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Daily Devotion for August 22, 2017


Owen Jones, <i>Joseph Sells Grain to His Brothers</i> Bible
Joseph Sells Grain to His Brothers, illustration by Owen Jones, 1865.

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.

Rachmaninoff’s Russian-language “Ave Maria” has an unspeakable, ethereal beauty.




Draw Thou Our Hearts

O  Lord Jesus Christ, draw thou our hearts unto thee; join them together in inseparable love, that we may abide in thee, and thou in us, and that the everlasting covenant between us may stand sure forever. O wound our hearts with the fiery darts of thy piercing love. Let them pierce through all our slothful members and inward powers, that we, being happily wounded, may so become whole and sound. Let us have no lover but thyself alone; let us seek no joy nor comfort except in thee.

Amen.

Glory to God

Glory to You, Lord God, bringing from the depth of the earth an endless variety of colors, tastes and scents;
Glory to You for the warmth and tenderness of the world of nature;
Glory to You for the numberless creatures around us;
Glory to You for the depths of Your wisdom, the whole world a living sign of it;
Glory to You: on my knees, I kiss the traces of Your unseen hand;
Glory to You, enlightening us with the clearness of eternal life;
Glory to You for the hope of the unutterable, imperishable beauty of immortality;
Glory to You, O God, from age to age.

Amen.

Blessing

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build you up in faith and truth and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity.

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

1 John 4:10-12 (ESV)

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 42:18-25 (ESV)

Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt [3]

On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.

Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”

They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them.

And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.


Notes on the Scripture

T

he central phrase that will colors the entire story of Joseph, but especially the part to come, is in the first line: “For I fear God.” Joseph has no natural love for any of these people. Other than Reuben, who took half-steps in Joseph’s behalf, this band of men plotted to murder him — their own flesh and blood — and even though they did not do the murder, sold him to slave traders for a few coins.

The natural response is revenge. When somebody does something harmful to us, our nature is to harm them in return. We can feel it boil up inside us, powerful and immediate, at the least insult. The media and the popular culture, in fact, glorify revenge. Hollywood, television, and book publishers make billions of dollars from it; there was even a recent successful t.v. series titled Revenge.

If we were reading the story of Joseph in another context, and our expectations were not put into the “religion” corner of our brains, we would expect to see Joseph do something terrible to these men, for they certainly did something terrible to him. But they will live. Why? Because Joseph “fears God,” not just in some corner of his mind, but in his life.

Reuben also seems to fear God, for he believes that God will mete out justice for their treatment of Joseph. But God has left the matter in the will and power of Joseph, and Joseph will not judge his brothers.



Devotional painting of Jacob
Joseph's Coat Brought Back to Jacob by Jules Naudin, c. 1841

Daily Inspiration

“ He Knows Your Name ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Deuteronomy 10:17-19 (ESV) : The Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.



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