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Saturday, September 26, 2020
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Evening Devotion for February 13, 2020

<i>Death on a Pale Horse</i> by William Turner, ca. 1825.
Death on a Pale Horse by William Turner, ca. 1825. The great British master depicts the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse not as a triumphant, upright figure astride his horse, but as a phantom emerging from a turbulent mist: his skeletal form, arms outstretched, and draped submissively over the horse’s pale back. (Revelation 6:8)



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Lord’s Prayer

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.


Read about this remarkable woman and the equally remarkable song. It was nominated for “best song” in the Academy Awards of 2014, but unfortunately was later disqualified.

Prayer for the Evening

O  Lord Jesus Christ, whose unwearied eye neither slumbers nor sleeps, but continually watches in defense of your servants; take me and mine, I beseech you, into you protection, and grant, that while my body is asleep, my soul may be awake to you, and that I may hereafter behold you in that blessed and heavenly country, where you, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, rules eternally, and where all the angels, with the blessed saints, are citizens forever.


Prayer for Christ to be with Us

Christ medallion

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us,
    wherever He may send us.

May He guide us through the wilderness,
protect us through the storm.

May He bring us home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown us.

May He bring us home rejoicing
once again into our doors.


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

What Bible verse assures us that all of the suffering in this life will be, in effect, “worth it”?

Answer: Romans 8:18
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

<i>Church on Spilled Blood</i> in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Church on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia. This magnificent ornate Orthodox cathedral was built on the site of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II.

On Eagles’ Wings

Law demands—grace gives.
Law says “do”—grace says “believe.”
Law exacts—grace bestows.
Law says “work”—grace says “rest.”
Law threatens, pronouncing a curse—grace entreats, pronouncing a blessing.
Law says “Do, and thou shalt live”—grace says, “Live, and thou shalt do.”
Law condemns the best man—grace saves the worst man.

~ Anonymous

Blue Latin Cross

1 Kings 2:36-46 (ESV)

The Story of Solomon (7) — Shimei

hen the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there to any place whatever. For on the day you go out and cross the brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall die. Your blood shall be on your own head.” And Shimei said to the king, “What you say is good; as my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.

But it happened at the end of three years that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Gath. Shimei arose and saddled a donkey and went to Gath to seek his servants.

And when Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, the king sent and summoned Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you go out and go to any place whatever, you shall die?’”

The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your own heart all the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will bring back your harm on your own head. But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” Then the king commanded Benaiah, and he went out and struck him down, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.

Notes on the Scripture

Shimei is the last of the people David commanded Solomon to bring to justice, in order to settle David’s personal scores. If you read the story of David and Shimei, it seems rather fantastic that David allowed him to live. (2 Samuel 16:5-14, 19:16-23.) David had taken an oath not to kill Shimei, but the oath did not bind Solomon, and as his father commanded, he devised a scheme that effectively gave Shimei enough rope to hang himself.

Roosters fighting from illuminated Bible

This passage ends with the line, “So the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon,” which seems to imply that he was obligated to take care of these matters before his kingship was established. Perhaps Joab and Adonijah had to be killed in order to stabilize his political situation, as they were a threat to overthow him. But Shimei had notably not sided with Adonijah (1 Kings 1:8). So why does Solomon have to kill him before he is accorded the notation that his kingdom was established?

It reminds us that Solomon’s kingship was special and was not established by political power, but by God. There is no record of Solomon taking an oath to carry out David’s wishes, but apparently, David’s words — whether as Solomon’s father or as the King — were binding before God. So before Solomon could be established as the divinely anointed king, he was obligated to effectuate them.

There is another indication to the same effect; the lines about Solomon being blessed by killing Shimei, and the throne of David being established by Shimei’s execution, indicate divine will that Shimei die.

General Note on Kings and Chronicles

We are following the book Christians call 1 and 2 Kings, but the story of Solomon and his successors is actually told twice in the Bible, the other book being 2 Chronicles. (1 Chronicles begins with 11 chapters of genealogy; the rest is a milder and less detailed account of David’s kingship.)

David anointed king

2 Chronicles covers a period of time roughly identical to 1 and 2 Kings. We will look in on 2 Chronicles from time to time, as its viewpoint is quite different from 1 and 2 Kings. Kings is a general political history, with interesting non-historical inclusions; its thematic emphasis is, first, the degree to which the Jews obeyed God’s will and kept the law of Moses; and second, the effect that obedience and disobedience to God had upon the success and failure of the Hebrew nation. It is by far the superior account.

Chronicles, placed immediately after Kings in our Bible, is out of order: it was the last book written in the Old Testament. It is a retrospective look at the events with an eye to improving morale among the Hebrew people. It accordingly leaves out a lot of detail that Jewish leaders of 500 B.C. were not anxious to remember. But it has a different theological focus that more directly feeds into the New Testament, and a few details that Kings omits, so we will visit it on occasion.

endless knot

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“Poem of Love”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Deuteronomy 10:17-19: The Lord your God . . . loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Feb 12, 2020 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Gary Merriman (12)
Pam Carpenter (10)
Christine Phillips (10)
Norman Daniels (10)
Donna Williams (10)
randall martin (10)
Shirley Coker (10)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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