Daily Devotion for May 26, 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.
Prayer for the Morning
Compassionate Lord, Your mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge; ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know You as You are, love You supremely, serve You completely, admire You fully.
Through grace let my will respond to You, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Your free love alone enables me to serve You. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Your choice gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
Prayer of Thanks
O Thou whose bounty fills my cup with every blessing meet! I give Thee thanks for every drop, the bitter and the sweet.
I praise Thee for the desert road, and for the riverside; for all Thy goodness hath bestowed, and all Thy grace denied.
I thank Thee for both smile and frown, and for the gain and loss; I praise Thee for the future crown and for the present cross.
I thank Thee for both wings of love which stirred my worldly nest; and for the stormy clouds which drove me, trembling, to Thy breast.
I bless Thee for the glad increase, and for the waning joy; and for this strange, this settled peace which nothing can destroy.
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time,
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
Which verse tells us that we are not alone in whatever temptation we may have; others have faced the same thing?
Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
Genesis 26:34-35; 27:1-4 (ESV)
The Story of Isaac  - Jacob and Esau
When Esau was forty years old, he took Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.
When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.”
Notes on the Scripture
saac's elder son marries two Hittite women, which is not remarkable. As you will remember from earlier in Genesis, Abraham had purchased land from a Hittite and had ended his days living in an area controlled by this powerful tribe (which had originated in central Europe), very much at peace with them. No doubt the “year” used in this passage is the same as used throughout the stories of Abraham and Isaac, so Esau would have been in his early or mid 20s in our modern calendar, the customary age for men to marry then.
Also notice the unabashed bigamy. It became very clear from reading about Abraham's life that bigamy — having two wives — was an acceptable practice at the time, as was having one wife and one mistress. In fact, neither Judaism not Christ himself ever explicitly condemned polygamy; it is not until we reach the New Testament that Paul instructs us to be monogamous: “each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband”. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
If you find this odd, it is. Sexual morality is strongly associated with Judaism. When the early Jewish Christians decided to allow Gentiles to join the Christian church, it was only on the condition that they give up their sexual immorality. But monogamy does not become a stated norm until Paul, and even then, it is only in the context of an alternative to chastity, for those who cannot restrain themselves.
Beeri and Basemath made the lives of their parents-in-law “bitter,” but no more is said on the subject. This is a condemnation of them, and perhaps of Esau by implication; daughters-in-law had an obligation to their husband’s mother and, however fair or unfair it might seem to us, the obligation of keeping the peace lay with them.
The end of today’s passage begins the story of Isaac’s death. Esau is a skilled hunter, and this civilization is so old that game is still a staple food. So Issac asks Esau to bring him some fresh meat from the hunt for a good meal, after which Esau is to receive his blessing, for Isaac is nearly blind and knows that his end is near.