Daily Devotion for October 15, 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.
Judith by Gustav Klimt
Psalm 119:97-102 (21st Century King James version)
Thou, through Thy commandments, hast made me wiser than mine enemies; for Thy commands are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.
I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy word.
I have not departed from Thy judgments, for Thou hast taught me.
Judith is Brought before HolofernesThe men took her in custody and asked her, "To what people do you belong? Where do you come from, and where are you going?"
She replied: "I am a daughter of the Hebrews, and I am fleeing from them, because they are about to be delivered up to you as prey. I have come to see Holofernes, the general in chief of your forces, to give him a trustworthy report; I will show him the route by which he can ascend and take possession of the whole mountain district without a single one of his men suffering injury or loss of life."
When the men heard her words and gazed upon her face, which appeared wondrously beautiful to them, they said to her, "By coming down thus promptly to see our master, you have saved your life. Now go to his tent; some of our men will accompany you to present you to him. When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you speak of, and he will treat you well."
So they detailed a hundred of their men as an escort for her and her maid, and these conducted them to the tent of Holofernes. When the news of her arrival spread among the tents, a crowd gathered in the camp. They came and stood around her as she waited outside the tent of Holofernes, while he was being informed about her. They marveled at her beauty, regarding the Israelites with wonder because of her, and they said to one another, "Who can despise this people that has such women among them? It is not wise to leave one man of them alive, for if any were to be spared they could beguile the whole world."
The guard of Holofernes and all his servants came out and ushered her into the tent. Now Holofernes was reclining on his bed under a canopy with a netting of crimson and gold, emeralds and other precious stones. When they announced her to him, he came out to the antechamber, preceded by silver lamps; and when Holofernes and his servants beheld Judith, they all marveled at the beauty of her face. She threw herself down prostrate before him, but his servants raised her up.
Notes on the Scripture
The plot thickens! Judith clearly has some first-class treachery up her sleeve; we do not believe, for one second, that she is actually going to betray her people, for we have seen the depth of her devotion to the Lord.
The question is: Will Holofernes really be gullible enough to fall for whatever trick she has up her sleeve? Well, men are men, and as the book has repeatedly demonstrated, Judith was a woman of extraordinary beauty. And what, exactly, is her plan?