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Thursday, October 1, 2020
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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.

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.

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,

Amen.

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.

Amen.

Dedication

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.

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.


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

E

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

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“Love Hopes All Things”

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Today in Daily Prayer


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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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