Daily Devotion for May 12, 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.
Brahm’s beautiful setting of Psalm 84.
Prayer of St. Patrick
Lord, be with me and all who love you, this day:
Within us to purify us;
Above us to draw us up;
Beneath us to sustain us;
Before us to lead us;
Behind us to restrain us;
Around us to protect us.
In Christ's name I pray,
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord Christ, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence become known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. May all the earth praise your holy Name, living in the true love and harmony you purchased for us by your suffering.
[God be behind us to restrain us.]
The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord comfort all who suffer and mourn; the Lord hasten his coming, and give us, his people, the blessing of peace, this day and 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.
Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.
~ Martin Luther King
Psalm 84:1-4 (RSV)
How lovely is thy dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, faints
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at thy altars, O Lord of hosts,
my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in thy house,
ever singing thy praise!
Genesis 25:12-18 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - The Generations of Ishmael
hese are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's servant, bore to Abraham.
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, twelve princes according to their tribes.
(These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.)
They settled from Havilah to Shur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. And he died in the presence of all his brethren.
Notes on the Scripture
Ishmael was perhaps in his mid-60's when he died, an old age for a time when the average life span was around 26. Much of the short average life span was due to infant death, and a prosperous man such as Ishmael also had an advantage, so his age at death was not quite so remarkable as it sounds. A fair number of people — such as Abraham himself — made it past 80.
As we have previously noted, Muslims believe that Arabs descended from Ishmael. Nothing in the Bible contradicts this (although other contradictions do exist — Muslims believe Hagar was the true wife of Abraham and Ishmael, his heir).
Ishmael is credited with twelve sons who were “princes” of their tribes (just like Jacob, whose sons became the 12 tribes of Judaism). In fact, the Hebrew translated “by their encampments” means, literally, “by their towers”, which would indicate a stone defensive structure and, thus, some degree of military strength. They will remain an important force in the early part of Jewish history, although they are eclipsed by the great empires of the time, from Babylonia to Rome, in the Bible. The rise of the Arabs to regional power occurred long after the Bible was written; Mohammad died in 632 A.D. and Islam reached the height of its empire around 1200 A.D. In 1492, for instance, the year in which Columbus discovered the New World, the Spanish completed the reconquest of Spain from the Islamic Moors.
His sons spread out, and the description of the areas in which they lived is not terribly helpful. Scholars believe that “Havilah” was, in fact, far south on the Arabian peninsula, and a few believe it became Yemen. We do know where Shur is, because it is a wilderness in the Sinai Peninsula where early Hebrews often lived, including Abraham, Isaac, and Moses. This is consistent with Arab accounts of their genealogy, a race spread out down the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula, south of the Moabites and Amorites who were descended from Lot.