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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Daily Devotion for September 19, 2014


<i>Tobit Burying the Dead</i> by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1640.
Tobit Burying the Dead by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1640. As we shall see, Tobit was a favorite subject of the 17th century masters.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

Even though I speak not one word of Russian, I sang in the Yale Russian Chorus for two years just because I loved the music so much (it was quite a task memorizing all the words). This haunting Alleluja was part of our sacred repertory. It moves me so deeply that it is virtually proof of God's existence.

“Allelujah. Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and taken unto Thyself, O Lord. Their memory is from generation to generation, and in paradise will dwell their souls. Allelujah.”



Prayer for the Day Ahead (from an old Prayer Book)

Almighty God, my heavenly Father, who declares your glory and shows forth your creation in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in whatever work my hand may find today, from the service of mammon; and assist me, that I may do the work which you have given me to do, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men; for the sake of him who came among us, humbling himself to serve all who came to him and received him, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Anselm’s Prayer

Lord, because you have made me, I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me, I owe you the whole of myself; because you have promised so much, I owe you my whole being.

I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge; let me know by love what I know by understanding. I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more, and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you. Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of your love. I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love.

Amen.

Meditation

[Let me know by love what I know by understanding.]


Benediction

Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.

Amen.


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.



endless knot

Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)

Because he has set his love upon Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.


Blue Latin Cross

Tobit 1:9-22 (MB)

Tobit’s Ups and Downs in Assyria

But then we were captured, and most of us ate the food sacrificed to Assyrian idols; but I refused, and God rewarded me for my faith by making me an official of the king, a purchasing agent. He sent me to Media at time, to buy goods, and I was able to set aside some money (which was left with my kinsman Gabael in Media.) This is how I was able to give bread to the hungry and clothing those in need.

But the king died and was succeeded by Sennacherib. He did not keep the roads to Media safe and my income was cut off. But worse, the wars he fought went against him, as foreseen by the prophets, and he killed many Jews out of anger. He threw their bodies outside the walls. I would sneak out and bury them in secret; but Sennacherib caught onto me — a turncoat informed on me — and I had to go into hiding, for my life was forfeit. Thus I lost all that I had in Nineveh, and although Anna and Tobiah were safe, we were separated.

Then my fortunes turned again. Sennacharib was assassinated by his own sons. The new king, Esarhaddon, appointed my nephew as to oversee all the accounts, a very high position; and he secured my return to my home, with my wife and child.


Notes on the Scripture

By this late date in the Northern Kingdom's history, no doubt a great number of the dietary laws had been forgotten; but Tobit’s grandmother had taught him the most important one; as idolatry was the great sin of Israel, so eating food sacrificed to idols must be thought the greatest of dietary taboos. He does not speak of what this would have cost him, but at least until he gains some income, this must have meant going hungry much of the time.

Sennacherib, while as wicked and bloody as many Eastern potentates, was a powerful military leader and Tobit was unlucky that he ran afoul of one of the king's few defeats, and that it was in Judea. He came back filled with hatred for the Jews. There is no motive given for his disgraceful habit of murdering Jews and throwing their bodies over the walls, to be eaten by wild animals and rot; burial was the custom of the Assyrians and a bounden duty of the Jews. To leave Jewish bodies exposed was an offense against God. Remember, in this regard, how anxious the Jews were to get Jesus into a tomb before sunset.



<i>Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem</i>, Rembrandt van Rijn ca. 1630
Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, Rembrandt van Rijn ca. 1630.

Daily Inspiration

“Solid Food”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

2 Timothy 1:7: God has not given me a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-control.


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Comments (11)

Topic: Page Two | Devotion for Day of September 19, 2014 | Daily Prayer
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Tuckwell (Coldstream, Canada) says...
I too enjoy the O.T. but am fine with a change. And thanks for all the work you do, Mason, to give us insight into the word. I wonder if at times you're not just "reinventing the wheel" with respect to your translation. For centuries scholars have been scrutinizing & translating the Bible. If we cannot trust the translations we already have, then whose can we? I know there are some totally unreliable, ie. New World, but is yours the only reliable one? And please, take no ... Read More
20th September 2014 10:17am
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Mason Barge says...
No offense at all, but I'm not sure I can fit a discussion in here. Tobit is a special case, since it doesn't get translated in Protestant Bibles, and there are very few Catholic translations done. As for the New Testament, there is exactly one reasonably accurate translation commonly available, the NASB, which is not particularly readable, and one pretty good for combination of readability and accuracy, the ESV. Most translations are marred by both 1)the translators' determination ... Read More
20th September 2014 3:57pm
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Martha Hoskins (Fort Worth, US) says...
I love your dailyprayer.us, I study it every morning. It's gets me started on the right track with added faith in God and His promise to me. Continue, please the good work you have started. Thank You and may God continue to bless you and yours.
19th September 2014 9:40am
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Mason Barge says...
It has been a great blessing to me, Martha, to have so many wonderful people to pray with each day.
20th September 2014 10:17am
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Carol says...
Solid Food gave words to the thoughts with which I have been struggling. The gay priest of our Episcopal Church has decided to print the Book of Common prayer service in the bulletin so she has more flexibility to make the words more "gender neutral." I don't believe we have to change words the Lord gave us in order to reflect our love and acceptance of all people. So Our creator who art in heaven versus our Father who art in heaven is not working for me. If I may, I would like to ... Read More
19th September 2014 9:34am
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Mason Barge says...
My heart goes out to you, Carol. As the piece indicated, I used to be an Episcopalian but finally had to find a new church, for the very reasons that are bothering you - and I do miss my pretty old church and the familiar liturgy, sometimes.
20th September 2014 10:15am
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jeannette faber (Ann arbor) says...
I am new to this site, and am deeply happy to find intellectually satisfying commentary. The diversity of music is a plus. Today's music brought me to my knees.
19th September 2014 7:29am
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Mason Barge says...
We're glad you are with us Jeanette.

I went to a service in Russia once, and it was quite extraordinary. They stand around - there are a lot of icons - and the candlelight and amber-colored icons make the entire church glow.

They are a very emotional and "soulful" people.
19th September 2014 8:45am
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Charlene (CO, US) says...
The prayers today were so heartfelt. They will stay with me through the work day today and help me keep my thoughts on Jesus. The music was pure serenity personified. What a blessing this devotional is. Thank you!
19th September 2014 7:05am
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Mason Barge says...
I love to stumble across a really great old prayer, and have a place to share it. And today, two of them!
19th September 2014 8:49am
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Margaret ENTWISTLE (Edenfield, UK) says...
SmileHeavenly music today, thank you!
I appreciate the great diversity of music and teaching offered to us on this site and look forward to returning to the New Testament. I feel you have really sorted out the Chronology of the Old Testament for me so will also be glad when we study this again.
Thanks Mason for all you do.
19th September 2014 4:19am
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Mason Barge says...
The journey from Solomon to Babylon has been interesting for me, too. I think we still need to look at Nahumm, who is a lot like Amos. It's actually rather fun to see how vividly he can curse the Babylonians.
19th September 2014 8:48am
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TrishC (Newbury Park, US) says...
Just want to mention I have been and still am enjoying studying the books of the Old Testament.... not getting stale at all to me. That said, please know that I've been following Daily Prayer for a while now and appreciate all courses of study that you have presented.
18th September 2014 3:08pm
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D Malmberg (Clover, US) says...
Mason, thank you for teaching us the book of Tobit and for all the work you put into translating for us. Each day I look forward to learning more. Your efforts bless many.
18th September 2014 8:04am
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