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Saturday, August 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for September 21, 2017

<i>Jacob Blessing Manasseh and Ephraim</i>, by Benjamin West, ca. 1800.
Jacob Blessing Manasseh and Ephraim, by Benjamin West, ca. 1800.



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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.


Elizabeth Goodine's great gospel song, When Jesus Lifts the Load, performed here by the Christ’s Church Choir with the Gaither Vocal Band.

Prayer for the Morning

I  bless you for the day you have made, Mighty Lord God, and pray that I may spend this day rejoicing in your creation. I pray for your Holy Spirit to fill me with the joy of my salvation, so that your light may shine through me into the world, that your honor and glory may be known to all people.

Remind me of your blessings, I pray, with every tribulation I may face, so that I may act with energy, forgiveness and love, ever mindful of the grace You have shown to me. Through Christ I pray,


Prayer for One's Home

Peace, unto this house, I pray,
Keep terror and despair away;
Shield it from evil and let sin
Never find lodging room within.
May never in these walls be heard
The hateful or accusing word.

Grant that its warm and mellow light
May be to all a beacon bright,
A flaming symbol that shall stir
The beating pulse of him or her
Who finds this door and seems to say,
“Here end the trials of the day.”

Hold us together, gentle Lord,
Who sit about this humble board;
May we be spared the cruel fate
Of those whom hatreds separate;
Here let love bind us fast, that we
May know the joys of unity.

Lord, this humble house we'd keep
Sweet with play and calm with sleep.
Help us so that we may give
Beauty to the lives we live.
Let Thy love and let Thy grace
Shine upon our dwelling place.



Let me not forget you as I go forth into the world this day, blessed Lord; may my every word be a prayer, and my every act be testimony to your love and truth, and may I know your presence every second of this day.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

Does Jesus Christ change over time?

Answer: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

endless knot

1 Chronicles 5:1-2 (KJV)

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's).

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 48:1-12 (ESV)

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh [1]

After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.

And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’ And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.

As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see.

So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.” Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.

Notes on the Scripture


phrath is the archaic name for the region around Bethlehem, to the southwest of Jerusalem. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin while the tribe was traveling. She was thus buried, out of necessity, in the middle of nowhere. But her grave transformed this forlorn spot into a notable location. An attractive mausoleum was built at some later point, and today, “Rachel’s Tomb” stands at an entrance to modern Bethlehem. It is in land held by the Palestinians, but luckily, Genesis is sacred text for Muslims as well as Jews and Christians (with a few differences), and both Jacob and Rachel are important figures in all three religions.

In fact, the reason Jesus was born at Bethlehem is that the spot of Rachel’s death also marks the spot of Benjamin’s birth, and, later, the birth of David (King David). So when Augustus Caesar declared a census, Joseph   who was a member of the House of David, a subdivision of the Tribe of Judah   was obliged to travel there to be counted. It was a the equivalent of the home city for his family (and probably that of Mary, as well).

Sketch of Rachel’s Tomb, 1585

Jacob’s blessing of Manasseh and Ephraim as his own sons would cause complications in naming the “tribes of Israel” forever after. Jacob had twelve sons, Joseph and his eleven actual brothers, and wouldn’t it be nice if the twelve tribes were actually named after them? But there are a number of complications, but lists of them are different. There are other controversies (or at least, differences), but one is whether there is a Tribe of Manasseh, whether there is a Tribe of Ephraim, and whether there is a Tribe of Joseph. (In fact, in Deuteronomy 3:13, Moses mentions the “half-tribe” of Manasseh.)

Ancient German stained glass fragment of Jacob
Ancient German stained glass fragment of Jacob

Daily Inspiration

“Love Hopes All Things”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

Printable Format for Today’s Devotion

Today in Daily Prayer


I'm off to France for vacation. Daily Prayer will be “closed” until October 1 or 2, so if you send emails, etc. -- sorry!

Memory Verse

Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this age [or world], but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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Comments (9)

Topic: Daily Prayer and Christian Devotional
Rudy Gruter (Victoria, Canada) says...
God be with you and bless you Mason. A well deserved rest.
21st September 2017 4:52pm
Amleset says...
Have a blessed and joyous vacation Mason. That you for your dedication to God's word.
21st September 2017 10:19am
linda says...
I have read Genesis once in my life & never found it nearly as interesting as when you have taught it to me this time.Am enjoying it alot.just like taking a class at university.Enjoy your well deserved trip to France Mason, you will be missed.
21st September 2017 10:11am
Mike (Ringtown PA, US) says...
Happy and Safe vacation Mason, God Bless!
21st September 2017 9:35am
Florence Enere (Randolph, US) says...
Journey mercies I pray
21st September 2017 9:28am
Yvette (US) says...
Have a blessed and safe vacation.
21st September 2017 8:24am
Cathy Pereira (South River, US) says...
Enjoy vacation. Be safe G-d bless.
21st September 2017 6:39am
Michelle Greenfield says...
Have a wonderful vacation, may God be with you.
21st September 2017 6:30am
Lee (Hackebsack, US) says...
I sometimes think God just doesn't care for me at times. I feel scared lost afraid praying and crying out for his answer. It's like I don't matter to him. However my faith in him is so strong I know my blessings will be arriving very soon Amen Hallelujah thank you Jesus.
20th September 2017 10:52pm
Helen (Cottesloe, Australia) says...
Trust you will enjoy a well - earned vacation, Mason!!
20th September 2017 7:17pm
R.A. (US) says...
Your words speak volumes --- There is no judgement in love. The finished work of Jesus on the cross is the message of divine love, setting us free from all the sins of our humanness --- no greater love than this! Oh, how He loves you and me!
20th September 2017 1:43pm
Coleen (Warner Robins, US) says...
Beautiful devotion today!
20th September 2017 10:50am
Margaret (Horse Hill, Barbados) says...
Many times life feels and looks hopeless. It's at times like this that God's faithfulness is at its optimum. Wait on the Lord and through prayer and thanksgiving His will will be done. Forgive me Lord for doubting your grace and mercy because you always make things right.
20th September 2017 9:55am
Dionne (St. James, Barbados) says...
Its so nice to see another Barbadian in this forum, I hope have a blessed day. To the brother who keeps this awesome devotional site going...have a wonderful holiday...May God continue to Bless you.
21st September 2017 7:30am
Rome says...
Truly powerful and assuring message today. Thank you for reminding us of the uplifting and eternal power of God's love. You end on a poignant point in acknowledging the "infinite love" of our Lord... made all the more so by the manifold lessons of Jesus... By His grace indeed we are part of such a beautiful network where few religions have such a potent dose of love of at their core. Grin
20th September 2017 9:13am
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Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Sep 21, 2017 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Pam Carpenter (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
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