Devotion of the Day


Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
I Thessalonians 2:18

Strange statement! We are in the habit of saying, “I was providentially hindered.” Not so Paul. He blames the devil. And remember that he called his thorn in the flesh “a messenger of Satan.” He did not make God the author of it, though God did permit it. Did not our Lord say of the woman with a spirit of infirmity, “this woman whom Satan hath bound”? He told His disciples, “And Satan shall cast some of you into prison.” We are too inclined to attribute to God the work of the devil, just as some have ascribed to the devil the work of God.

Paul gloried in tribulation, but we tend to glorify tribulation, which is something else. God does, indeed, permit Satan to afflict Job, but Job goes far afield if he thinks that sickness, pain, and death are of God. It sounds pious to look at the mischief and misery which Satan has wrought and call it providential. In the world we shall have tribulation, which we can turn to good account, but let us be intelligent and “give the devil his due.”

Devotion of the Day


Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared.
Nehemiah 8:10

The revival under Ezra was built around the Word of God. The Gospel is neither a funeral nor a frolic but a feast and our duty is threefold. We are to “eat the fat,” feed on the solid and substantial doctrine of the Book. We are also to “drink the sweet.” The Word is not only strengthening but sweetening, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Some believers are strong but not sweet.

Then we are to send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared. We are to share, like Samson, with his hands full of honey fresh from his encounter with the lion.

So the Gospel feast means strength and sweetness and sharing. We do not fully experience what God has provided until we participate in all three. A true revival, like this one of Ezra’s day, eats the fat and drinks the sweet and sends portions to them for whom nothing is prepared.