Daily Devotion for August 14, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer for Holiness
Holy God, no one can put together what has crumbled into dust, but you can restore a conscience turned to ashes. You can restore to its former beauty a soul lost and without hope. With you, there is nothing that cannot be redeemed. You are love; You are Creator and Redeemer. I praise you with my every ounce.
I fear the lesson, my God, of the fall of Lucifer, full of pride. I pray you will keep me from such a terrible fate; keep me safe with the power of your Grace; save me from falling away from you. Save me from doubt. Incline my heart to hear your mysterious voice every moment of my life and thus be led to call upon you, for you are present in every thing and every moment.
[With God, there is nothing that cannot be redeemed.]
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Jonah 1:17 (AKJV)
Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
2 Kings 4 (ESV) (excerpts)
Israel after Solomon (13): The Miracles of Elisha
When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he went up and lay on the child, putting his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. Then the child sneezed seven times and child opened his eyes.
* * *
A man came from bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
There were two aspects, two distinctly different gifts of the Spirit, to prophecy in the Old Testament: 1) prophecy proper, which is the foretelling of events or, from a different angle, teaching something that has been revealed to the prophet by direct revelation from God; and 2) the performing of miracles.
The prophets who have books named for them fall almost entirely into the first category. Note, however, that those who have their own books made sweeping, general statements to take place in the more distant future. Every prophet foretold future events, but in most cases these were specific events, local in time and place.
One well-known example, of the dozens or even hundreds recorded in the historical books, was Joshua telling his army how to prevail against the walls of Jericho. When the Hebrews have acted faithfully, the prophecies are helpful; when they have acted evilly, usually by worshipping idols, the prophecies are dire, as when Elijah predicted that dogs would lap up Ahab's blood.
But the more important prophecies were very long range; these are the prophets whose teachings are recorded in separate books. Most of them predict the fall of Israel or Judah as punishment for idolatry and other rebellion against Yahweh. As Christians, however, we give special notice to the ones who predict the redemption of Israel through a messiah: Isaiah stands first in this company. We see them cited often in the Gospels, especially Matthew.
There is another type of prophet altogether, those of the second category; they are much less common. They foreshadow the coming of Christ, not by the words they speak, but by the actions of their lives. Moses was a very powerful example, in his leading the people of God out of bondage. Jonah, who spent three days in the belly of a whale and then was spit out alive, and Elijah, who defeated death, fit the category. But the one really specific prophet who foretold Christ by deed, rather than word, was Elisha.
He is not nearly as well-known as his importance merits. The reason is practical; his life and works, which are far more extensive than those of his better-known predecessor, are woven into a long part of the Bible that few people read, i.e. 2 Kings. He dominates the first 13 chapters.
Elisha performs many of the same miracles as Christ. Reading today's Scripture, one gets some indication of this, but we will see him heal a leper tomorrow, whereupon the parallel becomes unmistakable.
We see this as Elisha working the miracles of Christ, because of Christ's preeminence, but we must also remember that Elisha performed them first. Thus, when Christ heals a leper, or feeds a multitude with a few loaves of bread, we can connect Him to the prophets in an entirely different way from, say, Zechariah's spoken prediction, “Behold, your king is coming to you . . . mounted on . . . a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zech. 9:9) Elisha was a unique prophet of Christ, unlike any other.