Daily Devotion for March 16, 2012
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, O long-suffering Lord, may praise your all holy Name.
A Prayer for Lent
Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of Your Son's death and resurrection, and teach us to reflect it in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son. who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
But what is in the heart of fools is made known.
Genesis 25:7-11 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - The Death of Abraham
These are the days of the years of Abraham's life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, the field that Abraham purchased from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife.
After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at Beer-lahai-roi.
Notes on the Scripture
Although this has been repeated several times, the "years" of Genesis are not the years of the Gregorian calendar we use; in fact, we have no idea what the word, now translated as "year", refers to. We can venture a guess that the word used in the early chapter of Genesis, where men commonly lived over 800 "years", refers to what we now call lunar months. But here, we have no idea how old Abraham was, other than it was considered a "good old age".
It is interesting to see that Isaac and Ishmael are at peace, at least sufficiently so that Ishmael is informed of his father's death and comes to bury him. We so often see brothers become enemies in the Old Testament; perhaps Abraham did Ishmael a favor by sending him away. Ishmael was not where he would see Abraham's wealth every day and feel temptation to claim it, for it is always the human tendency to want what one sees. And even though Ishmael was the eldest, Abraham's designation of Isaac as his heir was crystal clear.
It is a nice ending. Abraham is buried with his wife, in the cave he bought from Ephron, the Hittie, specifically to use as her tomb.
There is no reason given why Isaac chose to go live at Beer-lahai-roi, the famous well where God led pregnant Hagar to save her life. It is in the middle of a desert in the north of the Sinai Peninsula but lies adjacent to the Brook of Egypt. This is not an actual brook, but a "wadi" — a river that is dry much of the time, like an "arroyo" or "wash" in the western United States. Many scholars believe that this is the "River of Egypt" that defines the western border of the land given to Abraham and his descendants by God in Genesis 15.