Daily Devotion for June 28, 2012
Saint Peter Teaching in the Presence of Saint Mark, Fra Angelico, c. 1432.
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.
The Golden Gate Quartet refused to adopt a pop style, instead retaining a strong and authentic "slave" gospel sound, with only a soft bass and drums for background. Their version of Hush is something special.
Prayer for the Morning
For the bird who sings outside my window,or the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says "good morning",
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,
Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To see them all and know that you are here.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
will dwell among the wise.
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
Jonah 1:1-6 (ESV)
Jonah Flees the Presence of the Lord
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them.
But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, "What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish."
Notes on the Scripture
As noted yesterday, Jonah was a historical figure, a prophet who railed against the idolatry of Jeroboam. Judea had split into two kingdoms after Solomon died; Jeroboam rebelled against Rehoboam, and became the king of the northern half, called Israel. This is a little confusing today, because what we call Israel is what the Bible calls Judea; the Kingdom of Israel was the northern section of today's Israel, and the more important southern half, where Jerusalem lies, was called Judah.
Jeroboam was a wicked king; his most notable evil was idolatry, as he set up two golden calves at the borders of his kingdom (1 Kings 12:28). Hence, Jonah's diatribes against him. Nineveh, the capital of heathen Assyria, would eventually conquer the northern Kingdom of Israel and enslave the Hebrews there for many years.
Here, God seeks to have Jonah travel into the lion's den of Nineveh itself, to try to bring the people there to righteousness. We are not told why Jonah is so dead set against it, for he was a prophet and a godly man. Perhaps he fears his death. Whatever the reason, he flees his assignment and tries to sail as far as possible away from Israel.
But running away, when God has called, never seems to work out well for Old Testament figures, from Adam on. God sends a great storm to threaten Jonah's ship. As the furious storm tosses the craft towards its doom, Jonah — well, Jonah takes a nap. This symbolizes his greater sin, his choice to withdraw from the storm of wickedness and idolatry raining down on Israel and Assyria. He wants to sleep while Israel itself founders.
But the agitated captain, on the verge of losing his ship and his life, will have none of it. He rouses Jonah roughly and demands that he pray to the Lord, that He might look on them with favor and save them.