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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Daily Devotion for May 14, 2015

<i>The Baby Moses</i> by Nicholas Poussin, ca. 1651.
The Baby Moses by Nicholas Poussin, ca. 1651. Poussin’s straight lines and ochre tones give an atmosphere of civilization in the desert — despite the Greek architecture and dress — as Pharaoh’s daughter and thus Pharaoh signal to spare the infant.



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Lord's Prayer

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.


Thank You Jesus

Oh dear sweet, loving Jesus: How often I forget that it is because of You that I live. You made all of us from the very dust that You created. Then You did the most wondrous of all things, You made us in Your image and You breathed life into us. I join those praying with me today in thanking you for our lives, and we pray that You continue to sustain us each day. From Your heavenly place accept our prayers and our praise.


For Increase in Wisdom

Dear God, I pray that I may proceed with boldness in the few things I know as a certainty, especially that my eternal salvation can come only from Christ Jesus; that He is my Lord and Savior; and that through my repentance of sin and my faith in Him, I will be saved. May I never shrink from your Great Commission, oh Lord, to share the Gospel with the world, so that those with ears to hear it might join me in salvation; for this is your express command to me, and to all Christians.

But also, I pray that my mind might be open and that I may always have an attitude of seeking and learning, for I realize that on many matters I might be wrong and not know it; or there may be wisdom that I do not even realize exists, awaiting discovery, as I live and grow in my walk with you. Give me grace through your Holy Spirit always to seek wisdom, to admit where I have been mistaken, even in attitudes I have held my entire life. Make me fresh every day in your word, Holy God; and let the light of your wisdom shine throughout the world, that we all might grow in our knowledge and love of you, throughout our lives.



[The wisdom that I do not know exists.]


Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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.

Elijah in the Wilderness by Frederic Leighton, ca. 1875. Like Poussin, Leighton uses ochres to convey the hopeless, unforgiving aridity of the desert, although his neoclassical style is much more human.

Matthew 18:15 (NASB)

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 4:21-23 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Hagar and Sarah 2 (Galatians #51)

21-23 Those of you who think you want to be subject to the Law, listen to what the Law itself says. Abraham had two sons, one of them with a slave and one with a freewoman. The son born to the slave was conceived in the flesh, but the one born to the freewoman was conceived in God’s promise.

24-25 Their births create a natural allegory: the son born to Hagar, a slave, was born into slavery. They represent Mount Sinai, in the desert of Arabia, where the Law was conceived and where Hagar and her son were sent.

Verbatim Bible

21 Tell me, the under law wishing to be, the law not you hear?

22 For it is written that Abraham two sons had, one from the slave girl and one from the free .

23 but the from-the-slave (masc.) had been born according to the flesh, while the from-the-freewoman had been born of a promise.

24 These are allegorical, for they represent two covenants: One from Mount Sinai, giving birth into slavery, which is Hagar.

25 And Hagar of Sinai mountain is in Arabia, and aligned with the now Jerusalem, for she is enslaved with the children of her.

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 4

About the Daily Prayer BibleThe “Daily Prayer Bible” is a paraphrase translation. This means accuracy to the original text has been sacrificed, to make it more readable and readily understood. This is especially useful in the Epistles of Paul. Verses are often out of order and often explanatory matter is included in the actual translation.

It is part of a larger work, DP 3-Column Bible, a Bible translation with 3 different levels of literal accuracy, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of the Scripture section. We call the most readable and least accurate translation the “Daily Prayer Bible”. The middle translation (“The American Bible”) is what is called a “literal” translation, accurate to the original text but using English grammar and idioms.

The third translation is a unique transliterative text, called “Verbatim Bible”, that has an unparalleled degree of accuracy but is not readable except with difficulty. It gives the non-Greek-reading user the ability to see the inaccuracies and ambiguities that become invisible in even the best so-called “literal” translations, such as the NASB or our own American Bible.

Notes on the Scripture

(. . . continued from Tuesday.)

As we saw in the last Notes, Ishmael being born “according to the flesh” signifies more than simply a biological impregnation. Sarah and Abraham took matters into their own hands, rather than trusting in God to fulfill His promise. (One might also find a disapproval of adultery in the sentence, but since God had not yet explicitly forbidden adultery, the idea is tenuous.)

The birth of Ishmael, and the lack of total faith it showed, came back to haunt Abraham and Sarah once God did fulfill His promise, as He had always intended to do. Isaac, not Ishamael, was the child God had promised to Abraham, the means by which his descendants would populate Canaan and be numbered as stars in the sky.


he Bible does not tell us whether Isaac was the natural son of Abraham, or whether he was conceived by the Spirit of God without Abraham's seed. Nor does it seem to matter very much; the miracle to which our eyes are pointed concerns the age of the parents. Sarah could no more have borne a child with Abraham than without him. Isaac's birth is supernatural in either case, without doubt an act of God in fulfillment of His promise.

Paul does not leave interpretation to the reader: he states outright that he is speaking about Hagar and Sarah, and their sons, allegorically. (The Greek word used, allegoreo, is nearly identical to modern-day English.)

Hagar was a slave. Abraham asked God to treat Ishmael as his heir, but God refused, and required Abraham to banish Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness, which is to say, the desert south of Canaan. Paul calls this area Arabia, and perhaps it was the area we know as Arabia today: for Christians, Jews and Muslims all believe that Ishmael was the patriarch of the people we call “Arabs”. But today's Arabia is not co-extensive with Paul's, for he also places Mount Sinai (in the Sinai Peninsula) in “Arabia”.

The import of the place names, however, is that Hagar and Ismael left Beersheba and went south into the Negev, which could geographically be considered part of Arabia or Sinai as easily as Canaan, since it lies north of the Gulf of Aqaba (which separates the Sinai and Arabian Peninsulas). She was in a desert, the land where the Law was given, and the desert is filled with symbolism. It's greatest characteristic is the lack of water, and water itself symbolizes the spirit. It is the land where the Law of Moses was given.

Ultimately, of course, the “home” of the Law of Moses was the great capital of David, Jerusalem, as it is to this day. So Hagar, Ishmael, the Law of Moses, and Jerusalem represent the desert and slavery, which are all tied together in Paul’s allegory.

endless knot

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“ God Provides A Refuge ”

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Memory Verse

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

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