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Friday, July 3, 2015

Daily Devotion for July 3, 2015



The Babylonian Marriage Market by Edwin Longsden Long, ca. 1875. This picture speaks a thousand words about the corruption of Babylon, whose name has become synonymous with licentiousness and cynicism.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Sissal’s soft voice sounds so pretty here, singing The Prayer with Josh Groban.



A Prayer of Entreaty by Jane Austen

Compassionate Lord, give me a thankful sense of the Blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference.

Be gracious to my Necessities, and guard me, and all I love, from Evil this day. May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care; and heartily do I pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan and Widow and that thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.

Above all other blessings Oh! God, for myself, and my fellow-creatures, I implore Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name. Hear me Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.

Amen.

To Remember God During the Day

Dear Heavenly Father, I lower my head before you and confess that I have too often forgotten that I am yours. Sometimes I carry on my life as if there were no God, and I fall short of being a credible witness to You. For these things I ask your forgiveness.

And I also ask for your strength. Give me a clear mind and an open heart so I may witness to You in my world. Remind me to be who You would have me to be regardless of what I am doing or who I am with. Hold me to You and build my relationship with You and with those You have brought into my life on earth.

Amen.

Meditation

[Remind me of who You would have me be.]


Dedication

Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

Amen.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.


endless knot

Proverbs 5:21-13 (ESV)

For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord,
and he ponders all his paths.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.

He dies for lack of discipline,
and because of his great folly he is led astray.


Blue Latin Cross

Habakkuk 3:16-18 (NASB)

Habakkuk’s Second Dialogue with God

Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Why do You look with favor
On those who deal treacherously?
Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
Those more righteous than they?

Why have You made men like the fish of the sea,
Like creeping things without a ruler over them?
The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook,
Drag them away with their net,
And gather them together in their fishing net.
Therefore they rejoice and are glad.
Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net
And burn incense to their fishing net;



Notes on the Scripture

This is continued from yesterday’s Devotion, so you might want to look at it for background information.

In the first dialogue, Habakkuk criticized God for allowing Jerusalem to live in wickedness; how could a just God allow the city of His Temple to be ruled by such idolatrous, immoral, greedy people? God responded by basically saying, the problem is being solved right this minute. He had raised up the Chaldeans (Babylonians), “dreaded and fearsome”, who would turn Jerusalem into rubble and take its people captive.

In today's Scripture, Habakkuk says (if I may paraphrase): “The Chaldeans! That’s even worse. They are wickeder than the people of Jerusalem. How could you let the bad be punished by the horrible?”

(God's answer, by the way, is that the Chaldeans will be punished even more terribly than the people of Judah. We'll look at His reply tomorrow.)

We have put one of Habakkuk’s metaphorical passages in today's Scripture to demonstrate his remarkable style. His complaint to God compares “men” — meaning generally the people that the Chaldeans have been conquering, and specifically the Hebrews — to fish in the sea. The fish swim wherever they want, without a leader. Habukkak complains of a situation very much like the contemporary accepted standard of self-realization. His frame of reference is 180 degrees opposite the modern secular one, for he considers “everyone doing his own thing” to be a characteristic of lower life forms, “creeping things without a ruler over them”.

The Chaldeans find these leaderless fish easy prey. They catch them with hooks and nets, and rejoice over the big easy catch. And having done so, they make their fishing net into a god and worship it!

This rich metaphor has a wealth of applications. Think of anything that wicked men make into a god and serve, because it has given them power over people who are foolish and rudderless. Money. Television. A national flag. Cults. Political parties. The list is endless.



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