daily-devotionalsReading: “And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed”—Genesis 48:2

The imagination can hardly conceive any situation equally momentous, than this scene at Jacob’s death-bed. It concerns a faithful God, a man’s own heart, and the church the dying saint is going to leave behind. What can form a more lovely sight than a dying saint, sitting up in the bed (if the Lord permits the opportunity) and recounting, as Jacob did, the gracious dealings of the Lord, all the way along the path of pilgrimage? Pause, Christian, and anticipate such a day. Imagine your friends around you, and you strengthened, just to sit up in the bed, to take an everlasting farewell. What will you have to relate? What have you treasured up of God’s dealings with you to sweeten death, to bless God, and to leave behind you a testimony to others?

Christian, have you known enough of Him to commit yourself to His Almighty hands with an assurance of salvation? Did you not venture yourself on Jesus for the whole of your everlasting welfare? Did you not—out of conviction of your sin and need of Jesus, and out of a conviction of the power and grace of Jesus to save you—make a full and complete surrender of yourself and wholly to His own glory? And as such, are you afraid now or shrinking back, when you come within sight almost of Jesus’ arms to receive you?

Oh no, blessed be God, this last act of committing your soul is not as great an act of faith as the first was, for since that time you have had thousands of evidences and thousands of tokens in love and faithfulness, that God is true.         Sit up then, Christian, and do as the dying patriarch did. Recount to all around your confidence in the Son of God. Cry out, as he did, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.” And as this will be the last opportunity of speaking a word for God, testify of His faithfulness and encourage all that are there to seek an interest in Jesus.

Taken from The Poor Man’s Evening and Morning Portions by Rev. Robert Hawker, Works, Vol. 8; 1830. Edited by Aaron Dunlop for thinkgospel.com ©2014.