Daily Devotion for May 11, 2015
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.
George Washington's Monday Morning Prayer
O eternal and everlasting God, I presume to present myself this morning before thy Divine majesty, beseeching thee to accept of my humble and hearty thanks, that it hath pleased thy great goodness to keep and preserve me the night past from all the dangers poor mortals are subject to, and has given me sweet and pleasant sleep, whereby I find my body refreshed and comforted for performing the duties of this day, in which I beseech thee to defend me from all perils of body and soul.
Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption, that I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life. In the name of Holy Christ, I pray,
Oh Lord God, you are what thought cannot better; you are who thought cannot reach; you are who no thinking can even conceive. Without you, man can have no being, no reason, no knowledge, no good desire, nothing. You, Oh Lord, are what you are, transcending all.
[Thought cannot reach God.]
Prayer of Penitence
Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.
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.
Genesis 16 (ESV)
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife.
And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.” And the angel of the Lord said to her,
“Behold, you are pregnant
and shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
because the Lord has listened to your affliction.
He shall be a wild donkey of a man,
his hand against everyone
and everyone's hand against him,
and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
Genesis 21:1-15 (Daily Prayer Bible)
The Story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac
The Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and fulfilled His promise to her: Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, when he was 100. Abraham named the child Isaac, and circumcised him when he was eight days old, as God had commanded. And Sarah said, “God has made me into the butt of a joke; everyone who hears about this will laugh at me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
And the child grew; on the day that Isaac was weaned, he held a great feast. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, “Cast them out, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac.” Abraham did not want to do it, because Ishmael was his son. But God said to him, “Do not be distressed on account of the boy and your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for your offspring will be named through Isaac. And I will make a nation from the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.”
So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. Thus she departed, to wander in the wilderness of Beersheba.
Notes on the Scripture
We have reached a section of Galatians where one must know the story of Abraham and his two sons intimately, in order to understand Paul’s teaching. The story is scattered throughout the rambling narrative of Abraham that makes up the middle part of Genesis (Chapters 12 - 24), but the two long passages presented here are the meat of it.
The story is easy reading and can be understood without any commentary. Isaac is the preordained patriarch of the Hebrews and the ancestor of Jesus of Nazareth. God does not simply let Hagar and Ishmael die, however; He will rescue Hagar and her son from the desert, and from Ishmael will spring a great nation, albeit a Gentile nation, who will be offered salvation with the rest of the world through Christ.
The Book of Jubilees, part of the Catholic but not the Protestant Bible, names Ishmael as the patriarch of the Arabs. Most Christians, Jews, and Arabs agree with this to some degree; Islam considers Ishmael to be a prophet and patriarch, an ancestor of Mohammad.