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Monday, April 6, 2020

Daily Devotion for July 20, 2017


<i>Joseph Telling His Dreams to His Brothers</i>, by Jan van Scorel, ca. 1520.
Joseph Telling His Dreams to His Brothers, by Jan van Scorel, ca. 1520.

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.




Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning

I  give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.

Amen.

For Past Mistakes

Holy Jesus, help me to surrender past mistakes; not to dwell on them, but to accept your forgiveness in the certainty of hope. The past is over and gone forever. Having made such restitution as is your will, there is nothing more I can do about them. Lift the burden of my past failures from my spirit. Let me go forward in faith. Clear the clouds from my path and lighten my step. If you do not reproach me, let me hear no reproach from myself or any other person, but only your promise of new life. And bring your Word and your light and your forgiveness to all who have wrecked their lives, I pray; for your power is greater than sin, and there no human being you cannot heal, no matter how wretched and vile, if they only surrender their lives to you.

Amen.

Meditation

[Letting go of past mistakes.]


Benediction

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.

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.



endless knot

Proverbs 16:23-24 (ESV)

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 37:12-24 (abridged)

Joseph Sold by His Brothers [1]

Now his brothers went to pasture their father's flock near Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” And he said to him, “Here I am.” So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock, and bring me word.”

So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits. Then we will say that a fierce animal has devoured him, and we will see what will become of his dreams.”

But when Reuben heard it, he rescued him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.” And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but do not lay a hand on him” — that he might rescue him out of their hand to restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.


Notes on the Scripture

Joseph’s brothers actually have reason to dislike him; if you missed the Scripture from day before yesterday, you might want to read it quickly to catch up. (Click here: Genesis 37:2-11.)

W

e must remember, when reading Genesis, that it is set in a time before the Ten Commandments; the only laws given by God to Abraham and his seed were that they should worship Him and circumcise their male children. Our revulsion at murder is, in large part, training given to us, by virtue of thousands of years of moral development.

For primitive man, murder does not have the meaning it has for us. In the highly developed Roman Empire, there was no general concept of the intrinsic value of a human life. And we still struggle with it, for, like all moral laws, the law against killing other people often runs afoul of our innate desires. Where there is no evil in the human heart, there is no need for a moral law.

But the brothers certainly have great reasons not to murder Joseph. First, of course, a brother was an invaluable asset in a time when life was perilous. Second, Jacob, their father, loves Joseph; he is powerful and would be furious if he learned about such an act.

Still, the brothers hated Joseph so much they would have killed him, but for Reuben. His motivation for refusing to join the plot is not spelled out. Perhaps he does not hate Joseph as much as the others, or perhaps he loves his father and knows how stricken he would be by Joseph’s death.



Abraham and the Angels
Abraham and the Three Angels by Eeckhout, ca. 1656.

Daily Inspiration

“We Were On His Mind”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Romans 8:18: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.



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