Daily Devotion for July 19, 2018
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.
Russian Orthodox Prayer for Morning
Arising from sleep I thank thee, O holy Trinity, because of the abundance of thy goodness and long-suffering thou wast not wroth with me, slothful and sinful as I am; neither hast thou destroyed me in my transgressions: but in thy compassion raised me up, as I lay in despair; that at dawn I might sing the glories of thy Majesty. Do thou now enlighten the eyes of my understanding, open my mouth to receive thy words, teach me thy commandments, help me to do thy will, confessing Thee from my heart, singing and praising thine All-holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Prayer of Thanks for Patience in My Tasks
Lord, I thank you for teaching me how to live in the present moment. In this way I enjoy each simple task as I do it without thinking that I must hurry on to the next thing. I do what I am doing with all my ability and all my concentration. My mind is no longer divided, and life is more peaceful. Thank you for teaching me how to do this, and please help me how to show others the way to learn to trust you more completely and to do everything which has to be done at your time and your speed.
For Those in Pain
Holy Lord God, bless and uphold all who are sick and suffering this day. Console them with your Holy Spirit, and if it is your will, bring their suffering to a quick conclusion. In Christ’s name I pray,
May God the Father bless us; may Christ take care of us; the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities”?
John 7:18-19 (ESV)
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law?
2 Samuel 20:1-10 (NLT)
Sheba Rebels Against David [Part 1]
There happened to be a troublemaker there named Sheba son of Bicri, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. Sheba blew a ram’s horn and began to chant:
“Down with the dynasty of David!
We have no interest in the son of Jesse.
Come on, you men of Israel,
back to your homes!”
So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed with their king and escorted him from the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
When David came to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to look after the palace and placed them in seclusion. Their needs were provided for, but he no longer slept with them. So each of them lived like a widow until she died.
Then the king told Amasa, “Mobilize the army of Judah within three days, and report back at that time.” So Amasa went out to notify Judah, but it took him longer than the time he had been given.
Then David said to Abishai, “Sheba son of Bicri is going to hurt us more than Absalom did. Quick, take my troops and chase after him before he gets into a fortified town where we can’t reach him.”
So Abishai and Joab, together with the king’s bodyguard and all the mighty warriors, set out from Jerusalem to go after Sheba. As they arrived at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa met them. Joab was wearing his military tunic with a dagger strapped to his belt. As he stepped forward to greet Amasa, he slipped the dagger from its sheath.
“How are you, my cousin?” Joab said and took him by the beard with his right hand as though to kiss him. Amasa didn’t notice the dagger in his left hand, and Joab stabbed him in the stomach with it so that his insides gushed out onto the ground. Joab did not need to strike again, and Amasa soon died. Joab and his brother Abishai left him lying there and continued after Sheba.
Notes on the Scripture
o not confuse Sheba, the rebel, with the much more prominent Queen of Sheba, who appears later and has a romance with Solomon. Sheba attempts once again to split the nation into two parts, Israel to the north and Judah, where Jerusalem lies, to the south.
David then consolidates his faithful. Ten concubines, who had apparently slept with Absalom, are allowed to live in reasonable comfort, but are confined for life.
Amasa, whom David had to promise the generalship of his army in order to regain his throne, drags his feet when David orders him to assemble Judah for war. David could not have been happy about Amasa in the first place; Joab had served him faithfully and with great skill as the leader of his army. Certainly, David was even unhappier about Amasa when he failed to carry out his critical first assignment.
It is Joab's brother Abishai who gathers the army and marches them out of the city. When Amasa shows up to take over the army, Joab assassinates him, by his own hand. Joab was a tough cookie! Much is not stated. One might guess that David knew about this deed beforehand or even ordered it done, but then, Joab has been known to take affairs into his own hands before, in David’s service.
It is interesting to ponder civil rebellions in general. Christ markedly refused political upheaval, against either the Romans or the Jewish establishment. Indeed, the New Testament codifies this refusal as a commandment: Submit to the civil authorities. (E.g., Romans 13:1) Armed rebellion, even when in the service of the noblest cause, seems always to go astray.
As often as not, it lays waste to the society and changes nothing—the Jewish rebellion against Rome being an immediate example. And even if successful, it is undone by covetousness of power: there is always, in the end, a power-hungry person left holding the reins of government, who is even worse than the predecessor. We see, in our own lifetime, the greatest horrors of history following successful armed insurrection: Mao Zedong, Lenin/Stalin, Hitler, Robert Mugabe.