Daily Devotion for May 18, 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.
This inspiring anthem ties in nicely with our Meditation for today.
The path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet
As you struggle to rise
To the heights thru the heat of the day?
2. Is your heart faint and sad,
Your soul weary within,
As you toil ’neath your burden of care?
Does the load heavy seem
You are forced now to lift?
Is there no one your burden to share?
3. Let your heart be not faint
Now the journey’s begun;
There is One who still beckons to you.
So look upward in joy
And take hold of his hand;
He will lead you to heights that are new —
4. A land holy and pure,
Where all trouble doth end,
And your life shall be free from all sin,
Where no tears shall be shed,
For no sorrows remain.
Take his hand and with him enter in.
Music by George D. Pyper
Lyrics by Joseph Fielding Smith
Prayer for God to Dwell with Us Today
Holy Jesus, who has promised that if we love you, you and the Father will love us and come to us and make your home with us, I give you my love without reservation. Your words are sacred and I aspire to live by them, this day and always, and I glorify you for your sacrifice of pain and death, made out of your love for us, that all who follow you might find salvation and eternal life.
Bless me this day to live with your Spirit, to resist temptation to evil, and to show your joy and love to all. Make your home with me, that I might be truly blessed, I pray,
Prayer in Times of Low Spirits (from Psalm 42)
Like a deer thirsts for the water of a clear cool stream, my soul thirsts for you, my God. I await with longing the day when I may finally appear before you. I sometimes become unhappy; my spirit becomes downcast, as my enemies deny you and mock me; and yet, always, I discover the joy of your Spirit and turn my face to you, and you heal me.
By day you command my steadfast love, and by night your song comes to me. The wickedness of the world taunts me and evil people put a bullet in my back, saying “Where is your God”? But why are you in turmoil, oh my soul? My hope is in God. I will turn again to you, my Lord, and praise you, my salvation and my God.
[The day when we will appear before God.]
Oh Heavenly Father, in whom I live and move and have my being, I humbly pray you so to guide and govern me by your Holy Spirit, that in all the joys, occupations, and cares of this day I may never forget you, but remember that I am ever walking in your sight. In Christ's name, I pray,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Never put a question mark where the Lord has put a period.
Genesis 26:1-5 (ESV)
The Story of Isaac  - Abimelech
Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to Abimelech king of the Philistines.
And the Lord appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you. Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your seed I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.
And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
Notes on the Scripture
everal times in the Old Testament there are famines and people will travel to Egypt to find food. Water is scarce and precious in the Middle East, and the basin for its rivers and wells is small. One or two years of poor rainfall in the mountains will doom the valleys to dry wells and brown grass.
Although Egypt is close to Canaan geographically, its source of water is thousands of miles away; it depends almost entirely on the Nile River, which channels water from rainfall in places as distant as the Congo, Tanzania and Kenya. The Nile does have comparatively dry years and famine, but because its source of water is so far away, it is not in the same general weather system as the Middle East. Although the two areas are adjacent, their water sources are not dependent on the same weather. And so, they do not usually have famines at the same time. They are functionally, as well as literally, on different continents.
This is why, so often, famine in Biblical Canaan will drive people to Egypt, or vice versa; Egypt is not likely to be affected by the conditions that create famine in Asia Minor. In today's lesson, where famine has once again struck Isaac's Canaan as it once did Abraham's, he has the same thought as his father had had: go to Egypt.
But the Lord stops him. Although we don't know exactly where Gerar was, it was somewhere just north of the Negev desert. You might remember that the area is an odd outpost of Philistines ruled by Abimelech. But these early Philistines are not enemies. In fact, Abraham had lived there and, at the end of Genesis 21, had made a formal covenant of peace with Abimelech.
God does not want Isaac to go to Egypt, but to stay in the land which He had promised to Abraham and Isaac; and so Isaac obeys, and stops his journey in Gerar.