Morning Evening Sword Study Bible

February 14
“And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life.” — 2Ki_25:30
Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with a store to last him for months, but his provision was given him as a daily pension. Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really wants. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet; if we have enough for each day as the days arrive we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy. We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day’s supply of food and raiment; the surplus gives us the care of storing it, and the anxiety of watching against a thief. One staff aids a traveller, but a bundle of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is not only as good as a feast, but is all that the greatest glutton can truly enjoy. This is all that we should expect; a craving for more than this is ungrateful. When our Father does not give us more, we should be content with his daily allowance. Jehoiachin’s case is ours, we have a sure portion, a portion given us of the king, a gracious portion, and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness.
Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of strength. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance that a daily portion is provided for you. In the word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy.
“She was healed immediately.” — Luk_8:47
One of the most touching and teaching of the Saviour’s miracles is before us to-night. The woman was very ignorant. She imagined that virtue came out of Christ by a law of necessity, without his knowledge or direct will. Moreover, she was a stranger to the generosity of Jesus’ character, or she would not have gone behind to steal the cure which he was so ready to bestow. Misery should always place itself right in the face of mercy. Had she known the love of Jesus’ heart, she would have said, “I have but to put myself where he can see me-his omniscience will teach him my case, and his love at once will work my cure.” We admire her faith, but we marvel at her ignorance. After she had obtained the cure, she rejoiced with trembling: glad was she that the divine virtue had wrought a marvel in her; but she feared lest Christ should retract the blessing, and put a negative upon the grant of his grace: little did she comprehend the fulness of his love! We have not so clear a view of him as we could wish; we know not the heights and depths of his love; but we know of a surety that he is too good to withdraw from a trembling soul the gift which it has been able to obtain. But here is the marvel of it: little as was her knowledge, her faith, because it was real faith, saved her, and saved her at once. There was no tedious delay-faith’s miracle was instantaneous. If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, salvation is our present and eternal possession. If in the list of the Lord’s children we are written as the feeblest of the family, yet, being heirs through faith, no power, human or devilish, can eject us from salvation. If we dare not lean our heads upon his bosom with John, yet if we can venture in the press behind him, and touch the hem of his garment, we are made whole. Courage, timid one! thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.”


Devotional Sermons e-Sword Study Bible

February 14
The Comfort of the Universal Presence
“If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Psa_139:8
In the library of our university are certain old and interesting maps. They have all the charms of a geography which knows no limit save imagination. In modern atlases where there is ignorance, such ignorance is wisely acknowledged. In older atlases, on the contrary, it is curiously and cunningly concealed. And so in reading these dusty parchments covering territories unexplored we are told that here are cannibals, or satyrs and sundry other goblins.
All that has vanished from our maps today, but there is one thing which is left to us still: it is that across the map, even to the remotest boundary, we can write with full assurance Here is God. If I ascend to heaven, thou art there; if I follow the beckoning of the rosy-fingered morning, I am still in the keeping of the eternal Father. Do you and I dwell on that as we should? Do we know the comfort of God’s omnipresence?
The Universal Presence Is an Arresting Thought
There is nothing on earth, when we are being tempted, so arresting as the sense of a presence. There are times of temptation when the wisest counsel is swept away from us like leaves before the gale; times when everything we have resolved upon is broken like a thread of gossamer. And how often in such times as these when counsel and resolve have been cast aside, we have found restraining power in a presence. It may be the actual proximity of someone or it may be only the presence in the heart—the presence of someone who has passed on. But love is mighty in resurrection power and eyes which we once loved are on us still, and only God in heaven could tell how many men have been helped by such memories.
There was a certain shopkeeper who had a portrait of Frederick Robertson, that great preacher, in his back shop. Whenever he was tempted to be dishonest, he went and looked for an instant at the photograph, and then the sorry thing he wanted to do became impossible. It was not Robertson’s sermons which did that, searching and beautiful though they were. It was not the memory of those flaming words which scorched and shriveled what was bestial. What gripped that man and stayed his itching hand when he was tempted was the constraining power of a presence. That is often the power of little children. It is often the power of a good woman. We may not feel that someone is rebuking us; what we feel is that somebody is watching. Eyes are upon us, pure and tender, or eyes that we have not seen for many years; and God knows—that thing—we cannot do it.
The Presence of God
Now as it is with the presence of our loved ones, it is so with the presence of our God. There is a mighty power to arrest us in the controlling thought that He is here.
There is an old story of a little girl who went to the attic to steal some apples stored there. On the wall hung the picture of some venerable and long-forgotten ancestor. And as she crept along the attic floor, the eyes of that old portrait seemed to follow her until in her childish fear she tore them out of the picture.
If one could only tear out eyes like that, sin would be infinitely sweet for multitudes. But there are eyes no human hand can reach; the eyes of memory and the eyes of God. And that, I take it, is what Scripture means in that text so often misinterpreted, “I will guide thee with mine eye.”
Linnaeus, the great botanist, cherished an open heart for God in everything. Over his study door these words were written, Numen adest, vivite innocui. And what they mean is this: Live innocently; do not sully hand nor heart today: numen adest—deity is present.
Now let me ask you, have you tried to live, “as always in the great Taskmaster’s eye”? Have you ever stopped in the jostling street and said to yourself, “God is now here”? Say it the next time you are worried, Martha. Say it when the waves are stormy, Peter. Say it, David, when on the roof at evening you catch that glimpse of beautiful Bathsheba.
Men who have tempers often excuse themselves—they cannot help it; they are built that way. But if you were in audience with King George, you could control that nasty temper perfectly. And the simple fact is that wherever you are, among the crowds or with your wife and children, you are always in the presence of the King. There is an arresting power in God’s presence which few of us have ever really used. It is a great moment when we say with Hagar, “Thou God seest me.” You who are very sorely tempted and know it is an hour of crisis, One who is infinite love and power and purity is right there with you, and He is watching.
The Universal Presence Is a Sustaining Thought
Professor Henry Drummond used to tell us about a student at examination time. It was an examination of a decisive nature which would determine the young fellow’s career. And every now and again he took something out of his pocket and gave it a glance, and then as quietly slipped it back again. The examiner had his suspicions aroused and stole up quietly for observation. And he saw—what do you think—scribbled notes? No, what he saw was not scribbled notes. It was a portrait of someone very dear and who would be dearer still for better or for worse through life’s long battle—his lovely wife. It was not enough that he should know his subject well. He felt he needed something more than that. He felt he needed, just what we all need, the sustaining power of a loving presence.
And the One presence we can always have, through life and suffering and work and death, is that of Him who loves us to the uttermost. He is with us always and everywhere, when we wake and when we sleep. He is infinite love and perfect understanding and irresistible power that makes the devils tremble. And yet we fuss and worry and dread tomorrow but all in vain and as if everything had not been pledged to us in Christ. But, behold, everywhere Thou art there!

Our Daily Walk

February 14
“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them: and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.” — Isa_43:9.
MANY ARE the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. There is the affliction of ill-health, which compels us to stand aside and leave our tasks to others. The languor of sleepless nights, the inactivity and loneliness of the long days, the fear of being burdensome to others. The anxiety as to how this or that interest may fare in inexperienced hands. The sense of helplessness and weakness. These are the ingredients of that cup which many have to drink!
There is the affliction of poverty, when every door seems closed against our appeal; when hundreds of applicants are answering the same advertisement; when the cruse of oil has been drained of its last drop, and the barrel scraped bare; when the rent is overdue, the boots are wearing out in vain journeys, and the faces and clothes of the children begin to tell the tale of privation—then the iron seems to enter our soul!
There is the affliction of uncongenial companionship. “Woe to them that sojourn in Mesech, and dwell in the tents of Kedar!” To how many the Psalmist’s words would express their precise position: “My soul hath long dwelt with him who hateth peace; I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war.” There is even profounder suffering, when man or woman is mated for life with one who is out of Christ, or is the one Christian disciple in an irreligious family. It was with a deep knowledge of human nature that the Apostle urged his converts not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.
There is also the affliction of temptation. Jealousy, pride, discontent, self-will—these assail us from without, and too often they find a response from within, as though there were an accomplice in hiding.
Such are some of the problems and afflictions which darken our experience. The mistake is that we face our troubles without God’s fellowship, consciously realised. We carry our burdens, without casting them upon the Lord, and claiming the grace which waits to help us in our hour of need. We do not realise that He has come down to deliver us, because He knows our sorrows. In all our afflictions He is afflicted.
O God, we have no help but Thine, nor do we need another arm save Thine to lean upon. Teach us how to gain strength from Thee hour by hour, in the glance of an eye, the breathing of a sigh, the brief ejaculation, may we take into ourselves that strength which Thou hast stored for us in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.