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Daily Devotion for May 19, 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.
The sublime Ave, Ave, Verum Corpus by Mozart. Sung by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, 2010.
(Note: Composers frequently repeat, omit, or put phrases out of order.)
Ave, verum corpus
Cujus latus perforatum
O Iesu dulcis,
For Joy in God's Creation
O Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
O blessed Christ, my teacher, my savior, my God: You have commanded me to love others as myself. Yet it is so easy to find the faults in others, for I see their outside and compare it against what is inside me. I have inflated my goodness and importance in my own mind, but have judged others for the smallest shortcoming, and I am filled by foolish pride.
I vow by this prayer that I will strive to follow your Word, to forgive all who have injured me, to turn loose the petty resentments and grudges that poison the world with hatred, and to overlook the faults of others; and I ask to be pardoned wherever I have done injury to my brothers and sisters, who are your beloved children even though they, like me, are sinners. And I vow, when I fall short of your commandment, to seek out and confess my wrongdoing. Forgive me, Holy Christ, and help me to ever amend my life; this I pray, with faith in the grace you have promised to the penitent sinner.
May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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
Where does Jesus say, “[H]e who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”?
Psalm 90:11-12 (NKJV)
Who knows the power of Your anger?
For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Genesis 26:6-11 (ESV)
The Story of Isaac  - Abimelech
So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he feared to say, “My wife,” thinking, “lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah,” because she was attractive in appearance.
When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, 'She is my sister'?”
Isaac said to him, “Because I thought, 'Lest I die because of her.'”
Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”
Notes on the Scripture
he apple does not fall far from the tree, as they say; just like his father Abraham, Isaac resorts to pretending that his beautiful wife Rebekah is his sister while living among the Philistines in southern Canaan, for fear that he will be slain by someone who desires her. This gives us, by inference, a peek into the ancient moral code of this very early civilization. A husband would defend his wife's chastity with his life, but a sister might be seduced without risking being killed by her brother.
One might say that there were almost no sexual “morals” at all. The only real condemnation we have seen of sexual conduct is that Lot would not allow the townspeople of Sodom to rape the men sent from God (actually angels) and, in fact, offered his daughters in their place. But whether this was because homosexuality was considered grievously immoral, or whether it was meant to show Lot's respect for the angels — that he would rather see even his own daughters raped than God's angels — is impossible to say.
Guarding the chastity of one's wife can hardly be said to be a moral imperative during this period; it is rather a biological imperative, common to all major cultures. Men seek by their nature to propagate their own genes, by their nature, and thus guard their wife (or wives) from other men. And that practical nature is seen in Abraham and Isaac. They did not seek to prevent adultery as a matter of morals, that is, as a matter of righteousness before God. Abraham actually gave his wife over to Pharaoh.
Sexual morals as we know them — the regulation of desire and conduct as an act of obedience to God's will — simply did not exist in Isaac's day, or else existed in their most elementary form. It was the Hebrews living under the law of Moses who gradually developed the morals that have come down to us today. Remember, in Paul's day, the sexual practices of the Gentiles were so distasteful to the Jews that the Christian Jews did not want to let Gentiles into their churches.