Daily Devotion for June 23, 2014
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.
Many nights we've prayed
With no proof anyone could hear,
In our hearts a hopeful song
We barely understood.
Now we are not afraid;
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains long
Before we knew we could.
There can be miracles, when you believe;
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill.
Who knows what miracles you can achieve
When you believe, somehow you will,
You will when you believe.
In this time of fear
When prayers so often prove in vain,
Hope seems like the summer birds,
Too swiftly flown away.
Yet now I'm standing here;
My heart's so full I can't explain.
Seeking faith and speaking words
I never thought I'd say.
They don't always happen when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears.
But when you're blinded by your pain,
Can't see your way straight throught the rain,
A small but still resilient voice
Says hope is very near.
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
What a Great Morning
Holy God, thank you for giving me another morning! I am lucky to be alive on your beautiful planet, so full of marvelous things and the beautiful plants and animals and all the people you have created in your image. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, now and all day long, until I go to sleep, because I want to live with you every minute of this day. The time and opportunities I have right now will never return, so help me make the best of it, Lord. And let me remember this one thing: You know what you are doing, whether I can see it or not; so I will try to remember today that you are in charge, that you put me here for a reason and that, by your grace, things will turn out with your triumph and the Kingdom of Heaven, for all those who live by your grace. All praise to you forever,
Father, I ask you to help me to be generous when I think of the attitude and actions of others. Forgiving someone isn't an easy option, and I know that forgiveness isn't somehow pretending that something wrong hasn't happened. For what I have done wrong, forgive me Father, to the extent that I am generous in forgiving - or hoping to forgive - those who have done wrong to me.
[Remembering that God is in charge.]
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 24:3-5 (ESV)
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
1 Kings 1:28-53 (ESV)
The Story of Solomon (3)
Then King David swore, saying, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my soul out of every adversity, as I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Solomon your son shall reign after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ even so will I do this day. Call to me Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet.” And the king said to them, “Take with you the servants of your lord and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. And there anoint him king over Israel. Then blow the trumpet and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’
So they went down and had Solomon ride on King David's mule and brought him to Gihon. There Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. Then they blew the trumpet, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing with great joy, so that the earth was split by their noise.
Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they finished feasting. And when Joab heard the sound of the trumpet, he said, “What does this uproar in the city mean?” Jonathan (the son of Abiathar) answered, “Our lord King David has made Solomon king, and they have gone up from there rejoicing, so that the city is in an uproar. This is the noise that you have heard. Solomon sits on the royal throne. And the king bowed himself on the bed.”
Then all the guests of Adonijah trembled and rose, and each went his own way. And Adonijah feared Solomon. So he arose and went and took hold of the horns of the altar, saying, “Let King Solomon swear to me first that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.” And Solomon said, “If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die.” So King Solomon sent, and they brought him down from the altar.
And he came and paid homage to King Solomon, and Solomon said to him, “Go to your house.”
Notes on the Scripture
Nothing spoils a good coronation feast like finding out you're not actually the king; David really sucks the fun out of Adonijah's day.
There is not much to comment upon here, as the drama is straightforward. It does speak to the reverence towards YHWH in the time of David, that Adonijah would simply fold his cards. In most places and most times, this would have meant civil war, because Adonijah was not just popular; he had a legitimate claim to the throne (as David's oldest living son) and a powerful group backing him.
But David was the anointed king, chosen by God; and the anointing of Solomon and proclamation of his accession represents a triumph of godliness over the realpolitikRealpolitik is a widely-used German term, representing the philosophy that, ultimately, those rule who have the most economic and military power.. Both David and the priests of the tabernacle held such huge respect and influence at the end of David's reign, that David's proclamation and actions were guaranteed to prevail, no matter how much popular support Adonijah might have gained.
David faced the same sort of situation in his day. He twice refused to kill Saul when he had the chance, even when Saul was trying to hunt down David and murder him, because Saul had been anointed by God. (1 Sam. 24:4-22; 1 Sam. 26)
Adonijah's taking hold of the horns of the altar, which sounds impressive, was meaningless. The horns of an altar did not give any sort of sanctuary; in fact, later on, we will see Solomon personally slay someone trying to repeat Adonijah's success.
The only real sanctuary provision in the law was the establishment of six cities of refuge, to which men could flee after killing another; this prevented immediate retaliation by the victim's relatives. But even there, the congregation would have a trial, and if the man had committed an intentional murder, he would not be allowed continued refuge. (E.g. Numbers 35:9-21)