Daily Devotion for July 18, 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.
The angelic voice of a remarkable little girl, singing the praise of another remarkable young girl.
(Note: Composers frequently repeat, omit, or put phrases out of order.)
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Prayer To Do God's Will Today
Thy will be done. Dear God, I am full of the sound of my own voice, that lump of pride deep within me that will not go away, no matter how I try. Give me the strength through the power of your Holy Spirit to hear your voice and follow it, fighting the temptation to sin that bubbles up inside me whenever my mind strays from you.
Thy will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will be done.
You have commanded us to love one another, this I know without doubt. And yet all day I am filled with judgments, with resentments, with anger that sneaks in and grabs me when I am not paying attention to you. I pray dear God, that you will soften my heart to my fellow humans, no matter how sinfully they may act, and leave the judging to you, as you have commanded. Fill me with acceptance in place of judgment, sympathy in place of anger, faith in place of resentment. For my judgments and anger are the creatures of pride.
May I do thy will this day, in the name of Christ I pray.
Thanks for God’s Word
I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that the things which were hidden from the wise and prudent, and which many prophets and kings desired to see and could not, are revealed unto us babes in your written Word. I thank you that I have the Scriptures to search, and that they testify of Christ, for in them I can find eternal life.
I thank you, Father, for the preservation of your teachings through time, and despite the constant efforts of men to destroy it or change it, that through them I might find patience, and hope, and truth, and life. And having learned so much, I thank you that I can hear with my ears your wonderful works, the testimony of the earth and the spirit, like a light shining in darkness. In Christ’s name, I pray and render you thanks,
[The revelation of the written Word.]
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Proverbs 5:15, 17-20 (NASB)
Drink water from your own cistern and fresh water from your own well. Let them be yours alone and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. As a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; Be intoxicated always with her love. For why should you, my son, be exhilarated with a strange woman and embrace the bosom of a foreigner?
1 Kings 11:1-8 (ESV)
The Story of Solomon (19) — Solomon Turns from the Lord
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.”
Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem.
And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods.
Notes on the Scripture
Time and again God has told the Israelites not to intermarry with other tribes. This rule was given not to preserve racial or tribal purity — numbers of ethnic Egyptians had been allowed into the Exodus, for example — but as a safeguard against temptation to idolatry.
It was a part of the original covenant with Moses and the Hebrews: “Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons, for they will lead your children away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and he will quickly destroy you.” (Deut. 7:3-4)
No sooner had Israel left Sinai and headed towards Canaan, than people began ignoring this law. “While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.” (Numbers 25:1-2)
In the New Testament, we see the same rule with a different twist. First, we see a broad rule to disassociate our personal lives completely from nonbelievers in 2 Corinthians: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?” But because the Gospel, unlike the law of Moses, creates a duty to proselytize, one has to consider the case of a married person finding Christ, while the spouse does not. In these cases, we get a twist: If a Christian is married to a non-believer and the spouse does not leave, he or she should remain married. (1 Cor. 7:12-14)
Getting back to our story, Solomon falls prey to idolatry by ignoring the warning about spouses who worship foreign gods. It is his downfall. Like a Greek tragedy, the seeds of destruction were planted at the beginning of his ascent. His first act, after his kingship is established in 1 Kings 2, is to marry the daughter of the Pharaoh. (1 Kings 3:1)
We might see in this another type of sin: relying on worldly power rather than the Lord to accomplish His work. Solomon marries Pharaoh's daughter as a diplomatic move, not suggested or sanctioned by God (and forbidden by Mosaic law), to secure his southern flank. But reliance on oneself, rather than God, transgresses the concept of faith. We see self-reliance resulting in Hebrew defeat repeatedly; as with adultery, the lessons began before the Hebrews ever entered Canaan. See Numbers 13 and 14.