"Forsake me not, O Lord."
Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation, but we too much forget that we have need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without his constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation, we alike need the prayer, "Forsake me not, O Lord." "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." A little child, while learning to walk, always needs the nurse's aid. The ship left by the pilot drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without continued aid from above; let it then be your prayer today, "Forsake me not. Father, forsake not thy child, lest he fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, forsake not thy lamb, lest he wander from the safety of the fold. Great Husbandman, forsake not thy plant, lest it wither and die. Forsake me not, O Lord,' now; and forsake me not at any moment of my life. Forsake me not in my joys, lest they absorb my heart. Forsake me not in my sorrows, lest I murmur against thee. Forsake me not in the day of my repentance, lest I lose the hope of pardon, and fall into despair; and forsake me not in the day of my strongest faith, lest faith degenerate into presumption. Forsake me not, for without thee I am weak, but with thee I am strong. Forsake me not, for my path is dangerous, and full of snares, and I cannot do without thy guidance. The hen forsakes not her brood; do thou then evermore cover me with thy feathers, and permit me under thy wings to find my refuge. Be not far from me, O Lord, for trouble is near, for there is none to help.' Leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation!'"
"O ever in our cleansed breast,
Bid thine Eternal Spirit rest;
And make our secret soul to be
A temple pure and worthy thee."
"And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem ... and they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them."
When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road, took bread and brake it, made himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had constrained him to abide with them, because the day was far spent; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, yea, wings also; they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and forthwith they journeyed back the threescore furlongs to tell the gladsome news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by the way. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem, and were received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their own tale. These early Christians were all on fire to speak of Christ's resurrection, and to proclaim what they knew of the Lord; they made common property of their experiences. This evening let their example impress us deeply. We too must bear our witness concerning Jesus. John's account of the sepulchre needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of something further still; combined, we have a full testimony from which nothing can be spared. We have each of us peculiar gifts and special manifestations; but the one object God has in view is the perfecting of the whole body of Christ. We must, therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the apostle's feet, and make distribution unto all of what God has given to us. Keep back no part of the precious truth, but speak what you know, and testify what you have seen. Let not the toil or darkness, or possible unbelief of your friends, weigh one moment in the scale. Up, and be marching to the place of duty, and there tell what great things God has shown to your soul.===
[Hābăk'kuk] - love's embrace or he that embraces. The eighth of the Minor Prophets whose parentage, birthplace and era are unrecorded (Hab. 1:1; 3:1).
The Man Who Caressed the People
Although he is not much more than a mere name to us, we know that Habakkuk was a prophet of Judah and of the tribe of Levi and of the temple singers (Hab. 3:19 ). He is also referred to as a prophet and the last prophet before the destruction of Jerusalem (Hab. 3:11). Rabbinical tradition makes him the son of the Shunammite woman whom Elisha restored to life (2 Kings 4:16). Habakkuk prophesied the coming of the Babylonians upon Judah. This invasion took place in 606 b.c.and also in 597 b.c. and 586 b.c. "In your days" (Hab. 1:5 ), would indicate that he prophesied scarcely a generation before the first invasion.
In his prophecy Habakkuk was true to his name, which means "strong embrace of God," for he caressed and comforted the people as one would embrace a weeping child until its tears are dried. A modern writer suggests that his name may have contributed somewhat to the unpopularity of the prophet. "His name is against him; its coarse gutterals, falling upon the modern ears with a forbidden ring, and creating a prejudice from the beginning."
From the book Habakkuk wrote, we gather that he was the questioning prophet. He wants to know "Why?" and "How?" Answers were granted him. Why does God permit the destruction of His own people by a hand so cruel and unclean? The prophet waited patiently for an answer, and it came. The ungodly shall pass; the just shall live by faith.
Then we have a chant of derision against the Chaldeans raised by their victims - a fivefold woe:
I. Their insatiable greed.
II. Their overreaching ambition.
III. Their cruel tyranny.
IV. Their shameful treatment of conquered people.
V. Their brutal idolatry.
Then there is Habakkuk's great message of faith which gave Paul a hint of the most precious truth of the Gospel (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38) and aided the Reformation under Martin Luther, the charter of evangelical liberty.===
Today's reading: 1 Chronicles 25-27, John 9:1-23 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Chronicles 25-27
1 David, together with the commanders of the army, set apart some of the sons of Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals. Here is the list of the men who performed this service:
2 From the sons of Asaph:
Zakkur, Joseph, Nethaniah and Asarelah. The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king's supervision....
Today's New Testament reading: John 9:1-23
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3 "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world...."===