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Daily Devotion for April 25, 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 God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here from so many different lands and languages. Grant the spirit of wisdom those to whom we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may demonstrate your praise among the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and days of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail; all which I ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
2 Samuel 8:1-8
In the course of time, David defeated the Philistines and subdued them, and he took Metheg Ammah from the control of the Philistines.
David also defeated the Moabites. He made them lie down on the ground and measured them off with a length of cord. Every two lengths of them were put to death, and the third length was allowed to live. So the Moabites became subject to David and brought tribute.
Moreover, David fought Hadadezer, king of Zobah, when he went to restore his control along the Euphrates River. David captured a thousand of his chariots, seven thousand charioteers and twenty thousand foot soldiers. He hamstrung all but a hundred of the chariot horses.
When the Arameans of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck down twenty-two thousand of them. He put garrisons in the Aramean kingdom of Damascus, and the Arameans became subject to him and brought tribute. The Lord gave David victory wherever he went.
David took the gold shields that belonged to the officers of Hadadezer and brought them to Jerusalem. From Tebah and Berothai, towns that belonged to Hadadezer, King David took a great quantity of bronze.
Notes on the Scripture
Having consolidated his authority as king of the entire 12 tribes of Israel, David begins to expand the borders of his kingdom. At the top of his list, naturally, are the pesky Philistines to the west of Israel [see map], with whom the southern tribes had chronic warfare.
Once the Philistines are subdued, David crosses the Jordan into Syria and defeats two large ancient kingdoms with odd names: Moab and Zobah. These were fairly large countries for Israel to attack, especially since Zobah called upon an alliance with an Aramean kingdom in Damascus, which sent tens of thousands of soldiers. David (and his general Joab) must have been superb warriors, and they had the blessing of the Lord with them; this is a remarkable feat of conquest, especially considering that the Hebrews did not use chariots, the high-tech weapon of the day. (Notice that, instead of absorbing the chariots, David hamstrings the horses, rendering the chariots useless.)
The Arameans of Damascus also pay the price; David occupies the city and demands tribute. David's kingdom now extends from Gaza to the Euphrates River; it would, in fact, be more accurate to say "David's empire". Although not in the same league as the Assyrians or Egyptians, he has both expanded the borders of Israel itself and gained significant vassals.