Daily Devotion for April 20, 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 for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
2 Samuel 5:6-15
David Conquers Jerusalem
The king and his men marched to Jerusalem to attack the Jebusites, who lived there. The Jebusites said to David, "You will not get in here; even the blind and the lame can ward you off." They thought, "David cannot get in here." Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion, the City of David.
On that day, David said, "Anyone who conquers the Jebusites will have to use the water shaft to reach those 'lame and blind' who are David's enemies." That is why they say, "The 'blind and lame' will not enter the palace."
David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the supporting terraces inward. And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him.
Now Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar logs and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. And David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
After he left Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him.
Notes on the Scripture
The Jebusites pop up repeatedly in the historical parts of the Old Testament, although nobody is exactly sure who they are. In Genesis (Genesis 14:18-20), they are mentioned as having a mysterious, possibly divine ruler or high priest named "Melchizadek"; this name pops up again, repeatedly, in Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews. Anyway, Jerusalem is a very ancient city and Mechizadek interacted with Abram before he became Abraham; the city was called "Salem" at that time.
When David conquered the city, it had come to be called "Jebus". The Jebusites were a native Canaanite people and possibly founded the city originally, naming it "Jebus" after themselves.
At any rate, it was a mighty fortress for its place and time; the Jebusites thought it immune from conquest, so inpenetrable that it could be defended by the blind and lame. Other Hebrew texts flesh out David's strategy to take this impossible fortress: One account is that the city had little natural water, and thus the water shaft was very large; David sent the redoutable Joab and a sizeable force to climb up the water shaft and open one of the city gates.