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Daily Devotion for December 12, 2010
13 Days 'Til Christmas
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
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here from so many different lands and languages. Grant the spirit of wisdom those to whom we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may demonstrate your praise among the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and days of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail; all which I ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Psalm 138:6-8 (New King James Version)
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;
You will stretch out Your hand Against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.
The Whole World Will Be Filled with Fruit
In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
In that day, "A pleasant vineyard, sing of it! I, the Lord, am its keeper; every moment I water it. Lest anyone punish it, I keep it night and day;
I have no wrath.
Would that I had thorns and briers to battle! I would march against them, I would burn them up together. Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me, let them make peace with me."
In days to come Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots and fill the whole world with fruit.
Notes on the Scripture
Isaiah is so poetic in his prophecies that he is often hard to follow. Here he foretells the day when God will destroy the evils of earth, with the metaphor of God slaying Leviathan, a mythical sea monster. But in that same day -- and like much of the Old Testament, "day" is used to mean a period of time, not necessarily 24 hours -- God's wrath will end.
Isaiah writes a passage, "would that I had thorns and briers to battle", remembering the time before the day of judgment, when God would give a choice to the enemies of truth: to be destroyed by Him or to make peace with Him. But his wrath is gone, and all that remains is a garden (perhaps a reference to the Garden of Eden) that God keeps.
Finally, Isaiah once again tells us that the root of Jacob will put forth shoots and fill the world with fruit. Jacob, also called "Israel", was Christ's ancestor. He was Christ's physical ancestor, a line traced over thousands of years through Jesse and David. But more importantly, he was Christ's spiritual ancestor, as his offspring were the keepers of the covenant with God described in the Old Testament.