Daily Devotion for November 14, 2011
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
To turn one away from the snares of death.
Romans 10:18-21 (ESV)
The Deafness of Israel
But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for
But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
But of Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."
Notes on the Scripture
We have all known experts to be wrong, unable to see the obvious because of their preconceptions, or perhaps some rigid pride that tells them they can't be wrong. French generals at the beginning of World War 2 were positive that tanks could not get through the Ardennes Forest, and they lost their country because of it.
The experts about God in 30 A.D. were the Jews, who had been carrying the torch of monotheism — with the sanction of God Himself — for thousands of years. But they became so engrained in their thinking and so convinced of their inherent righteousness that they became deaf and blind to anything they had not heard before. Many of them couldn't grasp either the significance of Christ, or the words he spoke.
Here, Paul first addresses the idea that the Jews have some sort of excuse for not understanding Christ. The proof against them lies in the very Bible they revere, the prophets and poets of the Old Testament. Neither they nor anybody else has the excuse of ignorance for denying Christ; they are driven to perfidy not by ignorance, but by disobedience and pride. Just as Isaiah prophesied "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people" (Isaiah 65:2).
Instead of the experts, it is the fools who are being saved by Christ: most of them are Gentiles, those who do not pretend to know anything about God and are eager to learn. Paul's lesson here is another variation of the "come unto me as little children" theme. We must always be open-minded and eager to learn, for no matter who we are, God has many things to tell us that we do not know.
As we learn more about God, we have a tendency to close our ears. There are good reasons for this. We hear things spoken about Christ and the Bible we know not to be true, or we hear things we have heard so many times before that we are not interested in hearing them yet again. Our natural tendency is not to pay attention to anything we have not already learned.
But there is always something new to learn. And our minds are full of tricks. Our base nature will constantly throw up false arguments to whittle away at our knowledge of God. Even what we have heard before, we need to hear again, because our minds will lead us astray if we do not reinforce our knowledge of Christ and His message constantly.