Daily Devotion for July 31, 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 Guidance
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Ancient Prayer for Those Who Govern
Lord God, I pray for all kings and others in authority. You, Master, have given them the power of sovereignty through your majestic and inexpressible might, so that we, acknowledging the glory and honor which you have given them, may be subject to them, resisting your will in nothing. Grant to them, Lord, health, peace, harmony, and stability, that they may blamelessly administer the government which you have given them.
For you, heavenly Master, King of the ages, give to the sons of men glory and honor and authority over those upon the earth. Lord, direct their plans according to what is good and pleasing in your sight, so that by devoutly administering in peace and gentleness the authority which you have given them they may experience your mercy. You, who alone are able to do these and even greater good things for us, we praise through the high priest and guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom be the glory and the majesty to you both now and for all generations and for ever and ever.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What does Matthew 28:19 tell us?
Psalm 104:24-31 (NKJV)
O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions —
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.
There the ships sail about;
There is that Leviathan
Which You have made to play there.
These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
Genesis 39:11-18 (ESV)
Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife 
But one day, when he went into the house to do his work and none of the men of the house was there in the house, she caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me.” But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out of the house.
And as soon as she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought among us a Hebrew to laugh at us. He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice. And as soon as he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried out, he left his garment beside me and fled and got out of the house.”
Then she laid up his garment by her until his master came home, and she told him the same story, saying, “The Hebrew servant, whom you have brought among us, came in to me to laugh at me. But as soon as I lifted up my voice and cried, he left his garment beside me and fled out of the house.”
Notes on the Scripture
his woman is a snake in the grass. William Congreve told us that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and Potiphar’s wife seems determined to prove it. (This quote, often attributed to Shakespeare, actually comes from a little-known work called The Mourning Bride by Congreve, a century later.)
This presents an eternal and unsolvable dilemma of “he said — she said” presented by accusations of rape and other misbehavior, in private, between a man and a woman, for there are rarely witnesses to such encounters. Joseph isn’t accused of attempted rape, it seems, but even an attempted seduction of the wife of man as powerful as Potiphar could result in his death.
But whom will Potiphar believe? Does he know the character of his wife and Joseph well enough to decipher the situation, or will his closer ties to his wife and/or male blindness lead him to believe her?