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Friday, January 24, 2020

Daily Devotion for June 8, 2017


<i>Heart of the Rose,</i> Edward Burne-Jones ca. 1889
Heart of the Rose, Edward Burne-Jones ca. 1889. A PreRaphaelite take on the final scene in Chaucer’s poem Rumaunt of the Rose, a Christian allegory. An angelic figure leads Pilgrim, on the left, to The Rose, depicted by a woman who represents Christian love.

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.




Prayer to Hear God’s Word

Dear God, there is only one voice that is perfect truth, and that is yours: the voice of your Spirit and the voice of your Word. Help me, I pray, to hear your voice clearly. For I tend to lose it in the cacophony. I am filled with the sound of my own voice, with the sense of my importance and the correctness of my thought; and on top of that, I am besieged by dozens and hundreds and thousands of words and voices telling me all kinds of things.

Lead me to read your Word without listening to any voice but yours. Let me hear your truth and read your Word without adding to it or subtracting from it, without twisting it to meet the demands of my own preconceptions. Let me not deny your Word because it is inconvenient for me; even if I cannot follow it today, let me know the truth. Where your teaching and my thoughts conflict, help me to change. Help me to set aside my prejudice, my illusions of knowledge, my rationalizations, so that I can learn; and even if I do not follow your Word perfectly, let me know where to ask forgiveness. This I ask in the name of my only Savior, Jesus Christ,

Amen.

To Use My Leisure Time Fruitfully

I  pray, Lord, that you will fill me with discernment, so that I can use my leisure time wisely and well, that I might have some recreation and rest in my life; let me not become stressed-out, but neither let me fritter away my hours in activities that help neither myself nor others. Send me the strength to combat obsession. Send me your Spirit to see the vanity of excessive self-indulgence. Let me know the true joy of time well-spent. In Christ's name, I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[The joy of time well-spent.]


Benediction

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.

Amen.


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.




Jacob and Esau by George Frederic Watts, c. 1878
Jacob and Esau by George Frederic Watts, c. 1878.

Dwelling in God

"Love and pity and wish well to every soul in the world; dwell in love, and then you dwell in God."

     ~ William Law



Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 28:1-9 (ESV)

The Story of Isaac [15] - Jacob and Esau Seek Wives

Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. Arise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.

God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give the blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of the land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham!” Thus Isaac sent Jacob away.

And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, “You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women,” and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram.

So when Esau saw that the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.


Notes on the Scripture

I

f you are confused by all the names, you aren’t the first or only one! This is a good spot for a recap and simplification of the ancient history of Abraham and his family.

One name that you might want to pay special attention to is the tribal name “Aramean” which is pronounced with four syllables (air-uh-may-un). The Arameans were a rather unimportant tribe of nomads but they have one claim to fame; for some reason, their language became widespread and, 1500 years later, was the primary language that Jesus spoke: Aramaic. It is actually still spoken today in some very tiny pockets of the Middle East.

The place “Paddan-aram” was a rare case where the Arameans actually had their own little kingdom, a small area due north of where Israel is today. When Abraham first decided to strike out from Mesopotamia, he stopped in this little kingdom, which was a comfortable place since his family had Aramean heritage. Abraham’s brother stayed there when Abraham traveled on to Canaan and his destiny, for God was to make His covenant with Abraham, including giving him and his heirs the land.

But Abraham’s brother also started a large family; this is why Isaac went back there to find his wife, Rebekah, and now why Isaac and Rebekah want their own son to go back there to find a wife. It would be similar to an immigrant to the U.S. going back to the “old country” to find a wife.

When Isaac tells Jacob to marry one of Laban’s daughters, he is telling him to marry his first cousin. We might look askance at that today (although it is legal in many states of the U.S.) but Isaac is clearly most interested in keeping the blood line pure.

Esau, who is not at all a bad son, has inadvertently displeased his parents by taking two wives from local tribes. He tries to make up for this, and please his parents, by also marrying a first cousin, only a cousin on his father’s side instead of his mother’s. Ishmael, you will remember, is Abraham’s first child and thus Isaac’s older brother.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“ Dry Bones ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 10:37-38 (ESV): He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.



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