God Gives Wisdom When We Seek Him For It

November 22, 2013

A Wise Request

1 Kings 3:1-15



“Now, O LORD my God, you have made me king instead of my father, David, but I am like a little child who doesn’t know his way around. And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies—I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.” ((1 Kings 3:7-14))


When given a chance to have anything in the world, Solomon asked for wisdom—”an understanding heart”—in order to lead well and to make right decisions. Notice that Solomon asked for discernment to carry out his job; he did not ask God to do the job for him.

Solomon asked for wisdom, not wealth, but God gave him riches and long life as well. While God does not promise riches to those who follow him, he gives us what we need if we put his kingdom, his interests, and his principles first (Matthew 6:31-33). Setting your sights on riches will only leave you dissatisfied because even if you get the riches you crave, you will still want something more. But if you put God and his work first, he will satisfy your deepest needs.


You can ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) and the courage to do whatever he calls you to do. God takes seriously anyone who asks for wisdom. Remember also, “when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind” (James 1:6).


The Broken Fence

Stone Wall 3

Stone Wall 3 (Photo credit: Mike_tn)

“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.”—Proverbs 24:30-32.

HIS slothful man did no hurt to his fellow men: he was not a thief, nor a ruffian, nor a meddler in anybody else’s business.  He did not trouble himself about other men’s concerns, for he did not even attend to his own,—it required too much exertion.  He was not grossly vicious; he had not energy enough to care for that.  He was one who liked to take things easily.  He always let well alone, and, for the matter of that, he let ill alone, too, as the nettles and the thistles in his garden plainly proved.  What was the use of disturbing himself?  It would be all the same a hundred years hence; and so, he took things just as they came.  He was not a bad man, so some said of him; and yet, perhaps, it will be found at last there is no worse man in the world than the man who is not good, for in some respects he is not good enough to be bad; he has not enough force of character about him to serve either God or Baal.  He simply serves himself, worshipping his own case and adoring his own comfort.  Yet he always meant to be right.  Dear me! He was not going to sleep much longer, he would only have forty winks more, and then he would be at his work, and show you what he could do.  One of these days he meant to be thoroughly in earnest, and make up for the last time.  The time never actually came for him to begin, but it was always coming.  He always meant to repent, but he went on in his sin.  He meant to believe, but he died an unbeliever.  He meant to be a Christian, but he lived without Christ.  He halted between two opinions because could not trouble himself to make up his mind; and so he perished of delay.     This picture of the slothful man and his garden and field overgrown with nettles and weeds represents many a man who has professed to be a Christian, but who has become slothful in the things of God.  Spiritual life has within in him.  He has backslidden; he has come down from the condition of healthy spiritual energy into of listlessness, and indifference to the things of God; and while things have gone wrong within his heart, and all sorts of mischiefs have come into him and grown up and seeded themselves in him, mischief is also taking place externally in his daily conduct.  The stone wall which guarded his character is broken down, and he lies open to all evil.  Upon this point we will now meditate.  “The stone wall thereof was broken down.”     Come, then, let us take a walk with Solomon, and stand with him and consider and learn instruction while we look at this broken-down fence.  When we have examined it, let us consider the consequences of broken-down walls; and then, in the last place, let us try to rouse up this sluggard that his wall may yet be repaired.  If this slothful person should be one of ourselves, may God’s infinite mercy rouse us up before this ruined wall has let in a herd of prowling vices.     I.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            First let us take a LOOK AT THIS BROKEN FENCE.     You will see that in the beginning it was a very good fence, for it was a stone wall.  Fields are often surrounded with wooden palings which soon decay, or with hedges which may very easily have gaps made in them; but this was a stone wall.  Such walls are very usual in the East, and are also common in some of our own counties where stone is plentiful.  It was a substantial protection to begin with, and well shut in the pretty little estate which had fallen into such bad hands.  The man had a field for agricultural purposes, and another strip of land for a vineyard or a garden.  It was fertile soil, for it produced thorns and nettles in abundance, and where these flourish better things can be produced; yet the idler took no care of his property, but allowed the wall to get into bad repair, and in many places to be quite broken down.     Let me mention some of the stone walls that men permit to be broken down when they backslide.     In many cases sound principles were instilled in youth, but these are forgotten.  What a blessing is Christian education!  Our parents, both by persuasion and example, taught many of us the things that are pure and honest, and of good repute.  We saw in their lives how to live.  They also opened the word of God before us, and they taught us the ways or right both towards God and towards men.  They prayed for us, and they prayed with us, till the things of God were placed round about us and shut us in as with a stone wall.  We have never  been able to get rid of our early impressions.  Even in times of wandering, before we knew the Lord savingly, these things had a healthy power over us; we were checked when we would have done evil, we were assisted when we were struggling towards Christ.  It is very sad when people permit these first principles to be shaken, and to be removed like stones which fall from a boundary wall.  Young persons begin at first to talk lightly of the old-fashioned ways of their parents.  By-and-by it is not merely the old-fashionedness of the ways, but the ways themselves that they despise.  They seek other company, and from that other company they learn nothing but evil.  They seek pleasure in places which it horrifies their parents to think of.  This leads to worse, and if they do not bring their fathers’ grey hairs with sorrow to the grave it is no virtue of theirs.  I have known young men, who really were Christians, sadly backslide through being induced to modify, conceal, or alter those holy principles in which they were trained from their mother’s knee.  It is a great calamity when professedly converted men become unfixed, unstable, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.  It shows great faultiness of mind, and unsoundness of heart when we can trifle with those grave and solemn truths which have been sanctified by a mother’s tears, and by a father’s earnest life.  “I am thy servant,” said David, “and the son of thy handmaid”: he felt it to be a high honour, and, at the same time a sacred bond which bound him to God, that he was the son of one who could be called God’s handmaid.  Take care, you who have had Christian training, that you do not trifle with it.  “My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.”     Protection to character is also found in the fact that solid doctrines have been learned.  This is a fine stone wall.  Many among us have been taught the gospel of the grace of God, and they have learned it well, so that they are able to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.  Happy are they who have a religion that is grounded upon a clear knowledge of eternal verities.  A religion which is all excitement, and has little instruction in it, may serve for transient use; but for permanent life-purposes there must be a knowledge of those great doctrines which are fundamental to the gospel system.  I tremble when I hear of a man’s giving up, one by one, the vital principles of the gospel and boasting of his liberality.  I hear him say, “These are my views, but others have a right to their views also.”  That is a very proper expression in reference to mere “views,” but we may not thus speak of truth itself as revealed by God: that is one and unalterable, and all are bound to receive it.  It is not your view of truth, for that is a dim thing;  but the very truth itself which will save you if you faith embraces it.  I will readily yield my way of stating a doctrine, but not the doctrine itself.  One man may put it in this way, and one in another; but the truth itself must never be given up.  The spirit of the Broad School robs us of everything like certainty.  I should like to ask some great men of that order whether they believe that anything is taught in the Scriptures which it world be worth while for a person to die for, and  whether the martyrs were not great fools for laying down their lives for mere opinions which might be right or might be wrong?  This Broad-churchism is a breaking down of stone walls, and it will let in the devil and all his crew, and do infinite harm to the church of God, if it be not stopped.  A loose state of belief does great damage to any man’s mind.     We are not bigots, but we should be none the worse if we so lived that men called us so.  I met a man the other day who was accused of bigotry and I said, “Give me your hand, old fellow.  I like to meet with bigots now and then, for the fine old creatures are getting scarce, and the stuff they are made of is so good that if there were more of it we might see a few men among us again and fewer molluses.”  Lately we have seen few men with backbone; the most have been of the jelly-fish order.  I have lived in times in which I should have said, “Be liberal, and shake off all narrowness”; but now I am obliged to alter my tone and cry, “Be steadfast in the truth.”  The faith once delivered to the saints is now all the more attractive to me because it is called narrow, for I am weary of that breadth which comes of broken hedges.  There are fixed points of truth, and definite certainties of creed, and woe to you if you allow these stone walls to crumble down.  I fear me that the slothful are a numerous band, and that ages to come may have to deplore the laxity which has been applauded by this negligent generation.     Another fence which is too often neglected is that of godly habits which had been formed: the sluggard allows this wall to be broken down.  I will mention some valuable guards of life and character.  One is the habit of secret prayer.  Private prayer should be regularly offered, at least in the morning and in the evening.  We cannot do without set seasons for drawing near to God.  To look into the face of man without having first seen the face of God is very dangerous: to go out into the world without locking up the heart and giving God the key is to leave it open to all sorts of spiritual vagrants.  At night, again, to go to your rest as the swine roll into their sty, without thanking God for the mercies of the day, is shameful.  The evening sacrifice should be devoutly offered as surely as we have enjoyed the evening fireside: we should thus put ourselves under the wings of the Preserver of men.  It may be said, “We can pray at all times.”  I know we can: but I fear that those who do not pray at stated hours seldom pray at all.  Those who pray in season are the most likely persons to pray at all seasons.  Spiritual life does not care for a cast-iron regulation, but since life casts itself into some mould or other, I would have you careful of its external habit as well as its internal power.  Never allow great gaps in the wall of your habitual private prayer.     I go a step farther, I believe that there is a great guardian power about family prayer, and I feel greatly distressed because I know that very many Christian families neglect it.  Romanism, at one time, could do nothing in England, because it could offer nothing but the shadow of what Christian men had already in substance.  “Do you hear that bell tinkling in the morning?”  “What is that for?”  “To go to church to pray.”  “Indeed,” said the Puritan, “I have no need to go there to pray.  I have had my children together, and we have read a passage of Scripture, and prayed, and sang the praises of God, and we have a church in our house.”  Ah, there goes that bell again in the evening.  What is that for?  Why, it is the vesper bell.  The good man answered that he had no need to trudge a mile or two for that, for his holy vespers had been said and sung around his own table, of which the big Bible was the chief ornament.  They told him that there could be no service without a priest, but he replied that every godly man should be a priest in his own house.  Thus have the saints defied the overtures of priestcraft, and kept the faith from generation to generation.  Household devotion and the pulpit are, under God, the stone walls of Protestantism, and my prayer is that these may not be broken down.     Another fence to protect piety is found in week-night services.  I notice that when people forsake week-night meetings the power of their religion evaporates.  I do not speak of those lawfully detained to watch the sick, and attend to farm-work and other business, or as domestic servants and the like; there are exceptions to all rules; but I mean those who could attend if they had a mind to do so.  When people say, “It is quite enough for me to be wearied with the sermons of the Sunday; I do not want to go out to prayer-meetings, and lectures, and so forth,”—then it is clear that they have no appetite for the word; and surely this is a bad sign.  If you have a bit of wall built to protect the Sunday and then six times the distance left without a fence, I believe that Satan’s cattle will get in and do no end of mischief.     Take care, also, of the stone wall of Bible reading, and of speaking often one to another concerning the things of God.  Associate with the godly, and commune with God, and you will thus, by the blessing of God’s Spirit, keep up a good fence against temptations, which otherwise will get into the fields of your soul, and devour all goodly fruits.     Many have found much protection for the field of daily life in the stone wall of a public profession of faith.  I am speaking to you who are real believers, and I know that you have often found it a great safeguard to be known and recognized as a follower of Jesus.  I have never regretted—and I never shall regret—the day on which I walked to the little river Lark, in Cambridgeshire, and was there buried with Christ in baptism.  In this I acted contrary to the opinions of all my friends whom I respected and esteemed, but as I had read the Green Testament for myself, I felt bound to be immersed upon the profession of my faith, and I was so.  By that act I said to the world, “I am dead to you, and buried to you in Christ, and I hope henceforth to live in newness of life.”  That day, by God’s grace, I imitated the tactics of the general who meant to fight the enemy till he conquered, and therefore he burned his boats that there might be no way of retreat.  I believe that a solemn confession of Christ before men is as a thorn hedge to keep one within bounds, and to keep off those who hope to draw you aside.  Of course it is nothing but a hedge, and it is of no use to fence in a field of weeds, but when wheat is growing a hedge is of great consequence.  You who imagine that you can be the Lord’s, and yet lie open like a common, are under a great error; you ought to be distinguished from the world, and obey the voice which saith, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”  The promise of salvation is to the man who with his heart believeth and with his mouth confesseth.  Say right boldly, “”et others do as they will; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  By this act you come out into the king’s highway, and put yourself under the protection of the Lord of pilgrims, and he will take care of you.  Oftentimes, when otherwise you might have hesitated, you will say, “The vows of the Lord are upon me; how can I draw back?”  I pray you, then, set up the stone wall, and keep it up, and if it has at any corner been tumbled over, set it up again, and let it be seen by your conduct and conversation that you are a follower of Jesus, and are not ashamed to have it known.     Keep to your religious principles like men, and do not turn aside for the sake of gain, or respectability.  Do not let wealth break down your wall, for I have know some make a great gap to let their carriage go through, and to let in wealthy worldlings for the sake of their society.  Those who forsake their principles to please men will in the end be lightly esteemed, but he who is faithful shall have the honour which cometh from God.  Look well to this hedge of steadfast adherence to the faith, and you shall find a great blessing in it.     There is yet another stone wall which I will mention, namely, firmness of character.  Our holy faith teaches a man to be decided in the cause of Christ, and to be resolute in getting rid of evil habits.  “If thine eye offend thee”—wear a shade?  No; “pluck it out.”  “If thine arm offend thee”—hang it in a sling?  No; “cut it off and cast it from thee.”  True religion is very thorough in what it recommends.  It says to us, “touch not the unclean thing.”  But many persons are so idle in the ways of God that they have no mind of their own: evil companions tempt them, and they cannot say, “No.”  They need a stone wall made up of noes.  Here are the stones “no, no, NO.”  Dare to be singular.  Resolve to keep close to Christ.  Make a stern determination to permit nothing in your life, however gainful or pleasurable, if it would dishonour the name of Jesus.  Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixedly upright.  If God’s grace sets up this hedge around you, even Satan will feel that he cannot get in, and will complain to God “hast thou not set a hedge about him?”     I have kept you long enough looking over the wall, let me invite you in, and for a few minutes let us CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF A BROKEN-DOWN FENCE.     To make short work of it, first, the boundary has gone.  Those lines of separation which were kept up by the good principles which were instilled in him by religious habits, by a bold profession and by a firm resolve, have vanished, and now the question is, “Is he a Christian, or is he not?”  The fence is so far gone that he does not know which is his Lord’s property and which remains an open common: in fact, he does not know whether he himself is included in the Royal domain or left to be mere waste of the world’s manor.  This is for want of keeping up the fences.  It that man had lived near to God, if he had walked in his integrity, if the Spirit of God had richly rested on his in all holy living and waiting upon God, he would have known where the boundary was, and he would have seen whether his land lay in the parish of All-saints, or in the region called No-man’s-land, or in the district where Satan is the lord of the manor.  I heard of a dear old saint the other day who, when she was near to death, was attacked by Satan, and, waving her finger at the enemy, in her gentle way, she routed him by saying, “Chosen! Chosen! Chosen!”  She knew that she was chosen, and she remembered the text, “The Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee.”  When the wall stands in its integrity all round the field, we can resist the devil by bidding him leave the Lord’s property alone.  “Begone!  Look somewhere else.  I belong to Christ, not to you.”  To do this you must mend the hedges well so that there shall be a clear boundary line, and you can say, “Trespassers, beware!”  Do not yield an inch to the enemy, but make the wall all the higher, the more he seeks to enter.  O that this adversary may never find a gap to enter by.     Next, when the wall has fallen, the protection is gone.  When a man’s heart has its wall broken, all his thoughts will go astray, and wander upon the mountains of vanity.  Like sheep, thoughts need careful folding, or they will be off in no time.  “I hate vain thoughts,” said David, but slothful men are sure to have plenty of them, for there is no keeping your thoughts out of vanity unless you stop every gap and shut every gate.  Holy thoughts, comfortable meditations, devout longings, and gracious communings will be off and gone if we sluggishly allow the stone wall to get out of repair.     Nor is this all, for as good things go out so bad things come in.  When the wall is gone every passerby sees, as it were, an invitation to enter.  You have set before him an open door, and in he comes.  Are there fruits?  He plucks them, of course.  He walks about as if it were a public place, and he pries everywhere.  Is there any secret corner of your heart which you would keep for Jesus?  Satan or the world will walk in; and do you wonder?  Every passing goat, or roaming ox, or stray ass visits the growing crops and spoils more than he eats, and who can blame the creature when the gaps are so wide?  All manner of evil lusts and desires, and imaginations prey upon an unfenced soul.  It is of no use for you to say, “Lead us not into temptation.”  God will hear your prayer, and he will not lead you there; but you are leading yourself into it, you are tempting the devil to tempt you.  If you leave yourself open to evil influences the Spirit of God will be grieved, and he may leave you to reap the result of your folly.  What think you, friends?  Had you not better attend to your fences at once?     And then there is another evil, for the land itself will go away.  “No,” say you; “how can that be?”  If a stone wall is broken down round a farm in England a man does not thereby lose his land, but in many parts of Palestine the land is all ups and downs on the sides of the hills, and every bit of ground is terraced and kept up by walls.  When the walls fall the soil slips over, terrace upon terrace, and the vines and trees go down with it; then the rain comes and washes the soil away, and nothing is left but barren crags which would starve a lark.  In the same manner a man may so neglect himself, and so neglect the things of God, and become so careless and indifferent about doctrine, and about holy living, that his power to do good ceases, and his mind, his heart, and his energy seem to be gone.  The prophet said, “Ephraim is a silly dove, without heart”: there are flocks of such silly doves.  The man who trifles with religion sports with his own soul, and will soon degenerate into so much of a trifler that he will be averse to solemn thought, and incapable of real usefulness.  I charge you, dear friends, to be sternly true to yourselves and to your God.  Stand to your principles in this evil and wicked day.  Now, when everything seems to be turned into marsh and mire and mud, and religious thought appears to be silently sliding and slipping along, descending like a stream of slime into the Dead Sea of Unbelief,—get solid walls built around your life, around your faith, and around your character.  Stand fast, and having done all, still stand.  May God the Holy Ghost cause you to be rooted and grounded, built up and established, fixed and confirmed, never “casting away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”     Lately, I want, if I can, TO WAKE UP THE SLUGGARD.  I would like to throw a handful of gravel up to his window.  It is time to get up, for the sun has drunk up all the dew.  He craves “a little more sleep.”  My dear fellow, if you take a little more sleep, you will never wake at all till you lift up your eyes in another world.  Wake at once.  Leap from your bed before you are smothered in it.  Wake up!  Do you not see where you are?  You have let things alone till your heart is covered with sins like weeds.  You have neglected God and Christ till you have grown worldly, sinful, careless, indifferent, ungodly.  I mean some of you who were once named with the sacred name.  You have become like worldlings, and are almost as far from being what you ought to be as others who make no profession at all.  Look at yourselves, and see what has come of your neglected walls.  Then look at some of your fellow-Christians, and mark how diligent they are.  Look at many among them who are poor and illiterate, and yet they are doing far more than you for the Lord Jesus.  In spite of your talents and opportunities, you are an unprofitable servant, letting all things run to waste.  Is it not time that you bestirred yourself?  Look, again, at others who, like yourself, went to sleep, meaning to wake in a little while.  What has become of them?  Alas, for those who have fallen into gross sin, and dishonoured their character, and who have been put away from the church of God; yet they only went a little further than you have done.  Your state of heart is much the same as theirs, and if you should be tempted as they have been, you will probably make shipwreck as they have done.  Oh, see to it, you that slumber, for an idle professor is ready for anything.  A slothful professor’s heart is tinder for the devil’s tinder-box: does your heart thus invite the sparks of temptation?     Remember, lastly, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Shall he come and find you sleeping?  Remember the judgment.  What will you say to excuse yourself, for opportunities lost, time wasted, and talents wrapped up in a napkin, when the Lord shall come?     As for you, my unconverted friend, if you go dreaming through this world, without any sort of trouble, and never look to the state of your heart at all, you will be a lost man beyond all question.  The slothful can have no hope, for “if the righteous scarcely are saved,” who strive to serve their Lord, where will those appear who sleep on in defiance of the calls of God?  Salvation is wholly and alone of grace, as you well know; but grace never works in men’s minds towards slumbering and indifference; it tends towards energy, activity, fervour, importunity, self-sacrifice.  God grant us the indwelling of his Holy Spirit, that all things may be set in order, sins cut up by the roots within the heart, and the whole man protected by sanctifying grace from the wasters which lurk around, hoping to enter where the wall is low.  O Lord, remember us in mercy, fence us about by thy power, and keep us from the sloth which would expose us to evil, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

 All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)



Is God concerned with the material well-being of Christians?


The short answer to that, emphatically and definitely, is yes. Not only is God concerned about the material well-being of Christians, he’s deeply and profoundly concerned for the material well-being of the whole world. God created a material world. He created man as a material creature with profound material needs. All we would have to do is go to the Sermon on the Mount to see Jesus‘ great expression of compassion for those who are in material want. There’s a tremendous emphasis of concern in the New Testament that we as Christians have a profound care for those who are hungry, poor, naked, and homeless. That concern indicates a concern for the material welfare of people. The New Testament has a lot to say about wealth and poverty and the various causes and circumstances involving those conditions. There are frightening warnings to the rich, for example, particularly those who would put their confidence in their wealth rather than in the benevolent concern of God. In this regard Jesus says, “Take no thought for tomorrow, what you should eat, what you should drink, what you should put on; but rather, consider the lilies of the field that they neither toil nor spin. Solomon in all his glory is not arrayed like one of these.” He is saying that we can become so preoccupied with the accumulation of wealth that we miss the kingdom of God; we have a concern for the material things to the neglect of the spiritual things. Because we see the world preoccupied with material things and woefully neglecting the spiritual, we may be inclined to become extremists in the opposite direction and say, “All that God cares about are spiritual things.” Again, a balanced view of Scripture will prevent us from coming to that conclusion, because there is nothing wrong with a concern for material welfare. In another manner of speaking, God cares for people, and people are material creatures who require material things in order to survive. If God cares for people, obviously he cares for their material well-being. Health and healing from sickness are material matters, and so God’s concern for our health is a concern for our material well-being. Tough Questions with RC Sproul is excerpted from Now, That’s a Good Question! Copyright © 1996 by R. C. Sproul. All rights reserved.

July 9 2013 God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart,



“Forget not all His benefits.”
Psalm 103:2

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe his goodness in delivering them, his mercy in pardoning them, and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of his goodness and of his truth, as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before? We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that he wrought all his mighty acts, and showed himself strong for those in the early time, but doth not perform wonders or lay bare his arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to ourselves and glorifying to our God. Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you had no manifestations? Have you had no choice favours? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, hath he never listened to you and answered your requests? That God of lavish bounty of whom David sang, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things,” hath he never satiated you with fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old. Let us, then, weave his mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David’s harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endureth forever.


JOHN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

JOHN 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

“And God divided the light from the darkness.”
Genesis 1:4

A believer has two principles at work within him. In his natural estate he was subject to one principle only, which was darkness; now light has entered, and the two principles disagree. Mark the apostle Paul‘s words in the seventh chapter of Romans: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin, which is in my members.” How is this state of things occasioned? “The Lord divided the light from the darkness.” Darkness, by itself, is quiet and undisturbed, but when the Lord sends in light, there is a conflict, for the one is in opposition to the other: a conflict which will never cease till the believer is altogether light in the Lord. If there be a division within the individual Christian, there is certain to be a division without. So soon as the Lord gives to any man light, he proceeds to separate himself from the darkness around; he secedes from a merely worldly religion of outward ceremonial, for nothing short of the gospel of Christ will now satisfy him, and he withdraws himself from worldly society and frivolous amusements, and seeks the company of the saints, for “We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” The light gathers to itself, and the darkness to itself. What God has divided, let us never try to unite, but as Christ went without the camoop, bearing his reproach, so let us come out from the ungodly, and be a peculiar people. He was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners; and, as he was, so we are to be nonconformists to the world, dissenting from all sin, and distinguished from the rest of mankind by our likeness to our Master.

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“He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.” Isaiah 53:11.

“He shall see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My
righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.”
Isaiah 53:11.


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Sign, Lamp, and Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

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Luke 11:29-54

The Sign of Jonah

29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, â€œThis is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here.

The Lamp of the Body

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

Woes on the Pharisees and the Experts in the Law

37 When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

39 Then the Lord said to him, â€œNow then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.

44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”

45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”

46 Jesus replied, â€œAnd you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

47 “Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them. 48 So you testify that you approve of what your ancestors did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs.49 Because of this, God in his wisdom said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and others they will persecute.’ 50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.

52 “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

53 When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions,54 waiting to catch him in something he might say.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.