Daily Devotion for January 25, 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.
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
For a Sense of Wonder at God's Creation
Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder. Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe. Delight me to see how your Christ plays in ten thousand places, in limbs and eyes not His, to be the father through the features of men's faces. Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number. I do not ask to see the reason for it all; I ask only to share the wonder of it all.
Prayer for Love
My blessed Lord, I ask for Love. But how shall I show my love, since love proves itself by deeds? Well! The little child will strew flowers; she will embrace the Divine Throne with their fragrance, she will sing Love's Canticle in silvery tones.
Yes, my Beloved, it is thus my short life shall be spent in Thy sight. The only way I have of proving my love is to strew flowers before Thee — I will let no tiny sacrifice pass, no look, no word. I wish to profit by the smallest actions, and to do them for Love. I wish to suffer for Love's sake, and for Love's sake even to rejoice: thus shall I strew flowers.
Not one shall I find without scattering its petals before Thee. And I will sing. I will sing always, even if my roses must be gathered from amidst thorns; and the longer and sharper the thorns, the sweeter shall be my song.
[Doing the smallest action for love.]
I dedicate this day to you, mighty God. I pray that your Spirit will lift me up this day, and that your face may shine upon me all the day long, that I might do your will and lead a new life in Christ, reborn in the Spirit.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
observe carefully what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat
to control your appetite.
Do not desire what he offers,
for it is deceptive food.
Exodus 21:28-36 (ESV)
Law of Moses - Creating Dangers for Other
“When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him.
If it gores a man's son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels [about a pound] of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
“When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.
“When one man's ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.”
Notes on the Scripture
Most people have heard of the "one bite rule" for dogs. In most states, if your dog bites someone but has never shown signs of biting behavior before, you won't be held liable. But if your dog has previously bitten someone, you will be held liable. Here we see the same rule applied to the only dangerous animal kept by the Hebrews, an ox. To be precise, an ox is a bull or steer (castrated bull) of a muscular breed, used for plowing and haulage.
The law given here is more strict. An ox who gores someone will be destroyed. But if an ox has a habit of goring people — if it is proven to be dangerous — the owner is considered to have committed murder if it kills someone. Such an owner might face execution for what would be called "reckless homicide" in U.S. law today; or, at the option of the victim's family or the judges, the owner might be allowed to redeem his life.
We also get a clearer view in these verses of the partial protection given to slaves. If a slave is killed by such an ox, the death penalty will not be imposed and the redemption price is a set figure.
The Hebrews did not have prison. Payment of money was the substitute.
The spirit of this law is that we must protect our neighbors. We cannot keep our property in such a manner that it endangers others, even where it causes us expense or pain. People get enormously attached to their pets, for example, and can become very defensive about their behavior. But the Biblical law is stricter than the laws of many states and cities. We can draw our own conclusions about what this means for us, and the way we keep our property and especially any animals likely to cause harm.