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Monday, September 28, 2020
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Daily Devotion for January 27, 2018


<i>The Plague at Ashdod</i>, by Angelo Caroselli, ca. 1630.
The Plague at Ashdod, by Angelo Caroselli, ca. 1630. ((See Full-size.)

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.

Our “Saturday Oldie” today comes from Doris Akers and the Sky Pilot Choir, who were a major gospel force in the 1950s.




Thanks and Praise

I  thank You for the temporal blessings of this world — the refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers’ sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, and friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over.

Do not allow me to be insensible to these daily mercies. Your hand bestows blessings; Your power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of faith, the cheering presence of our Spirit, the strength of Your restraining will, Your spiking of hell’s artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!

Amen.

Prayer to the King

Lord Christ, you are my King and I have no other. I will follow the laws of men, where I can do so without offending Your holy ordinances and teachings, for your Bible has taught us to obey the civil authorities. I will pay my taxes and I will render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but they do not have my heart and they do not have my soul. For my King does not sit in a palace of stone; my King does not wear robes trimmed with fur. My King does not make promises he cannot keep. My King cannot be corrupted, will never shame me, will never make excuses. My King will never cover-up his wrongdoing, because my King commits no wrong, hates no man, and would give up His very life for me.

For my King is Jesus Christ the Almighty God of Heaven and Earth, clothed in righteousness, crowned by truth and seated on a throne of eternal glory! And to You and You alone I swear my allegiance, my faith, my hope, my life and my soul, today and as long as I live,

Amen.

Meditation

[You are my King and I have no other.]


Benediction

Into your hands, O Lord, Jesus Christ, my God, I commend my spirit. Bless me and all those who pray in faith of You this day; save us and grant unto us everlasting life.

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

Swindlers

“The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.”

~ Soren Kierkegaard


Blue Latin Cross

1 Samuel 5 (ESV)

The Philistines and the Ark

After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

The Lord’s hand was heavy upon the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation upon them and afflicted them with tumors. When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

But after they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.

As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy upon it. Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.


Notes on the Scripture

T

he Septuagint adds information, that the tumors appeared in the groin of the sufferers. Both the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate add that Ekron and Ashdod were overrun with rats. Taken together, it sounds possible that they were affected by an epidemic of bubonic plague; since the Black Death of the Middle Ages often resulted in mortality rates of 30-50% in cities, one can understand just how terrible the affliction would have been: “Death had filled the city with panic.”

Dagon, an idol with a man’s head and a fish’s body, is consistent with the scant evidence that the tribe had originated as a seafaring people akin to the Phoenicians. Statues, the common form of gods at the time, proved no match for the true God. His wrath at the lack of reverence for the ark struck down the Philistines even worse than the terrible destruction of Israel’s army. And thus, Israel was saved from potential total destruction, physical and cultural, by God himself. God would allow the backsliding Hebrews to be punished by enemy armies again and again throughout history, but lack of reverence for the Lord himself, He would not tolerate.



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

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“ The Gentle Touch ”

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1 Corinthians 1:13: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?



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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Jan 26, 2018 were:
Michael Lockhart (12)
Linda Lyonl (11)
Margaret Entwistle (11)


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