Daily Devotion for September 5, 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.
I have always loved this account of Samson’s life, written by the Reverend Gary Davis.
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day old Sampson was walking alone
He looked down on the ground and he saw an old jaw-bone.
He lifted up that jaw-bone and he swung it over his head,
And when he got to moving ten thousand was dead.
If I had my way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I had my way
I would tear this building down.
Sampson and the lion got in attack
Sampson he crawled up on the lion's back
You read about this lion - he killed a man with his paw
Sampson he got his hands around the lion's jaw
And he ripped that beast till the lion was dead
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.
Delilah was a woman, she was fine and fair
She had lovely looks, God knows, and cold black hair
Delilah she climbed up on sampson's knee
And said "tell me where your strength lies, if you please"
She talked so fine, she talked so fair,
Sampson said "Delilah, cut off my hair,
Shave my head just as clean as your hand
And my strength will be like a natural man."
Prayer of St. Edmund
O Lord, into your hands and into the hands of your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul, my relatives, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all who confess your holy name.
O Lord, by the merits and prayers of your son, Jesus Christ, keep me today from all evil and unruly desires, from all sins and temptations of the devil, from a sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell. Enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments. Let me never be separated from you, O God, who lives and reigns forever, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer for Protection (from Psalm 3)
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cry aloud to you, and you answer me from your holy hill. I lie down and sleep, and I wake again, for you have sustained me. I will not fear the men of this world, even if thousands set themselves against me.
Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For salvation belongs to you alone. May your blessing be ever on your people.
[I wake in the morning, because God sustains me.]
Prayer of Resolve
I bind myself to you this day, oh Christ, in your truth and in your sacrifice. I give to you my anxiety and my fear, my depression and my doubt, for you have promised to take them if we only ask; and I take upon myself your burden, for it is light and your way is gentle. May I keep this in my heart and mind all this day.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Isaiah 9:1-9 (ESV)
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned — every one — to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Notes on the Scripture
Israel after Solomon (29): Isaiah’s Messianic Prophecies
We have, over the last few days, looked at Isaiah as a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, for he both prophesied and lived through three great events: the fall of Israel to the Assyrians, the exile of the ten tribes, and the successful defense of Jerusalem against the Assyrians. He also prophesied events in the far future, after his death: the ultimate fall of Jerusalem that would occur 150 years later, the exile of the tribe of Judah to Babylon, and their return to rebuild the Temple. (See chart.)
But something else began to stir around 700 B.C. For it was at this time that God began to reveal that He had plans beyond the first covenant and the law of Moses; that through Israel, He would send His Son to redeem the earth. Christ's birth was 700 years in the future, and yet, we begin to see more and more prophecy of the Redeemer (called messianic prophecy). And of all the latter prophets, the greatest prophet of Christ was Isaiah.
This was to sustain the Jews for all those centuries. For no matter how dire their situation became — and it was often quite terrible — they had the comfort, before the fact, of Christ's eventual salvation.
The messianic prophecies are breathtaking in their description of Jesus, both in their detail and in the very non-Jewish theological implications. The great Jewish heroes — Moses, Joshua, David — were men of earthly power, beloved leaders in battle, political forces who strengthened and increased the nation of God's chosen people. One would expect to see the prophets predicting the return of such a man. Even Elijah, a holy man, destroyed the priests of Baal with the sword and stood as a prophet to the extinguishing of Ahab, Jezebel, and their entire line.
But Isaiah prophesies a messiah who will not walk in worldly majesty or political power, one oppressed and afflicted, who “opened not his mouth” (see Mark 15:3-5), one who would be led “like a lamb to the slaughter” and “pierced for our transgressions”.
These messianic prophecies are mixed into Isaiah among various other subjects, making it difficult to read at times. The prophecy is critical to Christianity — who can doubt, after reading this and comparing it to the life of Jesus, that He was the Son of God? — but it is also important to see that there is a spiritual history paralleling the worldly history of the Jews. God reveals his intentions over time, but the revelation always precedes the act by a great period of time. Think of the promises to Abraham or Moses; God works out His purpose slowly, by the human clock, but with the certainty of destiny.