was needless. Symbolically, they had no more significance. Of course, the Tabernacle and Temple sacrifices that were offered even before Christ’s death never had power to cleanse from sin. They were only pictures of the Messiah-Savior’s work of cleansing, pictures that pointed to that supreme manifestation of God’s mercy and grace.
The ceremonial law ended because it was fulfilled. Since the reality had come, the pictures and symbols had no more place or purpose. From Genesis 1:1 through Malachi 4:6, the Old Testament is Jesus Christ. It was inspired by Christ, it points to Christ, and it is fulfilled by Christ.
What does the magnificence of God’s story stir in you as you consider it again—the signs and fulfillments created by God’s design before the foundation of the world and forged through long centuries of human history? Sit at His feet again today in awe-filled worship.
~ John Piper ~
THE LIFE-GIVING STREAM
“Every thing shall live whithersoever the river cometh.”
— Eze 47:9.
“And He shewed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
— Rev 22:1
IN THIS wonderful chapter in Ezekiel the influence of restored Israel is compared to a life-giving stream issuing from the Divine dwelling-Place (Eze 47:1). When the waters rise in the heart, they flow out, as our Lord promised, in ever-deepening, widening rivers of blessing to mankind (Joh 4:14; Joh 7:37-39). The ankles may mean the steps of daily life; the knees our prayers and intercessions; the loins our affections and passions. Our influence for God should perpetually deepen and extend. In every life, there must be the unfathomable depth of fellowship with God—”a river that cannot be passed” (Eze 47:5).
O God our Father, the Ocean of Love to whom all streams tend, but in whom there is no ebb! The depth of our need calls to the depth of Thy grace, but Thy grace is deeper than our need. May we drink deeply of the river of the water of life and overflow in blessing to the thirsty world around. AMEN.
~ F.B. Meyer ~