Daily Devotion for December 3, 2009
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 based on Psalm 1
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Grant me, I beseech thee, to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to thy will. Help me to resist the blandishments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which thou hast put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Community of Prayer
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
More of the "Ten" Commandments (King James)
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
3 ∂ Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
4 ∂ Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
5 ∂ And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will. 6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire. 7 And if it be eaten at all on the third day, it is abominable; it shall not be accepted. 8 Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
9 ∂ And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
11 ∂ Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
12 ∂ And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
13 ∂ Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.
14 ∂ Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
15 ∂ Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
16 ∂ Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
Comment on the Scripture
Clearly, this is a different beginning of the Ten Commandments than we are used to seeing. It can be dangerous to our preconceptions to read the actual Bible! Although there may be a lot of material in this passage that we don't normally ascribe to the Ten Commandments, most of it is reasonably easy to understand, even after 2500+ years.
The complete surprise here are dietary and farming rules, all of which appear to be beneficial to long term health and prosperity. Roasted meat must be eaten either on the day it is cooked or the day after. A little bit of every crop must be left unharvested.
The matter of oaths and honesty is quite a bit different from the passage in Exodus. Here, God forbids broadly forbids fraud and lying (although the "one to another" language can reasonably be read to mean that a Jew cannot defraud or lie to another Jew). Unlike Christ's later teaching, this passage would seem to allow an oath to be sworn on God's name.
There is an injunction against an unrighteous judgment, with a very modern requirement that judges treat rich and poor the same, favoring neither because of his state in life.
The last paragraph make "thou shalt not gossip" a commandment! The statement, however, seems to apply to malicious gossip or slander.
The only really difficult statement is the prohibition of "standing against the blood of your neighbor". Various authorities have given this different interpretations. Some say that it refers to court, where witnesses stood, and thus refers to giving false testimony in a legal matter. Other say that it prohibits Jews from taking taking Jewish life, especially taking part in a stoning (the capital punishment of the day). Others interpret it more broadly, to mean that one must not do things that endanger the lives of others; a good modern example of this would be driving while drunk. All of these interpretations have a reasonable basis.