Evening Devotion for September 10, 2019
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.
The extraordinary positive energy of Alex Boyé pours into a contemporary, Africanized mashup of Brand New Day and Amazing Grace.
Giver of all, another day is ended and I take my place beneath my Great Redeemer's cross, where healing streams continually descend, where balm is poured into every wound, where I wash anew in the all-cleansing blood, assured that You see in me no spots of sin.
Yet a little while and I shall go to Your home and be no more seen; help me to prepare my mind, to hasten my step, to live as if each moment were my last, that my life be joy, my death glory.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the day and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming day, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Dwell with Me
Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when thou art near O king of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.
So dwell in me, I pray to thee, ’til breath shall pass away.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my 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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
In what verses did God tell the Hebrews that they must provide food and clothing to “strangers” living among them?
Psalm 66:1-4 (NKJV)
Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
Say to God,
“How awesome are Your works!
Through the greatness of Your power
Your enemies shall submit themselves to You.
All the earth shall worship You
And sing praises to You;
They shall sing praises to Your name.” Selah
Leviticus 19:1-16 (ESV)
Laws of Moses
nd the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.
“When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people.
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.
“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.
“You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the blood of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Notes on the Scripture
I thought it would be interesting to examine a random sample of Mosaic laws, from the “book of priests,” Leviticus.
Chapter 19 begins with a restatement of four of the “ten commandments”: The holiness of God and those called by Him, reverence for parents, keeping the Sabbath, and not worshipping false gods.
The dietary and farming rules appear to be beneficial to long term health and prosperity. Roasted meat must be eaten either on the day it is cooked or the day after. A little bit of every crop must be left unharvested, so that the very poor might have a source of food.
The matter of oaths and honesty is quite a bit different from the passage in Exodus. Here, God broadly forbids fraud and lying (although the “one to another” language might reasonably be read to mean that a Jew cannot defraud or lie to another Jew). Unlike Christ’s later teaching, this passage might be read to allow an oath to be sworn on God’s name. (It might also be read in accordance with Christ’s teaching, that is, swearing by God’s name is false and profanes His name.)
There is an injunction against an unrighteous judgment, with a very modern requirement that judges treat rich and poor the same, favoring neither because of his state in life. Jurors and judges are constantly tempted to like one party in a dispute better than another, because they favor the poor over the rich, or vice versa.
The next paragraph also reads as quite modern. The United States had to pass laws in the early 20th century to block venal employer practices of not paying their employees fully, promptly and in cash. And here, we have an admonition that mistreating the disabled is an offense against God.
The last paragraph make “thou shalt not gossip” a commandment! The statement, however, seems to apply to malicious gossip or slander.
The only really difficult statement is the prohibition of “standing against the blood of your neighbor”. Various authorities have given this different interpretations. Some say that it refers to court, where witnesses stood, and thus refers to giving false testimony in a legal matter. Other say that it prohibits Jews from taking Jewish life, especially taking part in a stoning (the capital punishment of the day). Others interpret it more broadly, to mean that one must not do things that endanger the lives of others; a good modern example of this would be driving while drunk. All of these interpretations have a reasonable basis.
The laws of the Old Testament get a lot of bad press, from secular society. But partly, this is a problem of people taking our societal rules for granted. Over 3000 years ago, these rules of life were revolutionary. And many of them are ignored today, especially concerning the oppression of the poor (just think of “payday loans”) and the giving of fair justice without regard to status.