Daily Devotion for July 28, 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.
But I believe.
I keep moving forward when I'm holding Your hand;
The truest things I know
Are those I cannot see.
From my birth to my dying day;
When I'm old I'll talk about the things that You have done;
Brokenness made beautiful.
The wars that You have won
And the storms You calmed in me.
I'd rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I'd rather be led by his nail pierced hands.
I'd rather have Jesus than anything…
Blessed are you, Lord God: Blessed are you for ever. Holy is your name: Blessed are you for ever. Great is your mercy for your people. In the morning I cry out to you: Blessed are you for ever.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I praise you and give you glory: I bless you for calling me to be one of your holy people. Remain in my heart, and guide me in my love and service all of this day. Help me to shine your light before others and lead them to the way of faith. Holy Trinity of love, I praise you now and for ever.
To Know God's Word
Heavenly Lord, I pray to be able to read the Bible and learn your truth. Give me the spirit of understanding and wisdom, for you know how difficult it can be sometimes. Let me understand and absorb the words in your Bible, dear God, and let me see beyond the words on the page and know your true and full Word, Jesus Christ. Let me not be impatient; let my vision not be distorted by my bias, or my preconceptions, or my foolishness, or the foolishness of the world around me. Give me the courage to change my mind, when that is necessary. Let me know you as you intend for me to know you, I pray, O God; let me find my way to you, for I crave to know you and be with you, now and for all of my life,
[Give me the Spirit to understand your Word.]
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Science and God
All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths contained in the Sacred Scriptures.
~ Sir William Hershel
1 Kings 12:1-20 (ESV)
Israel after Solomon (1): Rehoboam, King of Judah
(This passage is editedTo eliminate repetition and padding, the passage has been heavily redacted without ellipses or other marks of omission. . Click here to read the full passage.)
Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and said to Rehoboam, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.”
Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, and they said to him, “If you will be a servant to this people today and serve them, and speak good words to them when you answer them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him. “Thus shall you speak, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”
So the king answered the people harshly, and forsaking the counsel that the old men had given him.
And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, Israel went to their tents. And King Rehoboam hurried to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day. And when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they made him king over all Israel. There was none that followed the house of David but the tribe of Judah only.
Notes on the Scripture
God had told Solomon that, because of his apostasy and idolatry in later life, his son would lose the throne; and here, the prophecy is realized. (Devotion for July 19 and July 20) This begins the story of the divided kingdoms, which is extremely long (11 chapters of 1 Kings and 25 of 2 Kings) and replete with unreadable names. It spans about 400 years, @ 940 B.C. to 538 B.C.
We will pick and choose carefully, since few people want to wade through very much of it. In fact, the only two hard names that should probably be remembered are the primary actors in today's lesson, Rehoboam and Jeroboam. (Certain people — and you know who you are — will find these names familiar, as they are names for large-size bottles of champagneA “Jeroboam” is equal to four standard bottles of wine, and a “Rehoboam”, six..)
We will, however, do at least one day on each of the prophets. So look forward to knowing (or at least having heard) about all those books with odd names, as well as a couple of important prophets who do not have books, particularly Elijah.
Rehoboam was Solomon's eldest son and the heir apparent to the Throne of Judah and Israel, but he lost his entire kingdom except for Jerusalem and the lands around it, in the south, the “Kingdom of Judah”. Note that he actually rules two tribes, not one, as the tiny tribe of Benjamen always went with Judah. From this point on, Judah will be the rightful line of David, while the Kingdom of Israel will be breakaway rebels. Although Judah is one tribe, versus ten in Israel, Judah is large, powerful, prestigious, and again, the house of the rightful king.
We see how quickly everything goes terribly wrong. Jeroboam does not want his people traveling to Jerusalem for feasts, as the law requires, because he fears the grip it will give Rehoboam over the populace; and so he basically abandons Judaism. Rehoboam does not seem to have inherited any of his father's renown wisdom and makes the fatal error of promising even harsher forced labor; but it matters little, as God had ordained the loss of Israel from David's son, no matter what he did.