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Daily Devotion for April 21, 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 of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
A Prayer of Repentence
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended thee, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray thee, O Lord: of thy mercy forgive me all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)
2 Samuel 5:16-25
David Defeats the Philistines
When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they went up in full force to search for him, but David heard about it and went down to the stronghold. Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, "Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?"
The Lord answered him, "Go, for I will surely hand the Philistines over to you."
So David went to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, "As waters break out, the Lord has broken out against my enemies before me." So that place was called Baal Perazim. [Baal Perazim means "the lord who breaks out" in Hebrew.] The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off.
Once more the Philistines came up and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim; so David inquired of the Lord, and he answered, "Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move quickly, because that will mean the Lord has gone out in front of you to strike the Philistine army." So David did as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
Notes on the Scripture
The Philistines clearly did not like David's consolidation of power; their strategy of attacking him quickly, before he could make any further gains, does not seem like a bad idea (except that, of course, they got badly beaten). The Valley of Rephaim, where the Philistine army assembled, is a sizeable valley to the west of Jerusalem, and the Philistines would have cut off Jerusalem from the area around Bethlahem by occupying it.
God was still, at this time, in direct contact with the Hebrews and going before them into battle. The passage gives Him credit for the second, decisive victory; not only was the strategy of circling around behind them given to David by the Lord, but the passage indicates that God Himself "struck" the Philistine army.
The area between Gibeon and Gezer is sizeable; David's victory over the Philistines was an enormous boon to him, at a time when his power base was new and still rather tentative.