Daily Devotion for April 27, 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.
Jessie Dixon looks forward to a better time, in one of his greatest compositions.
I'm going where the wicked shall cease
The weary shall be at rest.
All of the saints of the ages
Will sit at his feet and be blessed
I'm just a stranger here.
This old world is not my home.
You're gonna look for me.
One of these mornings.
Thank God I'll be gone on home
I don't mind a few lies told on me
I don't mind being rebuked and scorned
The more you lie on me
The more your scorn me
It's another brick for my brand new home
Music and Lyrics by Jesse Dixon
Prayer for the Day
Mighty Father God, I thank You for this day — that it even exists, and especially, that I can live in it, that I can know it through the sense you gave me and breathe the air you have made. Your bounty and goodness to me is beyond understanding. I worship and praise you above all things, because you are above all things. Your hand has made them and your love has forgiven me and blessed me.
Keep me and those I love from danger, sickness, accident this day, I pray. Help me to turn my back on evil in all of its myriad forms, to turn aside from the temptation that besets me from within myself and from my reaction to the world outside. Broaden my mind and give me the gift of hearing truth even when I do not want to hear it, when a false thought is embedded in my mind and the truth disagrees with my preconceptions.
Fill me with gratitude. Give me the courage to change the things that are contrary to your Word, even when they are ingrained and it is painful for me to give them up. Let me realize my sin and give me the grace to repent it and seek your forgiveness. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior,
Almighty God, bestow upon me, and upon all of us who pray together, the meaning of words, the light of understanding, the nobility of diction and the faith of the true nature. And grant that what we believe we may also speak.
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us to treat strangers as God treated the Israelites in Canaan?
We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really design it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above?
~ John Owen
Genesis 24:10-14 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Rebekah
Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water.
And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, 'Please let down your jar that I may drink,' and who shall say, 'Drink, and I will water your camels' — let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”
Notes on the Scripture
Ten camels! Having a camel in this day was like having a car today, so sending out ten of them was a pretty big deal, and Abraham has apparently loaded them with some nice merchandise — appropriate for gifts — as well.
ahor is a name, not a place. They are returning to the “city of Nahor”, that is, to Ur of the Chaldees, the city where Nahor had lived (see map); Nahor was the name of both Abraham's grandfather and one of Abraham's brothers. So Abraham is sending his wife-scouting party to his ancestral home.
The servant remains nameless. We learned in Genesis 15 that Abraham's majordomo (and his heir if he did not have a son) was named Eliezer. But much time has passed. The chief servant could be Eliezer, or his son, or some unrelated person.
Certainly, Abraham's household would serve faithfully and their blood would mix with that of Abraham's descendants. Inbreeding eventually has unpleasant consequences, and the Hebrews would need a wider gene pool to thrive. But, as was the general practice, only the names of leaders and their descendants are recorded.
The trusted servant, whoever he was, does not waste time. Having arrived at Ur, he rests by the well and, after a prayer to the Lord, determines to take the first single girl who will give him a drink. God does not speak to him, as He does to Abraham; so acting on his prayer might seem a bit risky.
We get a tiny slice of Mesopotamian (probably Akkadian) culture. Fetching water was the task of young women, who performed the chore at sunset. (See painting.) It was no small feat. The water jars were heavy and, in many places, the wells could be deep structures with narrow spiral staircases. But the passage mentions a spring, so perhaps fetching water was a bit easier in Ur than in most places.
By this time, mankind had already begun to experience its first ecological disaster. The irrigation of the marshlands, which had enabled the population density of Mesopotamia, had the unfortunate consequence of gradually increasing the salinity of the soil. Already, by the time of Abraham, crops were starting to fail. (Today, it is a desert with patches of salt.)