Daily Devotion for November 18, 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.
How Can I Fear with Jesus is a pretty hymn song, performed here in the style of the Anabaptists: a capella in six-part harmony. The words are powerful to re-orient our minds when we feel anxiety.
To Serve God
Teach me, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that I do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
To Overcome an Impediment to Faith
O Lord God, I do truly love you and in my heart want to serve you, I have encountered some sort of impediment — or perhaps I could call it a stumbling-block — in my journey of faith, and I find that I am falling away from my love and service and faith.
I pray desperately that you will help me to overcome this obstacle and find my way back to you. O mighty God, you have all power, and I know you have the power to help me find you. Please dear God, send a spirit to me, let Your Holy Spirit work within me, to bolster my faith and fear of you. Show me the way around this impediment, I plead with you Lord God; for having found you, and having been found by you, I want more than anything else in the world to know you, to spend my time and energy living in Christ, loving you before all things, and serving you and my fellow creatures in humility, in love, and in purity.
By my faith in Christ I dare to ask you this great favor — that you will lead me out of this terrible spiritual morass into which I have fallen. Help me to raise my eyes, to see your Word like a lost sailor in a storm finding the light from a lighthouse. In the name of Christ, help me to find you, for you are my everything.
“When God closes His holy mouth, I will desist from inquiry.”
~ John Calvin
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then, of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus 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 149:3 (ESV)
Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
Judith 15 (NABRE)
The Conquest of the Assyrian Army
n hearing what had happened, those still in their tents were horrified. Overcome with fear and dread, no one kept ranks any longer. They scattered in all directions, and fled along every path, both through the valley and in the hill country. Those who were stationed in the hill country around Bethulia also took to flight. Then the Israelites, every warrior among them, came charging down upon them.
Uzziah sent messengers to . . . the whole territory of Israel to report what had happened and to urge them all to attack the enemy and destroy them. On hearing this, all the Israelites, with one accord, attacked them and cut them down as far as Choba. Even those from Jerusalem and the rest of the hill country took part in this, for they too had been notified of the happenings in the camp of their enemy.
The Gileadites and the Galileans struck the enemy’s flanks with great slaughter, even beyond Damascus and its borders. The remaining people of Bethulia swept down on the camp of the Assyrians, plundered it, and acquired great riches. The Israelites, when they returned from the slaughter, took possession of what was left. Even the towns and villages in the hill country and on the plain got an enormous quantity of spoils, for there was a tremendous amount of it. . . .
For thirty days all the people plundered the camp, giving Judith the tent of Holofernes, with all his silver, his beds, his dishes, and all his furniture. She took them and loaded her mule, hitched her carts, and loaded these things on them.
All the women of Israel gathered to see her, and they blessed her and performed a dance in her honor. She took branches in her hands and distributed them to the women around her, and she and the other women crowned themselves with olive leaves. Then, at the head of all the people, she led the women in the dance, while the men of Israel followed, bearing their weapons, wearing garlands and singing songs of praise.
Notes on the Scripture
Other than their compact with God and observance of His laws, the Israelites were very much a typical large tribe in the Middle East of the day. They slaughter the Assyrian army and glory in the loot. Judith herself takes wagonloads of precious items.
Notice that the Assyrian army is analogous to Holofernes himself. When he dies, it is as if the head of the Assyrian army is cut off.