In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
What a sublime introduction to the inspired Scriptures! We do not know when this universe came into existence. Scientists differ by millions, and even billions, of years when they attempt to fix the age of the world. But go back as far as the human mind can think and we come right up against
God. The universe is not the result of blind chance or of certain unexplained laws of nature. It is the product of a master mind. A personal God brought it into existence. “He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:9). And this God has been revealed in Christ Jesus, and is the Father of all who believe in His Son. His power is unlimited, His wisdom is infinite, and all His resources are at the disposal of His saints as they cry to Him in faith.
The Maker of the universe
As Man, for man was made a curse.
The claims of Law which He had made,
Unto the uttermost He paid.
His holy fingers made the bough
Which grew the thorns that crowned His brow.
The nails that pierced His hands were mined
In secret places He designed.
He made the forest whence there sprung
The tree on which His body hung.
He died upon a cross of wood,
Yet made the hill on which it stood.
The sky that darkened o’er His head
By Him above the earth was spread.
The sun that hid from Him its face
By His decree was poised in space.
The spear which spilled His precious blood
Was tempered in the fires of God.
The grave in which His form was laid,
Was hewn in rocks His hands had made.
The throne on which He now appears
Was His from everlasting years,
But a new glory crowns His brow,
And every knee to Him shall bow.
—F. W. Pitt
Then God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Plato said, “The radiant light is the shadow of God.” But David exclaims, “Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment” (Psalm 104:2), The declaration of the New Testament is, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). It was His own brightness that, at His own command, illumined the darkness of that primeval earth. And the miracle of that first day of earth’s recall from chaos and gloom pictures His present grace to the sin-darkened souls of men. For we are told that “It is…God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). He is the vessel to display that light throughout all the ages to come. Of the heavenly city it is written, “The glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is it’s light” (Revelation 21:23). It was from His face that the light shone of old, and He is still the light of the world.
God in mercy sent His Son
To a world by sin undone;
Jesus Christ was crucified—
‘Twas for sinners Jesus died.
Sin and death no more shall reign,
Jesus died and lives again!
In the glory’s highest height—
See Him, God’s supreme delight.
All who in His name believe,
Everlasting life receive;
Lord of all is Jesus now,
Ev’ry knee to Him must bow.
Oh, the glory of the grace
Shining in the Saviour’s face,
Telling sinners from above,
“God is light,” and “God is love.”
—H. K. Burlingham
Enoch walked with God.. .and had sons and daughters.
The pre-flood patriarch, the seventh from Adam, who walked with God and prophesied of judgment to come and of the triumph of the Lord over all the forces of evil, as told so long afterwards by Jude (14-15), was no recluse or ascetic. He was a family man, assuming all the responsibilities that are thereby implied. Yet in a difficult day he walked in fellowship with the holy One as he sought to bring up his children in the fear of God and to keep them from the surrounding iniquity. In this he becomes an example for us. In order to walk with God it is not necessary to flee from the world to some monastic cell or to a convent’s gloomy shelter. Whatever we may be called to do, however heavy the burden that may rest upon our shoulders, it is possible to walk with God and to enjoy His blessed companionship. All that is needed is a yielded will, and subjection of heart to Him who has saved us by His grace.
Who walks with God must take His way,
Across far distances and gray,
To goals that others do not see,
Where others do not care to be.
Who walks with God must have no fear
When danger and defeat appear,
Nor stop when every hope seems gone,
For God, our God, moves ever on.
Who walks with God must press ahead
When sun or cloud is overhead,
When all the waiting thousands cheer,
Or when they only stop to sneer;
When all the challenge leaves the hours
And naught is left but jaded powers;
But he will some day reach the dawn,
For God, our God, moves ever on.
Then the Lord said to Noah. Come into the ark, you and all your home-hold, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.
It is the desire of God to save the households of His people. Noah’s family found a place in the ark because of their father’s acceptance with God. Yet on their part there had to be obedience to the divine call. Invited by God, they entered the place of safety and so were “saved through water” from the judgment that overwhelmed the world of the ungodly.
It is still God’s desire that the families of believers should share in the blessing promised to any individual member of the household. To the Philippian jailer the word came, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). There was an evident response on the part of all the children, for we find him rejoicing with all his house in the knowledge of pardoning grace. So today the Christian parent is called to take hold of God in faith for all those linked with him by family ties, assured that It is the will of God to bring them into the ark, which is for us, Christ Himself.
O happy home, where Thou art loved the dearest,
Thou loving Friend and Saviour of our race,
And where among the guests there never cometh,
One who can hold such high and honored place.
O happy home, where Thou art not forgotten
When joy is overflowing, full and free;
O happy home, where every wounded spirit
Is brought, Physician, Comforter, to Thee.
—Carl J. P. Spitta
He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
In three different New Testament books our attention is directed to this pivotal experience in the life of Abraham. In the simplicity of faith, he laid hold of the promise regarding the Seed through whom all the world was to be blessed. That Seed, as we are told in Galatians, was Christ. So, believing in Christ, the patriarch Abraham was justified. And in exactly the same way believers are justified today. To be justified is to be reckoned righteous. Justification is the sentence of the judge in favor of the prisoner. God justifies the ungodly, freeing them from every charge of guilt when they put their trust in the Savior He has provided. He was delivered up to death for our offences and was raised again for, or because of, our complete justification. When God imputes righteousness, He blots out forever the record of sin and gives the believer a completely new standing before His face. This is true of all who are accepted in the Beloved.
A rock that stands forever,
Is Christ my Righteousness;
And there I stand unfearing
In everlasting bliss.
No earthly thing is needful
To this my life from heaven,
And naught of love is worthy
Save that which Christ has given.
So the two of them went together.
There is a great mystery illustrated here: the mystery of the cross. Twice in this chapter we are told that Abraham the father, and Isaac the son, went both of them together to the place of sacrifice, the place where the only begotten son (Hebrews 11:17) was to be offered up, though at the last, as one has well said, “God spared that father’s heart a pang He would not spare His own.” So throughout all the ages it might be said of the eternal Father and the eternal Son, that they went both of them together. The cross was ever before God. Christ was delivered to death by the foreknowledge of God. Redemption was planned and provided for, long before sin lifted up its ugly head to mar God’s fair creation. All down the centuries the Father and the Son counseled together concerning the great redemption there to be wrought out.
Son of God, Thy Father’s bosom
Ever was Thy dwelling-place,
His delight, in Him rejoicing,
One with Him in power and grace.
Oh, what wondrous love and mercy!
Thou didst lay Thy glory by.
And for us didst come from heaven,
As the Lamb of God to die.
For if we had not lingered, surely by now we had returned this second time.
A free translation of these words of Judah’s would be: “If we had not put it off, we would certainly have been back by now.” He was referring to the contemplated second trip to Egypt to get more corn, providing Benjamin was with them. Jacob could not bear the thought of permitting him to go, yet he and they knew it had to be. Procrastination only prolonged their exercises. When at last they acted as Joseph required of them, all went well. How often we lose much by putting off the inevitable! Many are risking the loss of their souls by waiting for a more convenient season. If you had not put it off, you might have been saved long ago. Or if already a Christian, you may be postponing obedience to some specific word of the Lord. If you had not put it off, what blessing might have been yours by now!
Life at best is very brief,
Like the falling of a leaf,
Like the binding of a sheaf,
Be in time.
Fleeting days are telling fast,
That the die will soon be east,
And the fatal line be passed,
Be in time.
Fairest flowers soon decay,
Youth and beauty pass away,
Oh, you have not long to stay,
Be in time.
While God’s Spirit bids you come,
Sinner, do not longer roam,
Lest you seal your hopeless doom,
Be in time.
I have surely seen the oppression of My people…and have heard their cry. ..fori know their sorrows.
God is not an indifferent spectator of human suffering. He feels for His people in all the sorrows and trials they are called upon to endure. It is written, “In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His presence saved them” (Isaiah 63:9). His great Father-heart enters into all the griefs and wretchedness that we have to go through, and His ear is ever open to our cry. We wrong our own souls when we fail to turn to Him in our distress and restrain prayer before Him.
All thy griefs by Him are ordered.
Needful is each one for thee;
All thy tears by Him are counted.
One too much there cannot be;
And if whilst they fall so quickly
Thou canst own His way is right,
Then each bitter tear of anguish
Precious is in Jesus’ sight.
Far too well thy Saviour loves thee.
To allow thy life to be
One long, calm, unbroken summer’—
One unruffled, stormless sea;
He would have thee fondly nestling
Closer to His loving breast.
He would have that world seem brighter
Where alone is perfect rest.
When I see the blood, I will pass over you.
This was God’s word to Israel and He could not deny Himself. All who were sheltered by the blood of the lamb, sprinkled on the door posts and lintels of their houses, were as safe from judgment that night as God could make them. No angel of destruction could enter. The blood stood between the firstborn and the condemnation of death, and so it is today for all who have taken their place in faith beneath the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s Lamb, shed for the redemption of sinners. Judgment cannot reach them for it has fallen upon their substitute already.
When God the way of life would teach,
And gather all His own,
He put them safe beyond the reach
Of death, by blood alone.
It is His Word, His precious word,
It stands forever true,
When I the Lord shall see the blood
I will pass over you.
You shall not lake the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
God has said “By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy” (Leviticus 10:3). “Holy and awesome is His name” (Psalm 111:9). As we approach Him we should do so in reverence and godly fear (Hebrews 12:28). The name of God tells of what and who He is. It speaks of the divine character. Believers take His name upon them when they are identified with Him by profession of their faith in Him. The careless use of divine names and titles betrays a grossly irreverent state of mind, and is itself a grave sin against Him who is Creator of all men and Father of all who believe. We are called to “walk worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:12) because He is our Father and we are His children. Irreverence on the part of those who profess this high and holy calling is most deplorable and is, in effect, to take the name of the Lord our God in vain.
Profanity is an abhorrent vice of which all decent people are ashamed, hence very few men are low enough to curse and swear in the presence of ladies or of persons of superior position and culture. But it is possible to profane the name of the Lord even though foul language is never used. To profess to love God and yet to dishonor Him by a godless and worldly life is to take that holy name in vain just as much as to be guilty of the irreverent use of holy expressions. In all our ways we are called upon to sanctify the Lord and thus to honor His holy name.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our songs shall rise to Thee!
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty—
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The sabbath was given to Israel not only as a memorial of God’s creation-rest, but as a reminder of their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt in order that they might enjoy the rest of Canaan (Deuteronomy 5:12-15). In giving them one day out of every seven for physical rest and spiritual upbuilding, God had their needs in view. His sabbath was made for man. He designed it for His people’s blessing. It is a sad commentary on the perversity of the human heart that many of them saw in this gracious provision a restriction upon their liberty, against which they rebelled saying, “When will the New Moon be past.. .And the Sabbath?” (Amos 8:5), because of their desire to indulge in trade and the acquisition of wealth.
On the other hand, long before our Lord appeared on earth they had hedged the sabbath about with so many of their own rules and regulations that what God intended to be a joy and a delight had become a heavy burden and an oppression of their spirits.
Similarly do men treat the Christian day of rest and worship, which for intelligent believers has displaced the sabbath of the law. But how we should miss them were our Lord’s days taken from us and if we were forced to labor seven days a week with no respite for spiritual, cultural or physical upbuilding!
O day of rest and gladness, O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness, Most beautiful, most bright,
On thee the high and lowly, Through ages joined in tune
Sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy!” To the great God Triune.
On thee at the creation, The light first had its birth;
On thee, for our salvation, Christ rose from depths of earth;
On thee our Lord victorious, The Spirit sent from heaven,
And thus on thee most glorious, A triple light was given.
They shall eat those things with which the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but an outsider shall not eat them, because they are holy
The food of the priests was the offering of the Lord. In this they pictured believers, the priesthood of the new dispensation who, after having been justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, now are to feed their souls upon Him who died for them and rose again. It is as we meditate upon what the Word reveals concerning our blessed Lord that we feast upon His body and drink His blood. The unsaved cannot enter into this. It is only for God’s anointed priests.
O Lord, what consolation,
Doth in our souls take place,
When we Thy toil and passion
Can gratefully retrace!
Ah, should we, while thus musing
On our Redeemer’s cross,
E’en life itself be losing,
Great gain would be that loss!
—Bernard of Clairvaux
My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.
This was God’s promise to Israel after failure had come in and, from their side, all covenant blessing had been forfeited. But His love would not allow Him to forsake them, even as His grace demands that He never leave His people today. When distressed by a sense of unworthiness, how blessed to realize that He knew all we would ever be and do before He saved us at all, and His presence will go with us to the end and bring us into rest at last, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5), and we know that He is faithful that promised. He cannot deny Himself.
How often I’d longed for a trustworthy friend,
On whom in all seasons my heart might depend,
Both my joy and my sorrow to share!
But I met with so much disappointment and pain
That I feared my seeking would prove to be vain,
So I nearly gave o’er in despair.
I was friendless and sad, my heart burdened with grief,
And I knew not to whom I could look for relief,
When I heard a voice, gentle and calm:—
“Oh, come unto Me, lay thy head on My breast,
And I will refresh thee; in Me find thy rest,
And I’ll ever protect thee from harm.
“I will soothe thee in sorrow, will comfort in pain;
You never shall seek My assistance in vain;
Then refuse not My offer of love.
I will heighten thy joy; I will lessen thy woe;
I will guide thee through life in the path thou should’st go,
And will safely convey thee above.”
He shall offer it of his own free will…and it will he accepted.
The burnt offering typified Christ offering Himself without spot unto God for us, in ourselves so sinful and unworthy, but seen by the Father as complete in Him, “He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). So in faith we identify ourselves with the offering, placing the hand of faith upon the head of Him who took our place, and in holy confidence we dare to believe that “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). And so we bring to God our worship and thanksgiving all in the name of that worthy One who is the delight of the Father’s heart and in whom we stand faultless in the presence of His glory.
What great provision God has made
In Jesus’ death on Calvary!
I hung with Him upon the tree,
And in His tomb I too was laid.
I rose with Him from out the grave—
And how shall I who died to sins
Continue still to live therein,
The victor living as the slave?
At God’s right hand He took His place,
And while for saints my Saviour pleads,
My heart for sinners intercedes
That they might know His saving grace.
Oh, what a name to me is given—
A son of God, by second birth!
I represent Him on the earth,
He represents me now in Heaven.
As Jesus dwells beyond the skies,
I dwell within this world of strife;
And as He lives within my life,
In Him I’m in the heavenlies!
—Barbara E. Comet
The priest who offers anyone’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has offered.
The priest stood in the place of the Israelite who came to the altar with his burnt offering, all of which went up to God, being consumed in the fire of the altar. But the skin was given to the priest. He was to be dressed in the fleece of the offered victim. God, as it were, wrapped him up in the covering provided by the one who died. It is an Old Testament picture of the New Testament truth that all believers are made the righteousness of God in Christ.
Complete in Thee! No work of mine
May take, O Lord, the place of Thine!
Thy blood has pardon bought for me,
And I am now complete in Thee.
—A. R. Wolfe
The life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
Year after year as the blood was shed at the altar and carried into the holiest, God was telling out the story of redeeming grace. It is the precious blood of Christ poured forth at Calvary which alone has settled the sin question to the divine satisfaction. By that mighty sacrifice iniquity has been put away and in the value of that blood the believer stands before God justified—cleared of every charge. Blood shed is life poured out. and it is through the life He gave up in death for us that we now live eternally.
How often do I wonder
That Christ should love me so;
But never can I answer
Why He such love should show;
It passeth understanding,
Out-reaching human thought.
That He, the Lord of glory
My soul with blood hath bought.
—E. G. K. Wesley
The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.
The sabbath of old and the Lord’s day now speak of rest; the one of rest after labor, the other of rest before service. People often ask, “Who changed the sabbath?” Properly speaking, the sabbath has never been changed. The sabbath belongs to the old covenant, and is Israel’s memorial day. But Scripture tells us that after the death and resurrection of Christ “the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law” (Hebrews 7:12). Under the new dispensation we see the first day of the week taking the place of the seventh day sabbath, and the church has recognized this change from the beginning of the Christian era. We may safely say that the guidance of the Holy Spirit led believers to give special recognition to the memorial day of Christ’s resurrection, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). This is the day of verses 22 and 23, when the rejected stone was made “the chief cornerstone,” when God raised Christ from the dead.
The day of resurrection!
Earth tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
From earth unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,
With hymns of victory.
—John of Damascus
After he is sold he may he redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him… or if he is able, he may redeem himself.
To redeem ourselves was impossible. We were poor bankrupt sinners, sold under judgment. But One came from Heaven to be a kinsman-redeemer, One who, though Lord of all, is not ashamed to call us brethren. He has redeemed us to God by His own most precious blood, having satisfied every claim that was against us and not only paid all our debt but provided for all our future.
My Redeemer! Oh, what beauties
In that lowly name appear!
None but Jesus in His glories
Shall the honored title wear.
Oh, how sweet Thy name to bear!
Sunk in ruin, sin and misery,
Bound by Satan’s captive chain,
Guided by his artful treachery,
Hurrying on to endless pain,
Thou didst my redemption gain!
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.
This was the blessing of the high priest in Israel and it is, in a fuller sense, the blessing that is pronounced upon His people today by our Great High Priest, because of the finished work of the cross. The face of God now shines resplendent. Fullness of grace is extended to all who believe. The countenance of the Lord is lifted up upon us in happy approval, for peace has been made by the blood of the cross.
Oh, the peace forever flowing
From God’s thoughts of His Own Son!
Oh, the peace of simply knowing
On the cross that all was done.
Peace with God, the blood in heaven
Speaks of pardon now to me;
Peace with God, the Lord is risen,
Righteousness now counts me free.
—A. P. Cecil
When the dew fell on the camp in the night the manna fell on it.
The dew is a type of the refreshing influence of the Holy Spirit of God, “I will be like the dew to Israel” (Hosea 14:5). The manna speaks of Christ Himself, the Living Bread who came down from Heaven to give His life a ransom for many. He came in the power of the Holy Spirit, taking the lowest place on earth. The manna lay upon the ground, so that every Israelite when he stepped out of his tent in the morning had to do one of two things: he must trample it beneath his feet or gather it up for his food. So Christ today is either spurned or received in faith as Savior.
Nothing but Christ as on we tread,
The Gift unpriced, God’s living Bread!
With staff in hand, and feet well shod,
Nothing but Christ—the Christ of God.
—S. O’M. Cluff
Then they came to the Valley of Eschol, and there cut down a branch with one cluster of grapes; they carried it between two of them on a pole. They also brought some of the pomegranates and figs.
While still in the wilderness, God permitted His people to see and taste of the fruits of the land to which they were headed. He does the same today. It is by the Holy Spirit that we who are journeying on to the rest which remains for the people of God, enjoy while here on earth an earnest of that which we shall delight in, in all its fullness, for eternity. In Romans 8:23 the apostle writes, “we also…have the firstfruits of the Spirit.” Here are our Eshcol grapes and the pomegranates of Canaan. All that we enjoy of Christ now is by the Spirit. He delights to take of those things which concern our risen Lord and reveal them unto us. May it be ours to appreciate and enjoy His gracious ministry.
Our God is light: and though we go
Across a trackless wild,
Our Jesus’ footsteps ever show
The path for ev’ry child.
At ev’ry step afresh we prove
How sure our heavenly Guide,—
The faithful and forbearing love
That never turns aside.
The manna and the springing well
Suffice for ev’ry need;
And Eshcol’s grapes the story tell
Of where Thy path doth lead.
Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
The name “Caleb” means wholehearted, and it was well suited to the character of the man who bore it. When the ten spies brought back their evil report of the land and made the heart of the people to melt, it was Caleb who quieted the troubled host by saying, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” And when all the people murmered against Moses and Aaron and were on the verge of setting up a rebel captain to lead them back to Egypt, Caleb joined with Joshua in endeavoring to dissuade them from their evil purpose and to encourage them to go up in dependence upon God, and take possession of the inheritance He had promised them.
So when the rest were doomed to wander in the wilderness until all the men of that generation had passed away, these two faithful warriors were preserved alive as witnesses to the unchanging purpose and omnipotent power of the Lord of hosts (Numbers 14:1-30).
Forty-five years afterward we see this doughty old chieftain, at the age of eighty-five, claiming his portion, as promised by God, and entering into possession of Hebron and its surroundings. It is a marvelous picture of the energy of faith in one who was not of double heart, but wholly devoted to the Lord.
True-hearted, whole-hearted, faithful, and loyal,
Lord of our lives, by Thy grace we will be,
Under the standard exalted and royal,
Strong in Thy strength we would battle for Thee.
—F. R. Havergal
Speak to the children of Israel: tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments…and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners.
Blue is the heavenly color. The thread of blue on the border of the Israelite’s garments was to remind the wearer that he belonged to the God of Heaven and was responsible to act accordingly. So believers today are to walk as heavenly men and women in the midst of all the sin and corruption of this world. Our citizenship is in Heaven. We represent another country. Here we are but strangers and pilgrims. The heavenly character should ever be manifested in all our words and ways.
Lord, since we sing as pilgrims,
Oh, give us pilgrims’ ways,
Low thoughts of self, befitting
Proclaimers of Thy praise.
Oh, make us each more holy,
In spirit, pure and meek,
More like to heavenly citizens,
As more of heaven we speak.
God is not a man, that He should lie; nor a son of man, that He should repent, has He said, and will He not do? or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
From “the top of the rocks,” Balaam saw further than he had ever seen before, and learned lessons to which he had previously been a stranger. Among these was the immutability of God’s counsels. No power of man or of Satan can thwart His purpose. His Word shall stand forever! What comfort is this to the soul who trusts Him. He has promised eternal blessing to all who believe and He cannot go back on His solemn declaration. This is where faith rests: on the assured testimony of Him who cannot lie.
The world may pass and perish—
Thou, God, wilt not remove.
No hatred of all devils
Can part me from Thy love:
No hungering nor thirsting,
No poverty nor care,
No wrath of mighty princes
Can reach my shelter there.
No angel and no devil.
No throne, no power, nor might;
No love, no tribulation,
No danger, fear, nor fight;
No height, no depth, no creature
That has been, nor can be,
Can drive me from Thy bosom,
Can sever me from Thee.
You shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
All the wilderness experiences of God’s redeemed ones are designed to bring them to an end of themselves and to cast them more implicitly upon Himself. If He allows us to hunger it is that we may learn to appreciate the Bread from Heaven. If He permits us to thirst it is that we may more fully enjoy the clear crystal streams of grace flowing from the smitten Rock. What memories all His ways will stir when safely home at last!
All the way by which He led us,
All the grievings that He bore,
All the patient love that taught us,
We’ll remember ever more;
And His rest will seem the sweeter,
As we think of weary ways,
And His light will shine the clearer,
As we muse o’er cloudy days.
The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear.
Christ Jesus is the prophet who, like unto Moses, is the deliverer and leader of His people, freeing from Satan’s bondage and leading in triumph to the rest that remains for the people of God. He who was with the Father from all eternity became man that He might qualify as the Mediator of our redemption. It was necessary that He partake of our nature apart from sin, that He might represent us before God and pay the penalty that we deserved. Now He is exalted as Prince and Savior, and we are to heed His voice, following Him as we journey on to the land of promise—to the inheritance laid up for us in Heaven.
Great Prophet of our God,
Our tongues shall bless Thy name,
Through whom the joyful news
Of free salvation came,
The joyful news of sins forgiven,
Of fears removed and peace with heaven.
When the army goes out against your enemies, then keep yourself from every wicked thing.
God’s host of old was invincible so long as they walked in obedience to His Word. But sin tolerated rendered them weak and powerless against the enemy. We who wrestle not with flesh and blood but with wicked spirits in heavenly places, must deal unsparingly with every evil tendency in ourselves if we would triumph in the hour of conflict. Hidden sin, unjudged and unconfessed, will be our undoing when we attempt to meet the enemy. A bad conscience will nullify all our holy weapons and result in utter defeat. But if we deal unsparingly with the evil we can count on God to work in us and to fight for us.
Search out in me all hidden sin,
And may Thy purity within
So cleanse my life, that it may be
A temple wholly fit for Thee.
Oh, search my life, my will, my all.
As now on Thee, my Lord, I call;
Purge me from self, and sanctify
My life, while Thee I glorify.
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Much that was secret in Moses’ day has been revealed now. Jesus said, “I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35). All that has been revealed is for us, and should challenge our hearts to enter into and enjoy. There are still mysteries that we cannot solve and that God has not been pleased, as yet, to reveal, but some day all will be made plain. “In the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished” (Revelation 10:7). Till then we are to appropriate in faith all that has been unfolded, as we study the Word in dependence on the Holy Spirit.
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious things Thou dost impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.
O give Thine own sweet rest to me.
That I may speak with soothing power
A word in season, as from Thee,
To weary ones in needful hour.
—F. R. Havergal
Yes, He loves the people; all His saints are in Your hand; they sit down at Your feet; everyone receives Your words.
Here God’s saints are seen in three places. They are in His heart: “He loves the people!” How precious to dwell in the bosom of infinite love! What rest in the hour of strife and in the day of distress! They are also in His hand—the place of security as our Lord tells us in John 10:27-30, whence none can pluck them. Last of all, they are at His feet—the place of discipleship, learning His mind and will that they may walk in His ways. How abundant the provision which He has made for the comfort, security and instruction of all His redeemed ones!
Low at Thy feet, Lord Jesus,
This is the place for me;
There I have learned sweet lessons,
Truth that has set me free.
Free from myself, Lord Jesus,
Free from the ways of men,
Chains of thought that once bound me
Never shall bind again.
None but Thyself, Lord Jesus,
Conquered my wayward will;
But for Thy grace, my Saviour
I had been wayward still.
And of Asher he said: “Asher is most blessed of sons; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil.”
Oil is a well-known type of the Holy Spirit. He who dips his foot in oil will leave a mark behind him as he walks through this scene. It is walking in the Spirit that causes any life to count for God. Such a person will enjoy the fellowship of his brethren as they see Christ in his ways. And he will be blessed with children. It is the man who walks in the Spirit who is a successful soul-winner and knows the joy of seeing his children in the faith glorifying God on his behalf. Asher is the blessed or happy one. Happy indeed is he of whom these things are true.
O Lord, whate’er my path may be,
If only I may walk with Thee
And talk with Thee along the way,
I’ll praise Thee for it ALL some day.
Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.
The book of Joshua is, in the Old Testament, what the Epistle to the Ephesians is in the New. It sets before us the inheritance of the people of God. Of old they were blessed with all temporal blessings in earthly places in the land of promise through Joshua. Today we are blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Joshua and Jesus are really the same names. Both mean “Jehovah, the Savior.” Joshua is from the Hebrew, Jesus from the Greek. This explains the seemingly strange statements (in the King James Version) in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. The “Jesus” of those verses is, of course, really the Hebrew general, Joshua, who succeeded Moses as leader of Israel. He was distinguished for his faithfulness to God and to Moses, whose assistant he was (Numbers 14:6; 26:65). He and Caleb were the two spies who encouraged the people to go up and take possession of the land when the ten brought back their evil report. By divine command Joshua was selected by Moses to be his successor (Deuteronomy 34:9), and was filled with the spirit of wisdom so as to enable him to lead the people into their inheritance. He was a valiant man of unimpeachable integrity, whose life and character challenged all to devotion to God and obedience to His Word.
Oh for a faith that will not shrink,
Tho’ pressed by every foe;
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe.
Lord, give us such a faith as this,
And then, whate’er may come,
We’ll taste, e’en here, the hallowed bliss
Of our eternal home.
—W. H. Bathurst