Daily Devotion for September 15, 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.
Selah is a contemporary Christian vocal trio consisting of Todd Smith, Allan Hall, and Amy Perry. They do a terrific job updating this old British hymn.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end...
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears.
Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay
From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
Music by Jean Sibelius
Lyrics by Catharina von Schlegel, @ 1740
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.
Prayer for One's Home
Peace, unto this house, I pray,
Keep terror and despair away;
Shield it from evil and let sin
Never find lodging room within.
May never in these walls be heard
The hateful or accusing word.
Grant that its warm and mellow light
May be to all a beacon bright,
A flaming symbol that shall stir
The beating pulse of him or her
Who finds this door and seems to say,
“Here end the trials of the day.”
Hold us together, gentle Lord,
Who sit about this humble board;
May we be spared the cruel fate
Of those whom hatreds separate;
Here let love bind us fast, that we
May know the joys of unity.
Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy love and let Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.
[The accusing word.]
May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 1 (ESV) (excerpts)
Israel after Solomon (36): Jeremiah and Lamentations
The words of Jeremiah, one of the priests who were in the land of Benjamin. . . . Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’;
for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,
and whatever I command you, you shall speak.
Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth.
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” . . . And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” Then the Lord said to me, “Out of the north disaster shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land.”
“For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north,” declares the Lord, “and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. But you, dress yourself for work; Arise, and say to them everything that I command you.”
Notes on the Scripture
Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible (see Ten Longest Books in the Old Testament); and it grows even longer when you consider that Lamentations, also written by Jeremiah, follows it. Unfortunately, other than the life of Jeremiah himself — which is pretty interesting — little is said in it that has not been said in the books immediately preceding. (See chart.) It also lacks the literary stylization that makes other prophetic books so worth studying — although, on the plus side, this means that it is easier to read.
The notable aspects of Jeremiah are, first off, the clarity and precision of the immediate prophecy — the coming conquest by Babylon, the eventual defeat of Babylon, and the restoration — and secondly, the account of his battles against false prophets and his persecution by the kings against whom he preached; for he was, without doubt, a great preaching prophet. Like Isaiah, his eponymousEponymous here means something that has the same name as the author or performer, like The Beatles album named The Beatles. book is long because he spoke so long and so hard against the wickedness of Judah and the punishment to come.
Chapter 1, excepted above, reminds us of Moses; remember how Moses argued with Yahweh, in the burning bush, about how he was not talented as a public speaker? (Exodus 4:10-17) But Jeremiah answers the call, dedicates his life to God, and spends his life in distress. He is repeatedly plotted against, arrested, and physically attacked. Shortly before the fall of Jerusalem, he is thrown down a well with a muddy bottom to starve to death; but he is rescued by one of the invading soldiers!
He does not take his persecution with stoicism; he complains to God constantly. Lamentations is just what it sounds like: five chapters of lamenting over the fate of Jerusalem. His name even gave rise to an English word, “jeremiad”, meaning “a prolonged lamentation or complaint.”
But although he complained, he persisted. It is Jeremiah who first comes to mind when Jesus and, later, Peter and Stephen, accuse the Sanhedrin of being the sons of the men who persecuted and murdered the prophets. E.g., “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt.”(Matthew 23:31-33).