Friday, April 16, 2010

Mid-Day Devotion 4/16/10

Today's Devotion is taken from Our Daily Homily by F.B. Meyer

First Devotion

A mercy-seat of pure gold - Exodus 37:6

“He made the atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide.”

This was the Propitiatory. Beneath it lay the tables of the law, which even Moses had broken, almost as soon as they came into his hands, but which had been renewed. Concealing and covering them lay this golden lid, encrusted with the blood which successive generations of priests sprinkled there on the Great Day of Atonement.

There can be no doubt that this golden slab sets forth our Saviour's obedience unto death. God set Him forth to be "the Propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

Our Lord's obedience is priceless in the Divine esteem. - What pure gold is among metals, that is His advent to do God's will, in comparison with all other endeavors to do it. It takes the first place, and is of peerless beauty and excellence. "Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered."

His obedience was to blood. - His wounds tell the story. He held nothing back; but yielded all to blood-shedding. Blood is life, and life is in the Blood: this He freely poured out to meet the claims of justice, and herein gave the sublimest token of His love.

His person and work are the medium of our approach. - In Jesus the Shekinah of God's presence awaits us. On this priceless mercy-seat the Divine Fire trembles, and we may draw near with boldness. We are beloved children; but let us never forget that we are redeemed sinners.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads;
A place than all beside more sweet -
It is the blood-stained Mercy-seat.

First Prayer:

Listen to our Prayers O Lord, ignore not our pleas, nor let our cries fall upon deaf ears, show unto the nations that we place our trust not on the idols of this world with ears that cannot hear and eyes that cannot see, with lips that cannot speak and hearts that does not bend to the deeper yearning of the people amidst their darkest struggles.

Hear us O Lord and see the thoughts that trouble us, for we are distraught at the presence of unrighteousness that rises up like the serpent and the adder to bit at the heal of Your people. Our hearts are filled with anguish by the march of wickedness as they bring suffering upon the head of Your children and show contempt amidst their anger and their hatred.

Attend to the cause of the five United Nations staff members who have gone missing in Afghanistan, take heed to the plight of the two French journalists kidnapped by the Taliban. Let not your people suffer needlessly at the hands of those who bring fear and trembling with their ways. Cast upon them the Spirit of Your mercy that they might be uplifted amidst the deeper trials that they face as darkness and chaos seem to surround them so ready to rip the happiness and the joy from their lives.

Restore hope unto this lost and fallen world as You carry Your children on the wings of a dove even unto the peace that has been so ripped from them amidst the brutal and bitter captivity that brings so much sorrow into this world.

Then shall Your people rejoice as their God, as their Deliverer saves them.

Then shall Your people come to rest as their Lord ransoms them, hearing their cries morning and evening and rising faithfully to bring them, unharmed, from the battles waged against them even as the enemies of Your righteousness stand with strength even unto their cause.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

Second Devotion

In a Cleft of the Rock. - Exodus 33:22

“When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.”

That rock was Christ. In the Divine thought the position of Moses, first on the rock, and afterward in its cleft, was a moving emblem of the position in which alone we can dare to look out on the sublime progress of God's glory.

God is always passing by. - In the great movements of history which evolve His plans, and are leading to Christ's advent; in the passage of the ages, which are His swift chariots; in storm and catastrophe, which break up old forces and forms of evil; in the goodness of His daily mercy; in the revelation of His character - we are always living in the very midst of God's presence and power.

In our condition of weakness and sinfulness we need a position of stability and shelter from which to look on God. - No man can see that face of awful holiness and love and live. Sir John Herschel says that when sweeping the heavens with his telescope the brilliant Sirius suddenly burst on his view, he nearly fainted. Who then could behold God! But in Jesus, we are stable, established in Him, accepted in the Beloved; and in Him we are covered. The full blaze of the Divine glory is tempered to our gaze; it comes to us through the medium of the pierced hand. We stand on the rock; we are hidden under the covering hand.

Our Rock was cleft. - How scarred are the great Alps! Their sides have been split by the action of tempest, avalanche, earthquake, frost, and glacier. Hence their clefts. But who shall enumerate all that has been borne by our dear Lord for us! What storms have pelted on Him, that we might have a safe hiding. On Calvary, a niche was hollowed in which a world of sinners may take shelter!

Second Prayer:

Let not anguish take Your children O Lord, let them not go down alive to the grave as evil finds a lodging place amidst their lives and captivity and bondage rests in their lives. Stand firm amidst the plights and the struggles of this age that darkness and sorrow shall be set to flight and Your people shall be saved.

Unto You O Lord shall we cast all of our cares, trusting that You shall sustain Your children as You always have through the generations. Count them amidst the ranks of Your blessed and Your beloved and rise up as slavery and oppression, tyranny and persecution, poverty and destitution seek to cast them down. As temporal and spiritual bondage chains your people to despair and hopelessness break them free that they shall rise amidst a new hope as Your new creation that they may find peace amidst the wondrous rest that comes when You lead the sheep of pasture to the green fields of Your endless love.

As enemies rise let them come to see that their authority amidst this age is nothing compared to Your endless authority from age to age as Your mercy comes to bear amidst this lost and fallen world. Be the companion unto all who suffer, be the friend unto all who find themselves amidst anguish and agony, that unto them mercy shall encompass their lives and the blessed faith that is the gift of grace from Your hand shall not be frustrated amidst the darkness of it all.

Then shall we rest under the tree of Your blessings, sustained by Your waters of life as death’s dark shadow is put to flight and we are made to rejoice in the hope of Your love and compassion even unto the wondrous liberty You have endowed Your whole creation with as freedom comes into the hearts of all people in all places through all they are and all they face.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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