"I will rejoice over them to do them good."
How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in his saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God's people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that he delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that his delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give his soul delight; nor doth he say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, "Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee"; but he does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by his grace. In what strong language he expresses his delight in his people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, "He will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." As he looked upon the world he had made, he said, "It is very good"; but when he beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus' blood, his own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of his love, and sing, "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation?"
"Gather not my soul with sinners."
Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, "Perhaps, after all, thou mayst be gathered with the wicked." That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy anxiety, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, "What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?" He recollects his present unfruitfulness--so little grace, so little love, so little holiness, and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, "Gather not my soul with sinners." Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had--the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ's sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like to like. "Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." If, then, thou art like God's people, thou shalt be with God's people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his forever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!
Today's reading: Ecclesiastes 7-9, 2 Corinthians 13 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Ecclesiastes 7-9
1 A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.
2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
the living should take this to heart.
3 Frustration is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.
4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.
5 It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person
than to listen to the song of fools.
6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
so is the laughter of fools.
This too is meaningless....
Today's New Testament reading: 2 Corinthians 13
1 This will be my third visit to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 2 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, 3 since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6 And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. 10 This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down....
Joshua, Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Jeshua, Jesus
[Jŏsh'uă, Jēhŏsh'u ă, Jĕsh'u ă, Jē'sus] - jehovah is salvation.
1. The son of Nun and successor of Moses and author of the book bearing his name. He is also called Hoshea (Num. 13:8, 16; Deut. 32:44).
The Man Who Was a Soldier-Saint
Joshua has been rightly called, "The first soldier consecrated by sacred history." A profitable way of studying his profile is to think of him in the following roles:
As a Son . Joshua was the son of Nun - a name meaning "prosperity, durable" - and of the tribe of Ephraim. Nothing is known of his mother. One usually finds, however, a good and gracious woman in the background of a man who reaches a position of influence and honor. Without doubt, Joshua's parents feared the God of Israel, and he continued their godly influence.
As a Slave . Born during the weary years of bondage his nation suffered in Egypt under Pharaoh, Joshua knew something of the lash of the whip, the almost impossible task in the brick-fields, and the deep sigh of liberty. But little did he realize that although a slave, he would rise to become Israel's supreme leader and commander. He had witnessed the moral and social degradation of his countrymen brought about by the terrible idolatries of that time. Thus, when he came to the position of leadership, his solemn commands were colored by early experience (Josh. 24:15).
As a Soldier . Joshua was pre-eminent as a military leader who knew how to plan campaigns, discipline his forces, use spies, but above all, pray and trust in God. Many a general has closely studied Joshua's conquest of Canaan and followed his strategy. Read how he discomfited Amalek (Exod. 17:9-16)! He never stooped to pilfering and plunder. It was as true of him as of Sir Henry Havelock, of whom it was said, "He was every inch a soldier, and every inch a Christian." Joshua was first of all a good soldier of the Lord whom he encountered and obeyed as Captain of the Lord's host ( Josh. 5:13-15).
As a Servant. Joshua's victory over Amalek gave him the open door of further usefulness and responsibility. That he was prepared for the responsibilities of leadership is evidenced by the fact that because of his unswerving loyalty and devotion, he is called "the servant of Moses" (Num. 11:28; Josh. 1:1).
As a Spy. Joshua, along with eleven others, was chosen to search the land of Canaan (Num. 13:1-16 ). It was at this time that Moses changed his servant's name from Oshea or Hoshea, meaning "help" to Joshua, meaning "God's help" or "salvation." The changed name indicated the desire of Moses to lift the thoughts of the people Godward, and to lead them from reliance upon leaders to God's help. Along with Caleb, Joshua brought back a faithful report of the land, which the people rejected, and wandered thereby for forty years in the wilderness. But Joshua profited by such an experience (Josh. 2:1, 2).
As a Saviour . Moses, representing the Law, brought the people to the border of the land, but it took a Joshua (God's salvation) to take them into the land. Divinely commissioned for such a task, he was probably about eighty-five years of age when he assumed command at Shittim. What a saviour he was! How marvelously was he helped to roll away Israel's reproach and to lead them to possess their possessions! His conquests and victories are typical of all the Lord has made possible for His own.
As a Statesman . What magnanimity and unselfish statesmanship Joshua revealed! Once the division of the land was completed, he carried through the setting up of the Tabernacle, the appointing of the cities of refuge, the arrangement of the Levitical order and service, with the same precision and thoroughness that characterized his other work as Israel's Premier and leader.
As a Saint. Joshua's saintliness marked him out as Moses'successor (Deut. 34:9). What a soldier-saint he was!
He was filled with the Spirit of God (Deut. 34:9).
He enjoyed the presence of God (Josh. 1:5; 6:27).
He was indwelt by the word of God (Josh. 1:8).
He was ever obedient to the will of God (Num. 32:12; Josh. 5:14).
No wonder his death at 110 years of age was deeply mourned and his eminent service universally acknowledged! The brief but noble epitaph of the historian is eloquent with meaning, "before Joshua, the servant of the Lord." Dead, he could yet speak, for the nation continued to serve the Lord all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua (Josh. 24:3).
2. A Beth-shemite, and owner of a field in the days of Eli (1 Sam. 6:14, 18).
3. The Governor of Jerusalem in the days of Josiah ( 2 Kings 23:8).
4. The son of Josedech and high priest at the time of the rebuilding of the Temple (Hag. 1:1; 2:4; Zech. 3; 6:11).