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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Devotion for February 24, 2010



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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

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.

May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us

Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us,
that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Community of Prayer

Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
1 Samuel 2:12-26

1 Samuel 2:12-26

Eli's Wicked Sons

Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord. It was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand. He would plunge it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot, and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. But even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw."

If the man said to him, "Let the fat be burned up first, and then take whatever you want," the servant would then answer, "No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force." This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord's sight, for they were treating the Lord's offering with contempt.

But Samuel was ministering before the Lord — a boy wearing the linen vestment. Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, "May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord." Then they would go home. And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the Lord's people. If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?" His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the Lord's will to put them to death.

And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.

Notes on the Scripture

Sleeping with the female staff and stealing from the donations — periodic corruption in the priesthood seems endemic to organized religion. We are also treated to the story of an indulgent father who does not have the heart to discipline his wayward children, even from abusing the power he has passed down to them. Keep in mind, this book is an account of very ancient events, the Hebrew nation before the time of David. (Jewish religious ritual and practice was very different than it is today!) We are fortunate to have such a good account of Samuel's early life, and in fact, his story was one of the texts found in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Samuel's parents have been rewarded for their good deeds; things look grim for the wicked sons of Eli, however, as this passage forbodes a stiff penalty for their behavior. We must suspect that Samuel is going to find favor with God, as his faithful and honest service even as a young boy stands in stark contrast to the corrupt priesthood of Shiloh, who stand above him in age and status.

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