Daily Devotion for July 31, 2010
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.
Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord
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.
Psalm 98:1-4 (New American Standard version)
His right hand and His holy arm have gained victory for Him. The Lord has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
Ruth 1:1-7 (King James)
The Story of Ruth (part 1)
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem (in Judah) went to live in the country of Moab: he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi . . . . And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
Naomi's husband died; and she was left with her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. Then her sons died, both of them; and only the woman was left, out of the original family.
She arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for it was told in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in Judah, giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
Notes on the Scripture
I thought it would be interesting to read the book of Ruth. Her name is famous, but her story is not often told. At least the first chapter (today and tomorrow) will be presented in the modified King James version, because the language is lovely and seems to suit such an ancient tale.
It occurs in the time of judges, that is, when the tribes of Israel and Judah were loosely united in a confederacy ruled by judges, after the Hebrews (led by Gideon) had conquered the various tribes and villages of Palestine, but before Saul became the first king. This would place the time very roughly around 1100 B.C.
Naomi, a Hebrew woman, is driven by famine to leave Israel and live in a foreign country. Moab was an independent kingdom, on the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea. While she was there, her sons married Moabite women, but then her husband and both sons died, leaving her alone with only two Moabite daughters-in-law who were widows themselves. In the ancient middle east, like many places, being a widow without sons was a precarious position.
She learns that the famine in Judah has ended and determines to return to her own tribe. This makes good sense, despite the perils of the journey, because the Hebrews had at least a rough support system for widowed women. Naomi would have been considered still a part of her husband's family and could reasonably expect that they would feel some obligation towards her.
First page of the Gospel of John, from the Book of Kells