Daily Devotion for August 15, 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 for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
~ Proverbs 15:1
A Light to the Nations
Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth!
Notes on the Scripture
The old covenant with the Hebrews was very much a covenant between God and a specific tribe. Race and religion were inseparable; if you were Jewish, and only if you were Jewish, you could enter into a direct relationship with God. This may sound bizarre today, in a world where we take it for granted that a direct relationship with God is simply a matter of taking His word to heart and following His commandments. In effect, we take Christ for granted.
But Isaiah lived before God sent Christ into the world. Very unlike Christians today, the Hebrews took it for granted that a covenant with God was available only to Jews. Of course, Jews could break the covenant and fall from God's grace, but the point here is that Gentiles did not even have the option. Just as we take Christ for granted today, the Hebrews took it for granted that they and only they were God's people.
Isaiah, however, had a special mission. His prophecy was different from that of the other Hebrew prophets in several ways. He directly anticipated the coming of Christ, including some very specific details. And, as shown in today's Scripture, he forsaw that one day the Jews would be a light to all nations, a light that would bring all people out of the prison of darkness. When he says. "Sing to the Lord a new song," he means a song that would be new to Jews and Gentiles alike; the song of salvation for all people, praising God for the life of Christ.
Of course, this was prophecy and described events that would occur only in the distant future. But his mission was to prepare the Jews for the new things "before they spring forth".