Daily Devotion for April 3, 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.
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.
You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.(Matthew 5:43-45)
1 Samuel 27
David Among the Philistines
David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand."
So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam (of Jezreel) and Abigail (of Carmel), the widow of Nabal. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.
David said to Achish, "If I have found favor in your eyes, let a place be assigned to me in one of the country towns, that I may live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?" So on that day Achish gave him Ziklag, and it has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. David lived in Philistine territory a year and four months.
David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. (From ancient times these peoples had lived in the land extending to Shur and Egypt.) Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.
When Achish asked, "Where did you go raiding today?" David would say, "Against the Negev of Judah" or "Against the Negev of Jerahmeel" or "Against the Negev of the Kenites." He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, "They might inform on us and say, 'This is what David did.' " And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory. Achish trusted David and said to himself, "He has become so odious to his people, the Israelites, that he will be my servant forever."
Notes on the Scripture
David's solution to his dilemma -- he is pursued by Saul, who will kill him, yet he cannot kill Saul even in self-defense -- is to leave Judah and dwell in idolotrous lands, throwing himself on the mercy of a pagan king. Achish, the King of the Philistine nation of Gath, gives David a little town that had been conquered and reconquered by the Jews and the Philistines. Achish thus guards his borders against the Hebrews without using his own men.
David goes raiding to support his army. He tells Achish that he is attacking Hebrew areas, to convince Achish that he has completely turned against Israel, but in reality he is raiding Arab peoples to the south. To prevent word of his deception from getting out, he leaves no survivors.