Daily Devotion for November 7, 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.
Peter, Paul and Mary is not a group one would associate with gospel music, but they really rock this song by the Reverend Gary Davis.
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day old Sampson was walking alone
He looked down on the ground and he saw an old jaw-bone.
He lifted up that jaw-bone and he swung it over his head,
And when he got to moving ten thousand was dead.
If I had my way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I had my way
I would tear this building down.
Sampson and the lion got in attack
Sampson he crawled up on the lion's back
You read about this lion - he killed a man with his paw
Sampson he got his hands around the lion's jaw
And he ripped that beast till the lion was dead
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.
Delilah was a woman, she was fine and fair
She had lovely looks, God knows, and cold black hair
Delilah she climbed up on sampson's knee
And said "tell me where your strength lies, if you please"
She talked so fine, she talked so fair,
Sampson said "Delilah, cut off my hair,
Shave my head just as clean as your hand
And my strength will be like a natural man."
Prayer to Abide with God
Dear Lord, as I come before you this morning, my spirit is filled with thanks that you have given me a life and filled it with meaning. Knowing that you have a purpose for me is such a gift as I cannot express; even when the world or my own thoughts fill me with feelings of worthlessness, I can turn to you and know, fully certain, that you are in charge and have filled my existence with meaning and purpose I cannot fully understand.
Lord Christ, you promised that if we love you and obey your teaching, you and the Father will make your home with us; I declare my love for you; and there is nothing I want more than to have you live with me, present in my life. Help me to follow your teaching in every way; for you have given us grace, that by your death and resurrection, we may be perfect before you. Accept my love and be with me, today and always, I pray; not by my merit, but by your grace, oh Christ, oh one true God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
For Those with Senility and Their Caretakers
Holy Jesus, look down with love and sympathy on all those who are losing or have lost the function of their mind and memory. Bless them, that may not suffer distress. Send your Holy Spirit to comfort them in their anger and confusion.
And bless also those who love and care for them. We cannot understand what goes on within their minds, Lord; so help us to understand them, to love them, and to care for them. Give us your eternal patience, that we might provide to them such comfort as is possible, and the strength to help them, day after day, without hope of thanks or recovery.
Bless us all in our distress, O Holy Jesus, who always looked with love and sympathy on those with burdens; and lighten our burden, I beseech you, if it be Your will.
[God makes His home with me.]
May the God of peace, who declared victory over death by the resurrection of His only Son, Jesus Christ, make me perfect in every thought and act through His grace, that my life might be pleasing in His sight and that I might share the perfect peace that is only possible through Him, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
"Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home."
Exodus 19:7-9 (ESV)
Israel Accepts God’s Covenant
So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
Notes on the Scripture
This is a short passage, but with many implications. Throughout Exodus, God represents Himself visibly in two forms: fire and cloud (or fire within cloud). These are not "God". There is not a human-looking being, no old man with a grey beard, standing inside the cloud; the cloud is not there to hide God. It is, rather, a visible metaphor for our inability to see God with human eyes. God is there, but we cannot see Him.
The metaphor represents not only a spiritual truth, but also, a physical truth about our universe. The universe appears to astrophysicists like a great sphere, and this is how they conceive and describe it. But they cannot see outside it; in fact, they cannot see anything even close to the edge, because the limits of "reality" are obscured by energy that hides whatever is on the other side.
But God can make Himself known to us. He chooses the most elemental form with which to make his covenant with the Hebrews, for He wants them to separate their knowledge of Him from their previous religious training, where a "god" was a statue or a physical phenomenon. He wants them to understand He is irreducible; He cannot be made into a package (and we will see more of this in the Second Commandment).
That said, the first paragraph in the passage contains the direct significance: the Hebrews "sign the contract." Of course, this is an oral contract, but they give their formal and binding assent. We think of the major covenants of the Bible as one-sided — God tells us what it is and we obey — but the Hebrews' assent to this great covenant adds a dimension of free will.
Every human being can deny God; the consequences might be frightful, but we have the option. Of course, God is holding all the cards here, for the Hebrews are stuck in the middle of a desert, with hostile bandits at large; but they still have the option to leave, and perhaps they could live. Remember, Moses had left Egypt and found a life among the Midianites (and actually, came to Sinai while grazing livestock).