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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for September 12, 2013

Breughel, Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, ca. 1563. (See Full-size.) Bruegel's depiction of the architecture of the tower, with its numerous arches and other examples of Roman engineering, is deliberately reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum, which Christians of the time saw as both a symbol of hubris and persecution.



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lessons and scripture

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.


Prayer for the Morning

You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?

Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.

But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.


For the Forgiveness of Sins

My Jesus, I place all my sins before you. In my estimation they do not deserve pardon, But I ask you to close your eyes to my want of merit, and open them to your infinite merit. Since you willed to die for my sins, grant me forgiveness for all of them. Thus, I may no longer feel the burden of my sins, a burden that oppresses me beyond measure.

Assist me, dear Jesus, for I desire to become good no matter what the cost. Take away, destroy, and utterly root out whatever you find in me that is contrary to your holy will. At the same time, dear Jesus, illumine me so that I may walk in your holy light.


Prayer of Supplication

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me, for I am poor and needy. Without you, I have nothing. I pray that this day I will have food, and shelter, and be free of pain and fear. If it is not your will for me to suffer, Lord, I pray that I will not. And above all, cleanse my soul of sin, that I might someday be free of all pain and evil; for, whatever I may bear in this life, I have faith and hope in the life to come, through your goodness and mercy. In Christ's name, I pray,



Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.


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

endless knot

Psalm 14:1 (NKJV)

The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
There is none who does good.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 11:1-9

The Tower of Babel

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.

They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Notes on the Scripture

"Babel" sounds like the Hebrew word for "confusion"; thus the passage says that Babel was named because it was the place where God confused the languages of the world. In 1700 B.C., Babylonia was probably the largest city in the world. In the period when it was ruled by Nebuchadnezzar and his descendants (@ 600-450 B.C.), it again became the largest and one of the richest cities in the world. It was a city given to grand structures, including one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the great Hanging Gardens.

The story of the Tower of Babel would have made sense to anyone living in the Middle East. It was a great crossroads of trade, a meeting place for cultures with widely disparate languages, and was repeatedly conquered and reconquered by great empires.

Tower of Babel - Ziggurat of Etemenanki
The Tower of Etemenanki

An ancient Sumerian story, which is known only in fragments, speaks of the building of a great tower (ziggurat), although it would have been 100 miles to the south of Babylonia; this was originally Sumeria but later became part of Babylon; it was certainly, at the time, the greatest architectural center in the world, and many structures were built for heathen gods.

There was also a great tower built in ancient Babylonia proper, known as the Etemenanki (Sumerian "temple of the foundation of heaven and earth") . Nebuchadnezzar wrote that the original tower had been built in antiquity: "A former king built the Temple of the Seven Lights of the Earth, but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since that time earthquakes and lightning had dispersed its sun-dried clay; the bricks of the casing had split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps."

At any rate, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship of God, but for the glory of man. It was temple dedicated to sinful pride. Even the materials used were manmade, a locally invented brick rather than stone. So God stopped them by giving them different languages and scattering them around in tribes, and the tower was abandoned.

Tower of Babel (detail). A prideful (and very European-looking) king gives orders, as workers scurry and bow; yet behind him the tower already crumbles.

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Memory Verse

Matthew 6:24 (NKJV): No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

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