VIDEO Justice and Mercy!, Samuel Davies

Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books

Sept 22, 2011

 

Samuel Davies – Justice and Mercy! (Christian devotional)


Psalm 85:10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Davies, Samuel (1723-1761), fourth president of Princeton, was born in New Castle County, Delaware. His parents could not afford to send him to college but were determined that he should be trained for the ministry. He studied in Samuel Blair’s famous school at Fagg’s Manor, Chester County, Pennsylvania, was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Castle when he was twenty-two, and was ordained as an evangelist to Virginia a year later.

In Anglican Virginia, where dissenters were subjected to constant vexations, he built up a strong Presbyterian membership and became the advocate and defender of their civil rights and religious liberties. He conducted services in seven houses of worship dispersed through five counties, riding horseback through fields and forests to minister to his scattered congregations. A sufferer from tuberculosis, “he preached in the day and had his hectic fever by night,” but was nevertheless “resolved that while life and sufficient strength remained, he would devote himself earnestly to the work of preaching the gospel.” As a principal founder and first moderator of the Presbytery of Hanover, which comprised all the Presbyterian ministers in Virginia and North Carolina, he was considered “the animating soul of the whole dissenting interests in these two colonies.”

In 1758 Davies was elected to succeed Jonathan Edwards as president of the College, but declined election, partly because of a reluctance to quit his pastoral work in Virginia, partly because he knew that while a majority of the trustees had voted for his election, a minority shared his own belief that Samuel Finley, a member of the Board, was better qualified for the office. The trustees subsequently reelected Davies and persuaded him to accept. He took up his duties on July 26, 1759. Eighteen months later, on February 4, 1761, he died of pneumonia, in his thirty-eighth year, a few weeks after having been bled for “a bad cold.”

During his brief tenure Davies raised the standards for admission and for the bachelor’s degree, instituted monthly orations by members of the senior class (an important part of undergraduate education at Princeton for more than a century), composed odes to peace and to science which were sung at Commencement and drew up a catalogue of the 1,281 volumes in the college library “to give Information to such who are watching for Opportunities of doing good; and to afford particular Benefactors the Pleasure of seeing how many others have concurred with them in their favourite Charity.”

Davies left his mark as scholar and patriot on his students, particularly the eleven members of the Class of 1760 whom he taught as seniors. “Whatever be your Place,” he told them in his baccalaureate address, “imbibe and cherish a public spirit. Serve your generation.” This they did. Among the eleven were a member of the Continental Congress, chaplains in the Continental Army, judges in Maine and Pennsylvania, the founder of a college in North Carolina, a member of the United States House of Representatives, and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Davies was long remembered as one of the great pulpit orators of his generation. Patrick Henry, who as a boy had frequently heard him preach, acknowledged Davies’s influence on his own oratory. Davies’s sermons went through four editions in the United States and nine editions in England, and for more than fifty years after his death were among the most widely read of any in the English language.

At Princeton, Davies was loved and respected; as one trustee wrote another, “There never was a college happier in a president.”

Joy and Justice

You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. Psalm 67:4

At a conference in Asia, I had two eye-opening conversations in the span of a few hours. First, a pastor told of spending eleven years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction before he was cleared. Then, a group of families shared how they had spent a fortune to escape religious persecution in their homeland, only to be betrayed by the very people they had paid to bring about their rescue. Now, after years in a refugee camp, they wonder if they will ever find a home.

In both cases, victimization was compounded by an absence of justice—just one evidence of our world’s brokenness. But this vacuum of justice is not a permanent condition.

You rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. Psalm 67:4

Psalm 67 calls on God’s people to make Him known to our hurting world. The result will be joy, not only as a response to God’s love but also because of His justice. “May the nations be glad and sing for joy,” says the psalmist, “for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth” (v. 4).

Although the Bible writers understood that “equity” (fairness and justice) is a key component of God’s love, they also knew that it will only be fully realized in the future. Until then, in our world of injustice, we can serve to point others to our God’s divine justice. His coming will see “justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24).

Father, help us to work for Your justice now where we live, even as we await the day when You will make everything right. We long for that day.

Work for justice; pray for mercy.

By Bill Crowder 

INSIGHT

Do you have a special place in your heart for those who are being ignored, misrepresented, or taken advantage of? Psalm 67 expresses such a heart for the whole world. Yet notice where the songwriter begins and ends. He starts by adapting the well-known Aaronic blessing of Israel (Num. 6:24–26). He rightly interprets God’s desire for his own nation when he says, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us” (Ps. 67:1).

God’s heart for Israel, however, isn’t where the song stops. It’s just the beginning. The author of this psalm recognizes God’s purpose in choosing some for the blessing of all (vv. 2–7). From the beginning, God’s promise to bless the descendants of Abraham was not just for the benefit of an undeserving few. God’s plan and vision was far wider. His purpose was that, in a descendant of Abraham, all of the families of the earth would be blessed.

That intent was fulfilled in Jesus. Living and dying to show the love of God for the world (John 3:16), He began by naming twelve disciples to be His personal and chosen witnesses to proclaim the gospel—for the good and blessing of all.

Mart DeHaan

Giving God the Leftovers

Malachi 1:6-14

The prophet Malachi wrote approximately a century after Israel had returned from Babylonian captivity and rebuilt both Jerusalem and the temple. Although there’d been a revival under Nehemiah, by this point the nation had lost its zeal and drifted into mechanical worship.

Instead of offering unblemished animals on the altar as prescribed in the Law, they were bringing God the leftovers of their flocks—the sick, blind, and lame. The people and the priests had become so lax in their worship that they didn’t recognize anything was wrong with these unacceptable practices. Because they had neglected and dishonored the Lord for so long, they no longer knew who He was. As a result, they were not giving Him the reverence He deserved.

Although our form of worship no longer consists of animal sacrifices, we may be guilty of the same sin: giving God the leftovers. Like the priests in Malachi 1:13 who considered worship tiresome, we might think, There are so many other things we could do if we didn’t have to go to church every Sunday morning.

But worship isn’t limited to one day out of seven. It should be expressed all week in our devotion to Christ. If we make other activities the priorities in our life, we won’t give God our best. Filling our calendars to overflowing leaves little time or energy for praying, reading the Word, or serving the Lord in some way. Yet these are the activities that enrich our relationship with God—they inspire us to worship and honor the Lord by giving Him our best.

Ask What You Will

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7)

The precious promise in this verse has been an inspiration to the faithful down through the centuries. It becomes even more amazing when attention is paid to the original Greek language in which it was written.

Abiding implies a close personal fellowship with someone; in this case, the personal, loving Lord Jesus: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love” (v. 9). Such an abiding on our part will be evidenced by obedience, love for Him and for the brethren, and joy (vv. 10-14). Our minds and hearts will be in total harmony with His, guided by such a walk and His words.

“Ye shall ask” does not carry the proper force in English. This is a command in the imperative mode in Greek—a challenge, if you will. He challenges us to “ask what ye will” (literally “whatever ye desire”) and see Him faithful. Desire speaks of something different from need; indeed, it speaks of an “inclination.” He is not afraid we will ask for selfish inclinations, for if we “abide” in Him, our desires are His desires, and we will naturally ask for those things that glorify Him. “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (v. 8).

Notice the word “done,” which in Greek stems from the word meaning “to come into existence.” God will answer our unselfish prayers, even if He has to transcend natural law or even create something to do so. He even challenges us to “ask” without hesitation, as implied by the Greek construction.

If we meet the condition of “abiding” in Him, as a branch “abides” in the vine (vv. 1-5), He will place in us the desire to bring forth much fruit (v. 5) to His glory and to our everlasting delight. JDM

Evening time it shall be light

Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10

We shall read once more in the book of Ecclesiastes, and for that purpose shall select the wise mans famous address to the young in—Ecclesiastes 11:9, 10.

Ecclesiastes 11:9

Solomon does, as it were, dare the young man to seek his own pleasure and throw the reins upon the neck of his passions, but he warns him of the price to be paid, that he may see that the game will not be worth the candle. It can never be worth while to sin, if it be indeed true that every sin will meet with punishment.

Ecclesiastes 11:10

There is a way of making youth truly joyous, let the wise young man try it. Our young days will soon be over, let us make them as happy as we can, and live while we live. Everyone agrees with this advice, but few know that the best way of carrying it out is to obtain salvation by believing in Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, 13, 14

Ecclesiastes 12:1

Youth is the best time for religious consideration and decision. In old age little heart and little ability are left for the weighty themes of eternity; infirmity and general decay unfit the mind for contemplating subjects to which it has been all its life long unaccustomed. O that young people would beware of delay, and for ever renounce the idea that advanced years are favourable to conversion. No tree is so easily bent as the green sapling.

Ecclesiastes 12:2

meaning that in old age sicknesses are many, and are more keenly felt than in our prime.

Ecclesiastes 12:3

the arms are no longer powerful

Ecclesiastes 12:3

the old mans legs totter beneath his weight

Ecclesiastes 12:3

his teeth are almost gone

Ecclesiastes 12:3

the eyes grow dim.

Ecclesiastes 12:4

the senses are gradually closed, both ears and eyes become as doors shut up

Ecclesiastes 12:4

his nights are weary, the first crowing of the cock awakes him,

Ecclesiastes 12:4

his own voice is gone, and he is no longer able to hear the voice of others.

Ecclesiastes 12:5, 6

aged men are full of anxieties, enterprise and courage fail

Ecclesiastes 12:5, 6

The spinal cord, the skull, the heart, and the circulation of the blood are here set forth under beautiful imagery; all these fail us in death.

Ecclesiastes 12:14

This, then, is the sum of the matter, but the question is, how are we to fulfil the whole duty of man? We may rest assured that it is quite out of our power to do so of ourselves. Only in Christ Jesus can we find the law fulfilled, and he is ours if we believe on him: this is wisdom, Solomon had been wiser had he known nothing but this.

 

Never Go to Bed Angry!

Ephesians 4:26, 27

Have you ever gone to bed sizzling with anger about what someone did or didn’t do or about what someone said or didn’t say? If you think about it, you’ll realize that this last phrase pretty well summarizes the primary reasons people get offended, insulted, irritated, or upset. Isn’t it true that people’s various responses or lack of responses in a given situation can send you to bed fuming if you allow yourself to take offense and get all worked up?

I have to admit that I’ve gone to bed angry on more than one occasion. How about you? Have you ever tossed and turned this way and that way, unable to sleep, because you were aggravated about something that happened? Did you become more and more angry the longer you thought about that issue?

Ephesians 4:26, 27 warns us, “… Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” The word “wrath” is the Greek word parorgismos, a compound of the words para and orgidzo. The word para means alongside, as in something that is very close to you. The word orgidzo is the Greek word for wrath, which depicts someone whose mood is so upset that he becomes completely bent out of shape over some issue.

When orgidzo (“wrath”) is operating in an individual, it often starts as silent resentment. That resentment slowly builds up inside the person, becoming stronger and stronger until one day, it finally explodes in rage! And because the resentment has simmered silently for so long, the outburst of explosive wrath is usually way out of proportion to the situation that caused the anger in the first place.

But when these two words are joined together, forming the word parorgismos, it presents the image of a person who brings anger to his side and then embraces it. Instead of rejecting anger or pushing it away when it shows up, this person draws anger to himself and then nurses it, nourishes it, feeds it, and holds it close. The aggravating issue gets “under his skin” and soon becomes so entrenched in him that it becomes his constant companion and partner. He takes the offense with him wherever he goes—and that includes taking it to bed with him!

When a person goes to bed sizzling over something that has inwardly angered him, the entire night becomes an opportunity for the devil to work inside his mind and emotions. As soon as the person’s head hits the pillow, the devil begins to bombard his mind to prevent him from sleeping and to stir up his anger even more.

Remember, the name “devil” is the Greek word diabalos. This word diabalos is derived from two Greek words: dia, which means through, as when referring to penetrating something all the way through; and balos, which means to throw. When these words are put together to form the word diabalos, it paints a vivid picture of the devil as one who repetitiously throws accusations at the mind—striking again and again until he ultimately penetrates the mind with his slanderous lies and relationship-destroying insinuations.

But the devil likes to look for the most advantageous times to strike your mind with his lies—and one of his favorite times to do this is when you go to bed at night. That is why Paul urges you, “… Let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”

The word “place” is the Greek word topos, a Greek word that describes a specific place, like a real geographical place on a map. The word topos is where we get the term for a topographical map. This is very important, for it tells us that the devil is seeking a specific place, an entry point, through which he can enter our minds and emotions to stir up trouble and affect our relationships.

So don’t go to bed angry and let your mind become a movie screen on which the devil can portray every foul thing he wants you to meditate on all night long. That only allows the enemy to steal your peace and infuriate you even further. Why not instead deal with that anger or unforgiveness before your head ever hits the pillow? Do everything you can to stay free of anger, wrath, and strife, for these fleshly emotions are the entry points the devil uses to wage war in your mind.

If you find that you can’t deal with this problem by yourself, talk to your spouse or call a friend and ask that person if you can talk and share something that has been weighing heavily on your heart. Ask him or her to listen to you and to help you see things in a better light. You may be surprised to find that a different set of eyes sees the situation very differently than you do. And as you listen to a different side of the story, it may even help you release the offense that angered you so you can put the entire issue to rest forever.

But whether or not you decide to talk to a friend about the matter, one thing is for sure: If something or someone has upset or offended you, you will only make matters much worse if you let yourself go to bed angry!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I am sorry for the times I’ve allowed my anger to rise up and take control of me. I realize that I have no excuse, for the Spirit of God inside me is present to restrain me and to produce the fruit of the Spirit in me. I now see that I have opened the door to the devil in the past by allowing wrong attitudes to be pervasive in my life. I want to shut the door to the devil so he can no longer find access to me, to my family, to my business, to my church, or to any part of my life. To shut that door tight, I am asking You to help me remove uncontrolled anger from my life!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that the Holy Spirit is producing His fruit in me and my character. I am filled with the mind of Christ; therefore, anger and temperamental outbursts have no place in me. I am self controlled, patient, and kind. When others do or say something to me that is wrong or unjust, I respond in the spirit of Jesus Christ. I refuse to allow offense to gain a foothold in my mind. I am determined to keep the door shut so the devil can no longer gain access to my life!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever noticed that bad things happen when you get upset or lose your temper? It would be worth your time to seriously ponder this question today.
  2. Can you think of five times in your life when something bad happened as you were allowing anger and strife to get the best of you?
  3. What steps should you take to make sure your anger doesn’t continue opening a door for the devil to send his attacks into your life?

 

Conducting A Spiritual Audit

Six questions to keep your personal accounts in order:

 

1. Am I content with who I am becoming? I must be sure my profession does not consume my person. It’s important that I be more than I do or have. When the time comes for me to leave my title and power, will I have anything to fill the vacuum? As I mature am I moving from power to wisdom; from the offensive to being sought out? “Throw off your old evil nature—the old you that was a partner in your evil ways—rotten through and through, full of lust and sham. Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better. Yes, you must be a new and different person, holy and good. Clothe yourself with this new nature.” (Ephesians 4:22-24 Living) (See Job 22:23; Ezekiel 18:30-32; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:11; 3:8, 9; Hebrews 12:1; James 1:21)

 

2. Do I have a quiet center to my life? For many of us our life motto seems to be, “When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream, and shout.” God’s Word, however, encourages us to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) There is an important difference between the fast track and the frantic track. By way of contrast, Jesus quietly “went about doing good.” He had a quiet center. A peace which evidenced the presence of God. Do I? (See Psalm 131:2; 23:2; Isaiah 30:15; 32:17)

 

3. Is my prayer life improving? Do my decisions have prayer as an integral part, or do I make decisions out of my desires and then immerse them in a sanctimonious sauce I call prayer? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayerpresent your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6a,c) (See 1 Kings. 3:5; 2 Chronicles. 7:14; Psalm 37:4; Matthew 6:6-9; 7:7, 8; 21:22; John 14:13, 14; 16:23, 24; James 5:16-18)

 

4. Is my humility genuine? There is nothing so arrogant as false humility. Humility is not denying the power that I have, but admitting that the power comes through me, not from me. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) (See Psalm 37:11; 131:1; Proverbs 11:2; 27:2; Isaiah 57:15; 66:2b; Jeremiah 45:5; Micah 6:8; Luke 18:14; 1 Peter 5:5)

 

5. Is obedience in small matters built into my reflexes? Do I try to bargain with God or rationalize with him? Obedience largely determines my relation with Christ. Good intentions count for little. “Obedience is the test of whether we really live in God or not. The life of a man who professes to be living in God must bear the stamp of Christ.” (1 John 2:5, 6 – Phillips Translation) (See Proverbs 19:16; 19:17; 1 John 5:3; Luke 6:46)

 

6. Do I have joy? Joy is perfected in the full belief in the total sovereignty of God. Doubt dilutes joy. Does my joy extend into my suffering; understanding that my suffering is my maturation. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) (See Nehemiah 8:10; Isaiah 12:1-3; 61:10; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 6:10)

 

 

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