Daily Devotion for March 24, 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 from the First Epistle to Timothy, Ch. 3
Lord God, I pray that this day my conduct will be like that you have set for your clergy, above reproach. May I be this day temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle; not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. I pray that I manage my own family well and keep any children I may have charge of under control, acting with proper respect. Grant me a good reputation with outsiders, so that I will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.
Prayer for All People
O God, the creator and preserver of all humanity, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
1 Samuel 19:8-23
Saul Tries to Kill David(As David repeatedly leads Israel in battle, he continuously rises in the affection and regard of the Hebrews. Saul has become increasingly jealous of David.)
Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.
An evil spirit came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.
Saul sent men to David's house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, warned him, "If you don't run for your life tonight, tomorrow you'll be killed." So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats' hair at the head.
When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, "He is ill." Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, "Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him." But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats' hair.
David fled to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. Word came to Saul of this, so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came upon Saul's men and they also prophesied. Saul sent a second and then a third group of men, with the same result.
Finally, Saul himself went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even upon him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel's presence. He lay that way all that day and night. This is why people say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"
Notes on the Scripture
Saul seems to have a problem with impulse control, among other things. He tried to kill David with a spear in a jealous rage, then repeatedly sends men to kill him, and finally rides out himself. But, of course, David has now been anointed by God.
Saul is an odd and complex character. Although he has been cursed by God for offenses that are difficult to understand, and often behaves erratically and violently, he never loses his faith in the Lord. There is no hint of idol worship or intentional sacrilege from him. Still, God has anointed David to become King, and Saul, acting on human impulse, seeks to protect his throne.