Daily Devotion for October 11, 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.
This old slave spiritual, My God is a Rock in a Weary Land, takes its first line from Isaiah 32:2. The piece is not pretty, but dramatic and anguished, as raw as a whipping.
Prayer to Bear Witness Before the World
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice, O Lord. Let us ever sing for joy. Let those who confess your name raise up their voice, filling the air with glorious noise. Spread your protection over us, mighty God, that we who love your name may exalt you before all the people of the earth. Let the quiet and the shy find their courage so that they may sing and shout to the sky, “There is one great God who rules over us all, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His only Son”.
May I be blessed to help the blind see your glory and the deaf hear your praise, lest they surely die. For they must be told: Every heart will find righteousness and eternal life in the holy name of Christ, and nowhere else. Make me your trumpet, make me your lighthouse; let me proclaim to the very end of the earth, that Christ is King!
For a Divine Guest
My spirit longs for thee
Within my troubled breast,
Though I unworthy be
Of so divine a guest.
Of so divine a guest
Unworthy though I be,
Yet has my heart no rest
Unless it come from thee.
[My heart will know no rest except that it comes from God.]
Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
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.
Tobit 14:1-15 (MB)
The Death of Tobit
Tobit was 58 years old when he lost his sight, which was restored to him after eight years. And all the while, he continued to give alms, and he increased in fear of the Lord God, and never ceased to praise Him.
When he was very old, he called Tobias to him and said, My son, take your children and go to Media. I am old and ready to depart this life, but I believe what Nahum the prophet has spoken on Nineveh, that it will be overthrown. For a time, peace will reign in Media, yet our brethren's bones shall be scattered; Jerusalem will be desolate and the house of God burned. But God will have mercy on them and build them another temple, until the time of that age be fulfilled. And even after that, the house of God will be built in Jerusalem with a glorious building, and all nations will bury their idols and fear the Lord.
So now, on the very day you bury your mother, be gone from Nineveh. And always consider the fate of your forebears who abandoned the Lord, and also those who were saved. Therefore remember the good done by alms, and the deliverance the comes from righteousness.
Then Tobit gave up the ghost, being 108 years old. Tobias buried him honorably, and also his mother Anna, when she joined him. And when this was accomplished, he departed with Sara and his children to Ecbatana, to live with Raguel. And there he buried Raguel and Edna, also, and inherited their substance.
Tobias died also, in honor, at a great age; but before he went, he heard of the destruction of Nineveh by Nabuchodonosor; and he rejoiced to hear of it.
Notes on the Scripture
he end result we see in Tobit is an answer to a worrisome question. Remember that God told Abraham, that if even ten righteous men were found in Sodom, He would spare the city on their account. (Genesis 18:22-32) How, then, could he have swept up whatever Hebrews had remained faithful to Him in the Northern Kingdom, and punished them just like the great majority of idolaters?
We see, in the final chapter of Tobit, at least an inference that God disposed the righteous of the Hebrews to follow the prophecy of Nahum, and move from Assyria to Media, before Assyria was itself conquered. For in was in Media, and actually the city of Ectabane, where Cyrus the Great decreed that the Jews should be allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild it. So Tobit's offspring, although they were from the Tribe of Naphtali, were (by inference) eventually mingled with the Tribe of Judah and allowed to return to Israel.
There is something else in this final chapter that should not slip our attention, because it is actually remarkable. It it predicts not only the destruction of Solomon's Temple by the Babylonians, followed by a rebuilding of the temple; but also, the destruction of the second, rebuilt temple after the end of its appointed age. Then, Jerusalem will be restored for a third time with a glorious building, and all nations will cease their idolatry and worship the Lord God.
It is difficult not to see a prophecy of Christ in this. I don't know of other Jewish prophets who predicted the rise and fall of a second temple, and then the coming of a third temple at which all the nations would worship. It is certainly not part of Nahum, whose short book is given over to colorful predictions of the destruction of Assyria. This sounds very much like something Christ Himself might have said.
Notes on the Translation
There are an horrendous number of manuscripts of Tobit and they differ greatly. The primary version used here is that used by the Greek Orthodox Church, and the name Nabuchodonosor was taken from it, largely for amusement that anyone could make the name “Nebuchadnezzar” even more difficult.
Some versions of Tobit speak of “Jonas” the prophet, rather than Nahum, but this makes no sense in terms of the Bible we have. Jonas is the Greek name for Jonah, whose book ends with his bitterness at having saved Nineveh. It is interesting to speculate that the author of Tobit might have had writings ascribed to Jonah, predicting the destruction of Nineveh, which have not survived. It is a distinct possibility, for it is the only way that the mention of his name in some versions makes any sense.