Daily Devotion for March 28, 2012
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
This is the day the Lord has made; let me be glad and rejoice in it. I am the child of the living God, and therefore I can rejoice throughout the difficulties of this life. For although I now see the glory to come only dimly, as in a mirror, this day is precious. Let me live this day as the gift it is, for God has truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see God face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
Prayer for the Departed
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of your servants departed from this life and beseech you to grant them rest in the place of your rest, where all the blessed repose, and where the light of your countenance shines forever.
And I pray also to grant that my present life may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, I too may be made worthy to enter into your heavenly Kingdom with those I love but see no longer: for you are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of your departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto you I ascribe all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
If you are with me, O God, who can be against me? For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
The Story of Isaac  - Jacob and Esau
Then Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not."
So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. So he blessed him.
He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He answered, "I am." Then he said, "Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son's game and bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.
Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near and kiss me, my son." So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,
is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!
May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth
and plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother's sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!"
Notes on the Scripture
As we expected, Rebekah's plan is a success. Isaac, who is blind, is fooled into thinking that Jacob is his older brother, Esau, and gives Jacob his blessing. To understand the significance of this, remember how long ago this occurred. It is a day and time when writing hardly existed in its most primitive form and there were practically no courts. The giving of a blessing was as significant as taking a wedding vow. And it was, as we will see, irrevocable.
The blessing itself is preserved for us to read, and its content gives us an idea of its significance. No doubt it was something that was learned, rather than something Isaac made up off the top of his head. It is a ritual, in which Isaac first kisses his son and then smells his clothing.
He recites that he has smelled his son, and then gives what we would consider a blessing: He prays, in effect, that Jacob will have rain and crops. But then, when he says "Let peoples serve you" he indicates that the boy is to have general leadership, and when he says "Be lord over your brothers," it is not a wish, but a command, like a king putting a sword on a knight's shoulder. Jacob has been declared the head of Isaac's family.
Finally, Isaac curses anyone who might curse Jacob and blesses anyone who might bless him. This is the authority that Isaac himself took from Abraham; Jacob is to be the rightful head of the family, and those who do not acknowledge him will be outcast.