Daily Devotion for January 22, 2016
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.
Deep peace of the running wave to you;
Deep peace of the flowing air to you;
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you;
Deep peace of the shining stars to you;
Deep peace of the gentle night to you;
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ the light of the world to you;
Deep peace of Christ to you.
Music by John Rutter
Lyrics from a traditional Gaelic prayer
Prayer at Daybreak (by Archimandrite Sophronios)
O Lord Eternal and Creator of all things, who with your unknowable goodness called me to this life; I have no life, no light, no joy or wisdom, no strength except in you, O God. I entreat you, teach me to pray aright. Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit. Bless this day which you give to me, your unworthy servant.
By the power of your blessing enable me, throughout this day, to speak and act to your glory with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom. Let me be always aware of your presence. By the power of your love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good. Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul; from every impulse unpleasing in your sight and hurtful to my fellow man, my brothers and sisters.
This in Christ's name, I pray,
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, master and lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hate for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in us the fear of you and confirm in us love for one another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
[My most powerful testimony is how I treat others.]
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
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.
Proverbs 23:4-5 (ESV)
Do not toil to acquire wealth;
be discerning enough to desist.
When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
for suddenly it sprouts wings,
flying like an eagle toward heaven.
Exodus 21:18-27 (The Message)
Law of Moses - Other Violent Crimes
If a quarrel breaks out and one hits the other with a rock or a fist and the injured one doesn’t die but is confined to bed and then later gets better and can get about on a crutch, the one who hit him is in the clear, except to pay for the loss of time and make sure of complete recovery.
If a slave owner hits a slave, male or female, with a stick and the slave dies on the spot, the slave must be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he’s not to be avenged — the slave is the owner’s property.
When there’s a fight and in the fight a pregnant woman is hit so that she miscarries but is not otherwise hurt, the one responsible has to pay whatever the husband demands in compensation. But if there is further damage, then you must give life for life — eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.
If a slave owner hits the eye of a slave or handmaid and ruins it, the owner must let the slave go free because of the eye. If the owner knocks out the tooth of the male or female slave, the slave must be released and go free because of the tooth.
Notes on the Scripture
The law on assault and battery is a bit sketchy. There is no criminal penalty stated if the injured person recovers enough to walk with a crutch, but the attacker becomes responsible for taking care of him. The judges would, presumably, have fashioned reasonable laws to deal with specifics.
he other two areas covered are more interesting but, unfortunately, difficult to interpret. If a person kills his slave, the slave's life must be "avenged". Since the normal penalty for murder was death, one might speculate that it would be imposed, but that is speculation or inference. The other law about treatment of slaves is that, if a master knocks out a tooth or eye, the slave must be set free. Again, one would speculate that the judges would extend this to similar instances of grievous injury, but that is inference.
The salient point, however, is that absolute slavery, such as the Hebrews themselves had suffered in Egypt, was not permitted. One must recall, here, how Moses came to leave Egypt and travel to Mount Sinai, originally: he had to flee, because he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave. (Exodus 2:11-15)
The laws about striking a pregnant woman are especially touchy, because people look to these verses for support both for and against abortion, a hot-button political issue in the U.S. and many other countries. Unfortunately, it does not really address the matter. If a woman is accidentally struck during a fight and she miscarries, the person who hit her must pay whatever her husband demands. It is only an injury to the woman herself, as opposed to the unborn child, to which this passage applies the "eye for an eye" doctrine.