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March 16 Today’s Reading: — Judges 5-7
“The Lord Sent A Prophet”
As we read these chapters and reflect upon Israel’s repeated departures from the Lord their God, the Father of all mercy, may God the Holy Spirit allow us to behold ourselves and our God. How often, how very often our adorable Redeemer saves us from our enemies. Yet, how prone we are to forget him. How soon we forget the gracious hand that wrought our salvation, the hand that daily brings fresh supplies of grace! While we are here reminded again of our unworthiness, we are again reminded of our dear Savior’s compassions that fail not and his mercies that are new every morning.
Deborah and Barak
“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me” (Psalm 57:2). The resources of our God, by which he faithfully cares for, protects, and benefits his elect throughout our pilgrimage here, are without limit. What has he not wrought? What is he not able to accomplish? And although Israel merited nothing but wrath and judgment, yet, for his own names’ sake, the Lord wrought salvation for them, that he might make his mighty power known in the earth (Psalm 108:6). As it was with Israel of old, so it is with the Israel of God today. How unfaithful I am! How faithful you are, O God, my Savior!
As Deborah and Barak had their day of triumph by the arm of the Lord, so have we, my brother, my sister in Christ, in the day the Lord Jesus made bare his holy arm and rescued our souls from the arrows of the enemy and graciously caused us to draw water from the wells of salvation. Our long night of captivity ended when the Lord Jesus arose and led captivity captive. When he went forth out of Seir and marched out of the field of Edom, then the mountains of sin in our nature melted before the Sun of Righteousness at his rising, and Sinai, with all its terrors, gave way at the presence of Jehovah-tsidkenu! The Lord our Righteousness won the victory for us! Oh, Holy Spirit, give us grace and awaken in our hearts a song of praise to him who is our song and our salvation!
What mercy it is that God sends his prophets to his people! Countless have been the times my God has, when I was in great need, sent one of his prophets to my soul with precisely the message I needed at the time. How blessed are those people to whom God sends his faithful servants to instruct their souls!
But God has other messengers, by which he speaks to our souls, messengers we should seek wisdom and grace to hear. His daily visitations in the common providences of life, in sickness, trouble, and adversity are voices like the voice of this prophet, by which the Lord God speaks. When these messengers of correction are accompanied with his grace and cause our hearts to weep before God, the Lord Jesus flies to our aid, like Gideon, his type, and delivers our souls from the oppressor. In repeated tokens of mercy, love, and grace our great Redeemer shows himself as God who is for us! With the unalterable assurances of his Word and his grace, we should never seek either the moistened nor the dry fleece as signs to tell us that he who is our God is “the faithful God,” who keeps his covenant and his mercy for his chosen (Deuteronomy 7:9). Amid all the departures of our unworthy hearts, let us still stedfastly believe the record God has given of his dear Son.
By the instrumentality of 300 scared men carrying earthen pitchers and blowing trumpets, God conquered the mighty armies of Midian and delivered Israel out of their hands! As it was then, so it is now, so it always has been, and so it shall be so long as time stands. — “Salvation is of the Lord!” — “Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord!”
Again we are reminded that the resources God uses in the salvation of his people are without limit. Trumpets and earthen pitchers are effectual weapons when the Lord God sends them to conquer mighty armies! He who used hornets to drive out the Hivites of Canaan used things considerably less fearful to conquer Midian. And he uses things even more useless than trumpets and earthen pitchers to save his elect. — He condescends to use sinful men to preach the gospel to sinful men, because “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe!” And the men he uses are not those mighty men skilled in war, but those who lap water like a dog, those who know they are less than useless, except God make them useful. God still uses ‘things which are not to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Corinthians 1:28-29). — “We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7)