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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Daily Devotion for February 6, 2018


<i>All is Vanity</i>, Solomon on his throng painted by Isaak Asknaziy, ca. 1870.
All is Vanity, by Isaak Asknaziy, ca. 1870. King Solomon shown in his later years, looking world-weary.

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.




Prayer for Faith

Give us, Lord, a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of you. Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation, dullness in prayer. Give us fervor and delight in thinking of you and your grace, your tender compassion towards me. The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labor for: through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for Those in Their Final Days

Heavenly Father, I know that all men will die, for this is the nature of life and the cost of sin. I pray for those who are in their last days. Those with cancer, or heart disease, or kidney disease, or malnutrition, or who are grieved by any of the countless diseases and traumas that bring us to our final rest. I know your sympathy for us, for through your Son, you have agonized exactly as we do; by his willing sacrifice, he gave us eternal assurance that you understand our fear and pain.

Bless those in fear of death this day, I pray. Send your Holy Spirit to console and comfort them and those who love them. Let them know the assurance of the wonderful eternity we will know, and bring them peace in their final days. In the name of the limitless love of Christ, I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[God has sympathy for us, for He has suffered torture and death.]


Blessing for the Day

Oh God, hold me in the palm of your hand. I pray that you will mold me into what you want me to be. May I joyfully fill the role you have given to me and feel your peace deep in my soul, today and always,

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.



The first page of the Gospel of John, from the <i>Book of Kells</i>, created in Britain or Ireland ca. 800 AD.
The first page of the Gospel of John, from the Book of Kells, created in Britain or Ireland ca. 800 AD.

Worry

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.

~ Corrie ten Boom


Blue Latin Cross

1 Samuel 8:10-22 (ESV)

Samuel’s Warning Against Kings

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.

H

e will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”


Notes on the Scripture

Samuel clearly has misgivings about the evolution of Hebrew government from tribal to monarchal. (A cynic might point out that creating a monarchy will result in lessening the power of the judges -- i.e., Samuel himself.) But God tells Samuel to give them a king, which settles the matter.

A political scientist would agree with the decision; a tribal society in the Middle East was poorly equipped to meet the constant incursions by great nations on every side. Monarchal government was a great advance in terms of military organization and no doubt prevented destruction of Hebrew society — it's much simpler to absorb a small tribe than to take on a nation with a central government, which can raise and field an army faster and with more certainty.

But we are not political scientists. There is no army that could defeat the Hebrews when they had God’s favor.

God had not absolutely prohibited the Hebrews from having a monarch. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, we read:

“When you take it [Canaan] over and settle there, you may think, ‘We should select a king to rule over us like the other nations around us.’ If this happens, be sure to select as king the man the Lord your God chooses. You must appoint a fellow Israelite; he may not be a foreigner.

The king must not build up a large stable of horses for himself . . . . The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

Deuteronomy goes on to tell us that the king must read the Law every day, so that he does not become proud and think himself better than his subjects, and must follow the law to the smallest detail.



endless knot

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“ Terrors In The Night ”

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Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV): For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.



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