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Daily Devotion for March 13, 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 of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
Community of Prayer
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.
I dwell in the high and holy place, with those who have a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:12)
1 Samuel 12:6-25
Samuel's Farewell (continued)
Then Samuel said to the people, "It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your forefathers up out of Egypt. After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your forefathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place.
"But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. They cried out to the Lord and said, 'We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.' Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal (also called Gideon), Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies on every side, so that you lived securely.
But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, 'No, we want a king to rule over us'-even though the Lord your God was your king. Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God-good! But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
Stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! I will call upon the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king."
Then Samuel called upon the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel.
"Do not be afraid," Samuel told them. "You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart, for if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."
Notes on the Scripture
Samuel reminds the people that God gave them a king only because they demanded one, out of fear of the Ammonite army. But in the past, it was not the absence of a king, but the worship of idols and other sinful behavior that had resulted in conquest by foreign nations. This demand for a king is unnecessary and shows a lack of faith in God's promises, because nothing has really changed. God will still protect them as long as they keep their covenant with Him; but if they (or the king) do not, the king will not be able to protect them.
As a sign that their future is in God's hand, not those of an earthly king, Samuel calls up a great storm. Still, despite the warning, Samuel tells them that God will forgive their lack of faith if they serve him faithfully; the covenant has not been breached.