Daily Devotion for November 7, 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.
This is a soft-rock number, and there are people to whom it won’t appeal. For myself, I think Matt Maher is a genius.
You are not alone if you are lonely,
When you're feeling frail, you're not the only.
We are all the same in need of mercy,
To be forgiven and be free.
It's all you got to lean on,
But thank God it's all you need.
And all the people said Amen, whoa oh,
And all the people said Amen.
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends,
And all the people said Amen.
If you're rich or poor, well it don't matter,
Weak or strong, we know love is what we're after.
We're all broken but we're all in this together.
God knows we stumble and fall,
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all.
The poor in spirit who are torn apart;
The prosecuted and the pure in heart;
The people longing for another start;
For this is the Kingdom,
The Kingdom of God.
Written by Matt Maher, Paul Moak, and Trevor Morgan
All-merciful Lord, have mercy upon all Your faithful, on those who are mine and on those who are strangers; on those whom I know and on those whom I know not; on the living and on the dead; and forgive all my enemies, and those who hate me, the trespasses that they have committed against me; turn them from the malice which they bear towards me, that they may be worthy of Your mercy. Have mercy upon Your Creatures and upon me, a great sinner.
The Heart of a Child
Grant me this day, O God, the heart of a child,
Pure and transparent as a spring;
A simple heart, which never harbors sorrows;
A heart glorious in self-giving,
tender in compassion;
A heart faithful and generous,
which will never forget any good
or bear a grudge for any evil.
Make me a heart gentle and humble,
loving without asking any return,
large-hearted and undauntable,
which no ingratitude can sour
and no indifference can weary;
a heart penetrated by the love of Jesus
whose desire will only be satisfied in heaven.
Grant me, O Lord, the mind and heart of your dear Son.
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
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
Where do we learn that we should try to be dependent on no one?
Romans 13:1 (ESV)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Judith 11:1-19 (NABRE)
Judith Flatters Holofernes
hen Holofernes said to her: “Take courage, woman! Have no fear in your heart! I have never harmed anyone who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of all the earth. As for your people who live in the hill country, I would never have raised my spear against them, had they not insulted me. They have brought this upon themselves.”
“But now tell me why you have fled from them and come to us? In any case, you have come to safety. Take courage! Your life is spared tonight and for the future. No one at all will harm you. Rather, you will be well treated, as are the servants of my lord, King Nebuchadnezzar.”
Judith answered him: “Listen to the words of your servant, and let your maidservant speak in your presence! I will say nothing false to my lord this night. If you follow the words of your maidservant, God will successfully perform a deed through you, and my lord will not fail to achieve his designs.”
”I swear by the life of Nebuchadnezzar, king of all the earth, and by the power of him who has sent you to guide all living things, that not only do human beings serve him through you; but even the wild animals, and the cattle, and the birds of the air, because of your strength, will live for Nebuchadnezzar and his whole house. Indeed, we have heard of your wisdom and cleverness. The whole earth is aware that you above all others in the kingdom are able, rich in experience, and distinguished in military strategy.”
“As for Achior’s speech in your council, we have heard it. When the men of Bethulia rescued him, he told them all he had said to you. So then, my lord and master, do not disregard his word, but bear it in mind, for it is true. Indeed our people are not punished, nor does the sword prevail against them, except when they sin against their God.”
“But now their sin has caught up with them, by which they will bring the wrath of their God upon them when they do wrong; so that my lord will not be repulsed and fail, but death will overtake them. Because their food has given out and all their water is running low, they have decided to kill their animals, and are determined to consume all the things which God in his laws has forbidden them to eat. They have decided that they would use the first fruits of grain and the tithes of wine and oil, which they had consecrated and reserved for the priests who minister in the presence of our God in Jerusalem—things which the people should not so much as touch with their hands.”
“They have sent messengers to Jerusalem to bring back permission from the senate, for even there people have done these things. On the very day when the response reaches them and they act upon it, they will be handed over to you for destruction.”
“As soon as I, your servant, learned all this, I fled from them. God has sent me to perform with you such deeds as will astonish people throughout the whole earth who hear of them. Your servant is, indeed, a God-fearing woman, serving the God of heaven night and day. Now I will remain with you, my lord; but each night your servant will go out into the valley and pray to God. He will tell me when they have committed their offenses.”
Then I will come and let you know, so that you may march out with all your forces, and not one of them will be able to withstand you. I will lead you through the heart of Judea until you come to Jerusalem, and there in its center I will set up your throne. You will drive them like sheep that have no shepherd, and not even a dog will growl at you. This was told to me in advance and announced to me, and I have been sent to tell you.”
Notes on the Scripture
Judith begins by flattering Holofernes shamelessly. We might wonder how anyone could believe such cloying praise, but this was the habit of Eastern potentates and they were used to hearing it. Her speech is a weird blend of truth and falsehood. For example, she first tells him a truth: God will successfully perform a deed through him. Then, when she swears by the “life of Nebuchadnezzar,” she tells bald-faced and even blasphemous lies.
Then she sets her trap. She tells Holofernes that her people are on the verge of falling into terrible sin; because they are starving, they have decided to begin eating forbidden foods and even sacred food set aside for sacrifice and the priests. Some of the people of Jerusalem have already fallen into these sins, and if it becomes widespread, with the approval of the Sanhedrin, God will abandon the people of Israel.
It is a good story, because it is plausible, mixing truth, possible truth, and outright lies—she intends to lead Holofernes to victory, but not victory for Nebuchadnezzar. At the same time, she does tell him sincerely that she is a God-fearing woman and “serves Him night and day.” If he doesn't understand what this means—well, his own pride prevents him from understanding!