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Daily Devotion for March 9, 2010
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
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
1 Samuel 10:1-2,5-16(A young Benjamite named Saul and his servant, out searching for his father's lost donkeys, have unexpectedly been feasted by the great prophet Samuel, who has unexpectedly told the reluctant Saul that all of Israel will soon look to him.)
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his people Israel? You will reign over the Lord's people and save them from the power of their enemies round about. When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, "What shall I do about my son?" '
"After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.
"Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do."
As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying. When all those who had formerly known him saw him prophesying with the prophets, they asked each other, "What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"
A man who lived there answered, "And who is their father?" So it became a saying: "Is Saul also among the prophets?" After Saul stopped prophesying, he went to the high place.
Now Saul's uncle asked him and his servant, "Where have you been?" "Looking for the donkeys," he said. "But when we saw they were not to be found, we went to Samuel." Saul's uncle asked him, "Tell me what Samuel said to you."
Saul replied, "He assured us that the donkeys had been found." But he did not tell his uncle what Samuel had said about the kingship.
Notes on the Scripture
If Saul was dumbfounded at Samuel's treatment of him before, now he must be completely freaked out. Samuel, the great judge and seer, has told him he is to reign over all Israel, and Saul isn't buying it. But God changes Saul's heart, largely through Samuel, who makes a number of specific predictions that immediately come true.
The people of Israel have asked God for a king, and despite the potential drawbacks (see 1 Samuel 8:10), He has acceded to their prayer. Nor has there been any horrendous political struggle; through Samuel, God chose an inconspicuous young man from a good, but by no means great, family. He is also from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest of the twelve tribes but located centrally around Jerusalem and Jericho.
From the point of view of secular historians, there seems to be no disagreement as to the basic facts. At some point just before 1000 B.C. (around 1040-1020 B.C.), twelve closely allied Jewish tribes lived in Palestine, ruled loosely by charismatic leaders called "judges". They became involved in pointed and prolonged conflict with the Philistines (about whom little is known) living on their western border. Popular sentiment demanded a king to increase the military efficiency of the Jewish armies, and a man named Saul, from a lesser branch of the Tribe of Benjamin, was chosen to lead. Interestingly, the Koran, like the Bible, states that the choice was made by Samuel.