"The glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams."
Broad rivers and streams produce fertility, and abundance in the land. Places near broad rivers are remarkable for the variety of their plants and their plentiful harvests. God is all this to his Church. Having God she has abundance. What can she ask for that he will not give her? What want can she mention which he will not supply? "In this mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things." Want ye the bread of life? It drops like manna from the sky. Want ye refreshing streams? The rock follows you, and that Rock is Christ. If you suffer any want it is your own fault; if you are straitened you are not straitened in him, but in your own bowels. Broad rivers and streams also point to commerce. Our glorious Lord is to us a place of heavenly merchandise. Through our Redeemer we have commerce with the past; the wealth of Calvary, the treasures of the covenant, the riches of the ancient days of election, the stores of eternity, all come to us down the broad stream of our gracious Lord. We have commerce, too, with the future. What galleys, laden to the water's edge, come to us from the millennium! What visions we have of the days of heaven upon earth! Through our glorious Lord we have commerce with angels; communion with the bright spirits washed in blood, who sing before the throne; nay, better still, we have fellowship with the Infinite One. Broad rivers and streams are specially intended to set forth the idea of security. Rivers were of old a defence. Oh! beloved, what a defence is God to his Church! The devil cannot cross this broad river of God. How he wishes he could turn the current, but fear not, for God abideth immutably the same. Satan may worry, but he cannot destroy us; no galley with oars shall invade our river, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.
"Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man."
The worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber; they would be indignant if they were accused of thorough idleness. A little folding of the hands to sleep is all they crave, and they have a crowd of reasons to show that this indulgence is a very proper one. Yet by these littles the day ebbs out, and the time for labour is all gone, and the field is grown over with thorns. It is by little procrastinations that men ruin their souls. They have no intention to delay for years--a few months will bring the more convenient season--to-morrow if you will, they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused. Like sands from an hour-glass, time passes, life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers. Oh, to be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a poverty of the worst sort awaits us, eternal poverty which shall want even a drop of water, and beg for it in vain. Like a traveller steadily pursuing his journey, poverty overtakes the slothful, and ruin overthrows the undecided: each hour brings the dreaded pursuer nearer; he pauses not by the way, for he is on his master's business and must not tarry. As an armed man enters with authority and power, so shall want come to the idle, and death to the impenitent, and there will be no escape. O that men were wise be-times, and would seek diligently unto the Lord Jesus, or ere the solemn day shall dawn when it will be too late to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe. In harvest, it is vain to lament that the seed time was neglected. As yet, faith and holy decision are timely. May we obtain them this night.
Today's reading: Ezekiel 22-23, 1 Peter 1 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Ezekiel 22-23
Judgment on Jerusalem’s Sins
1 The word of the LORD came to me:
2 “Son of man, will you judge her? Will you judge this city of bloodshed? Then confront her with all her detestable practices 3and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You city that brings on herself doom by shedding blood in her midst and defiles herself by making idols, 4 you have become guilty because of the blood you have shed and have become defiled by the idols you have made. You have brought your days to a close, and the end of your years has come. Therefore I will make you an object of scorn to the nations and a laughingstock to all the countries. 5 Those who are near and those who are far away will mock you, you infamous city, full of turmoil....
Today's New Testament reading: 1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time....
Rechab [Rē'chăb]—companionship, a horseman or square.
- A son of Rimmon, a Beerothite, captain of the band who slew Ish-bosheth in his bed, and who was put to death by David (2 Sam. 4:2-9).
- Father of Jehonadab and founder of a tribe known as the “Rechabites” ( 2 Kings 10:15,23).
The Man Who Vowed to Be Separate
This particular order had its rise in the religious revival that took place under Elijah and Elisha. The tenets of the followers of Rechab were a reaction and a protest against the luxury and license which under Jezebel and Ahab threatened to destroy the simplicity of the ancient nomadic life of Israel. Accordingly, the Rechabites vowed to drink no wine, nor build houses, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyards, but dwell in tents all their days. They were to remember they were strangers in the land. For 250 years they adhered faithfully to their rules but were driven from their tents when in 607 b.c. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah.
Of these noteworthy people, whose high moral example was specially commended by God, Dr. Dinsdale Young elaborates on these points:
I. They honored the memory of the good.
II. They were marked by great simplicity of life.
III. They were worshipers of Jehovah.
IV. They maintained their integrity amid surrounding degeneracy.
V. They had their principles severely tested.
VI. They received special blessing.
May all of us be found among God’s true Rechabites!
3. A descendant of Hemath a Kenite (1 Chron. 2:55).
4. The father of Malchiah, a chief man who, after his return from exile, helped to repair the wall of Jerusalem (Neh. 3:14).