Daily Devotion for October 2, 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.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Holofernes Ravages Mesopotamia
So Holofernes left the presence of his lord, and summoned all the princes, and the generals and officers of the Assyrian army. He mustered a hundred and twenty thousand picked troops, as his lord had commanded, and twelve thousand mounted archers, and grouped them into a complete combat force. He took along a very large number of camels, asses, and mules for their baggage; innumerable sheep, cattle, and goats for their food supply; abundant provisions for each man, and much gold and silver from the royal palace.
Then he and his whole army proceeded on their expedition in advance of King Nebuchadnezzar, to cover all the western region with their chariots and cavalry and regular infantry. A huge, irregular force, too many to count, like locusts or the dust of the earth, went along with them.
After a three-day march from Nineveh, they reached the plain of Bectileth, and from Bectileth they next encamped near the mountains to the north of Upper Cilicia. From there Holofernes took his whole force, the infantry, cavalry, and chariots, and marched into the mountain region. He devastated Put and Lud, and plundered all the Rassisites and the Ishmaelites on the border of the desert toward the south of Chaldea.
Then, following the Euphrates, he went through Mesopotamia, and battered down every fortified city along the Wadi Abron, until he reached the sea. He seized the territory of Cilicia, and cut down everyone who resisted him. Then he proceeded to the southern borders of Japheth, toward Arabia. He surrounded all the Midianites, burned their tents, and plundered their sheepfolds.
Descending to the plain of Damascus at the time of the wheat harvest, he set fire to all their fields, destroyed their flocks and herds, despoiled their cities, devastated their plains, and put all their youths to the sword. The fear and dread of him fell upon all the inhabitants of the coastland, upon those in Sidon and Tyre, and those who dwelt in Sur and Ocina, and the inhabitants of Jamnia. Those in Azotus and Ascalon also feared him greatly.
Notes on the Scripture
The passage doesn't need much comment, even though the place names are odd. Basically, Holofernes is marching an army south and west through the areas of Syria, eastern Turkey, and Lebanon. The lands of "Put and Lud" are mentioned several times in Ezekiel. He is destroying rather than conquering; really it is largely a punitive expedition because Nebuchanezzer's feeling had been hurt by rejection of his proposals.