Daily Devotion for March 29, 2017
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.
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness.
When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy.
Because You are good to me, good to me,
You are good to me, good to me
You are good to me
I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found.
Your voice fills the night raise my head up and hear the sound.
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God,
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy.
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all my life;
I will trust in Your promise.
Music and Lyrics by Audrey Assad
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is your creation and I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut you out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to your presence.
I open my body to you, for it is your breath that fills and warms the lifeless clay.
I open my eyes and ears to you, thankful for the light of your Word, which has brought me out of the shadow of ignorance.
I open my heart to you, aglow with thanks for your love, filling me with compassion, understanding, and peace.
I open my soul to you, grateful for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.
All that I am, I open to you and I return to you, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day. Through Christ I pray.
For All Who Serve Others
O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; I pray for your blessing on all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of their fellow men. Endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall; and, being inspired by your love, may worthily minister in your name to the suffering, the friendless, the lost, and the needy.
Inspire them with perseverance; when they feel unappreciated, comfort them in knowledge of the blessing they earn by their service; and to those who teach, let your Holy Spirit guide them in their teaching, that they always know and speak the truth of your Word. For the sake of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray,
[In what areas of my walk in faith can I use more courage?]
Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Psalm 106:1-3 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
Genesis 11:1-9 (ESV)
The Tower of Babel
ow the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar [Babylonia] and settled there.
They said to each other, “Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Notes on the Scripture
In Hebrew, the word “babel” sounds like the word for “confusion”; thus the passage says that Babel was named because it was the place where God confused the languages of the world. It is the Hebrew name for Babylon, which existed as a settlement before 2000 B.C. and, by 1700 B.C., was probably the largest city in the world. In the period when it was ruled by Nebuchadnezzar and his descendants (@ 600-450 B.C.), it again became the largest and one of the richest cities in the world. It was a city given to grand structures, including one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the great Hanging Gardens.
The story of the Tower of Babel would have made sense to anyone living in the Middle East. It was a great crossroads of trade, a meeting place for cultures with widely disparate languages, and was repeatedly conquered and reconquered by great empires.
An ancient Sumerian story, which is known only in fragments, speaks of the building of a great tower (ziggurat), although it would have been 100 miles to the south of Babylonia; this was originally Sumeria but later became part of Babylon; it was certainly, at the time, the greatest architectural center in the world, and many structures were built for heathen gods.
The Ziggurat of Etemenanki
There was also a great tower built in ancient Babylonia proper, known as the Etemenanki (Sumerian “temple of the foundation of heaven and earth”) . Nebuchadnezzar wrote that the original tower had been built in antiquity: “A former king built the Temple of the Seven Lights of the Earth, but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words. Since that time earthquakes and lightning had dispersed its sun-dried clay; the bricks of the casing had split, and the earth of the interior had been scattered in heaps.”
At any rate, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship of God, but for the glory of man. It was temple dedicated to sinful pride. Even the materials used were manmade, a locally invented brick rather than stone. So God stopped them by giving them different languages and scattering them around in tribes, and the tower was abandoned.