Daily Devotion for May 3, 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.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
2 Samuel 12:26-31
Final Victory over the Ammonites
While David's was occupied in Jerusalem with Bathsheba and his son's death, Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, "I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me."
So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. He took the crown from the head of their king — its weight was a talent [about 75 pounds] of gold, and it was set with precious stones — and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. He did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.
Notes on the Scripture
The Bible's account of the conquest of Ammon is a bit disjointed, but this passage clarifies the degree to which David subjugated it, greatly expanding his territory. Ammon was a kingdom roughly the size of Judah (although not as fertile). After taking it, David controlled most of what is today Syria and Jordan.
It is unfortunate that more was not written about Joab. He was apparently a brilliant and loyal general, and he had a sense of humor: He dares to tell David that, if he doesn't come help out capturing the Ammonite capital, Joab will rename it after himself.
The royal crown of Ammon was a nice prize, but does anyone else wonder about the practical problems involved in wearing 75 pounds of gold on one's head? It would not have been ridiculously oversized — gold is heavier than lead, and a gold brick weighs about 25 pounds, so the crown wouldn't have necessarily been ludicrously large. But David must have had a strong neck.