A Good Servant of Christ Jesus (Banner of Truth) (Part 2 of 2)1 Timothy 4:6
Many people are quick to share their thoughts and opinions. The voices around us can be heard loud and clear. But are we listening to what God has to say? Join us as we consider this challenging subject on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
Just a Little Longer
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Christian, if you are in a night of trial, think of tomorrow; cheer up your heart with the thought of the coming of your Lord. Be patient, for “Lo! He comes with clouds descending.” Be patient! The farmer waits until He reaps His harvest.
Be patient; for you know who has said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with Me, to repay everyone for what he has done.” If you are presently in wretched circumstances, remember:
A few more days of marching into battle,
Then you will receive the crown.
Your head may be bowed with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown before long. Your heart may be filled with care—it shall be filled with the praise of heaven soon. Your clothes may be soiled with dust now; soon they shall be gloriously white. Wait a little longer. How trivial our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the prospect, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall view everything from a new perspective.
Our trials will then seem light and momentary afflictions. Let us go on boldly; even if the night be ever so dark, the morning comes, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is then to live on the future—to live on expectation—to anticipate heaven? You are happy, believer, to have such a sure and comforting hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What does it matter if “weeping may tarry for the night” when “joy comes with the morning”?
C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg.
Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.
Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, Good News Publishers.
Balak Summons Balaam
1Then the people of Israel set out and camped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3And Moab was in great dread of the people, because they were many. Moab was overcome with fear of the people of Israel. 4And Moab said to the elders of Midian, “This horde will now lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.” So Balak the son of Zippor, who was king of Moab at that time, 5sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the people of Amaw,1 to call him, saying, “Behold, a people has come out of Egypt. They cover the face of the earth, and they are dwelling opposite me. 6Come now, curse this people for me, since they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them from the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message. 8And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the Lord speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam. 9And God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?” 10And Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11‘Behold, a people has come out of Egypt, and it covers the face of the earth. Now come, curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them and drive them out.’” 12God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.” 13So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your own land, for the Lord has refused to let me go with you.” 14So the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
15Once again Balak sent princes, more in number and more honorable than these. 16And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17for I will surely do you great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Come, curse this people for me.’” 18But Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the command of the Lord my God to do less or more. 19So you, too, please stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.” 20And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them; but only do what I tell you.” 21So Balaam rose in the morning and saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab.
Balaam's Donkey and the Angel
22But God's anger was kindled because he went, and the angel of the Lord took his stand in the way as his adversary. Now he was riding on the donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road, with a drawn sword in his hand. And the donkey turned aside out of the road and went into the field. And Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the road. 24Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. 25And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam's foot against the wall. So he struck her again. 26Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam. And Balaam's anger was kindled, and he struck the donkey with his staff. 28Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” 29And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” 30And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
31Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. 32And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse2 before me. 33The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” 34Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” 35And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.
36When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, on the border formed by the Arnon, at the extremity of the border. 37And Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send to you to call you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?” 38Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you! Have I now any power of my own to speak anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that must I speak.” 39Then Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath-huzoth. 40And Balak sacrificed oxen and sheep, and sent for Balaam and for the princes who were with him.
41And in the morning Balak took Balaam and brought him up to Bamoth-baal, and from there he saw a fraction of the people.
My Soul Waits for God Alone
To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
1For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
5For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
9Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.
My Soul Thirsts for You
A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
1O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
5My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
9But those who seek to destroy my life
shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
they shall be a portion for jackals.
11But the king shall rejoice in God;
all who swear by him shall exult,
for the mouths of liars will be stopped.
The Righteous Reign of the Branch
1There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
6The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
and a little child shall lead them.
7The cow and the bear shall graze;
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder's den.
9They shall not hurt or destroy
in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
10In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.
11In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush,1 from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.
12He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.
13The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
and those who harass Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
and Judah shall not harass Ephraim.
14But they shall swoop down on the shoulder of the Philistines in the west,
and together they shall plunder the people of the east.
They shall put out their hand against Edom and Moab,
and the Ammonites shall obey them.
15And the Lord will utterly destroy2
the tongue of the Sea of Egypt,
and will wave his hand over the River
with his scorching breath,3
and strike it into seven channels,
and he will lead people across in sandals.
16And there will be a highway from Assyria
for the remnant that remains of his people,
as there was for Israel
when they came up from the land of Egypt.
The Lord Is My Strength and My Song
1You1 will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
2“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God2 is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
3With joy you3 will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known4 in all the earth.
6Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your5 midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
Warning to the Rich
1Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.
Patience in Suffering
7Be patient, therefore, brothers,1 until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
The Prayer of Faith
13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.2 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.
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