The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions
Robert Hawker (1753-1827)
"Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither."—Deut. xix. 3.
Sweet thought to my soul, that He who is the refuge is also the way to every poor soul-slayer, who hath murdered his own soul by sin. And who, my soul, could prepare thee this way, but God thy Father, who gave both Jesus for the way, and Jesus for the refuge? And how hath God the Spirit pointed to the way, cast up and prepared it, by taking up the stumbling-blocks out of the way, as God saith of his people? Isa. lvii. 14. Is it not God the Holy Ghost that sets Jesus up, as Moses did the serpent; points to his person, to his blood, to his righteousness, as the sanctuary and the city of refuge to every poor sinner that is the manslayer of his own soul? And if what the Jews have said be true, that magistrates once a year made it their duty to have the roads examined, lest any obstructions should arise to block the path of the poor fugitive; and that they were obliged to set up a post at every turning and avenue, with the word miklat—refuge, upon it, to direct the murderer in his flight; well may ministers, every day, and all the day, stand in the gates of the city, and in the high places of concourse, pointing to Jesus, and crying out, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!" Precious Lord Jesus! lo, I come to thee; thou art my city of refuge—thou art the miklat of my soul! Under thee, and in thee, I shall be safe. Cease, ye avengers of blood, your vain pursuit; Christ hath taken me in. Thou shalt answer for me, Oh Lord my God.
"For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."—Zech. ii. 5.
Precious promises these, my soul! and, like all the other promises of our God, are "Yea and amen in Christ Jesus!" Is the church, in this wilderness-state, exposed to the ravages of Satan, who goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour? then will God "be unto her a wall," and that "of fire," which (like travellers in the desert, who encircle themselves with fire against the attacks of wild beasts by night) will keep her secure from all approaches. Doth the church, in her poor circumstances, need comfort within? then will God in Christ be "the glory in the midst of her." And hence, all around, within and without, in every direction, and in every way, Jesus will be "the hiding-place from the storm, and a covert from the tempest; and upon all the glory shall be a defence." Look up then, my soul! What hast thou to fear? What though the rains beat without, and poverty be felt within; he that is "the wall of fire" can never be extinguished, and he that is "the glory in the midst" will still shine upon thee, and fully satisfy all thy need. Precious Lord Jesus! While thou art my defence, what host of foes can I fear? And while thou art my glory, surely I shall never consider my own humble circumstances. I will therefore say, with an exercised believer of old, "At what time I am afraid, I will trust in thee!" Ps. lvi. 3. To whom shall a child run, but to his father, in a season of distress? And to whom shall a poor ransomed soul of Jesus look, but to his Redeemer? And he will be both a shield and sun, "when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against a wall." Sweet thought to hush the soul asleep! And thou, my soul, take it with thee to thy bed, this night: Jesus is unto thee as "a wall of fire round about," and he that is in the midst of thee is" thy God, thy glory!"