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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for July 26, 2014

<i>All is Vanity</i>, Solomon on his throng painted by Isaak Asknaziy, ca. 1870.
All is Vanity, by Isaak Asknaziy, ca. 1870. King Solomon shown in his later years, looking world-weary. Notice the archaic Hebrew writing, based on the Phoenician alphabet, carved in the wall. Of all the paintings of Solomon, this may be the best attempt at authenticity.



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Lord's Prayer

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

Blessed are you, Lord God of my salvation, to you be praise and glory forever. As once you ransomed your people from Egypt and led them to freedom in the promised land, so now you have delivered me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of your risen Son.

May I, the fruit of your new creation, rejoice in this new day you have made, and praise you for your mighty acts. Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Prayer of Abandonment

Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all Your creatures — I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve, and with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father.



[Let Your will be done in me.]


Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.


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.

<i>Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur</i> by Maurycy Gottlieb, ca. 1886.
Jews Praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur by Maurycy Gottlieb, ca. 1886.

Irish Blessing

Wisdom of years be yours
Joy of friendships be yours
Wealth of memories be yours
Fruit of endevor be yours
Hope of heaven be yours
Peace of God be yours.

Blue Latin Cross

Psalm 127 (NKJV)

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;

They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Notes on the Scripture

The Songs of Solomon

Solomon is said to have written 1,005 “songs”. (1 Kings 4:32) What is meant by songs, nobody is completely sure, as most of his writing was apparently destroyed in the sacking of Jerusalem. The Song of Solomon is surely one of them, or perhaps a number of them collected together.

With a potentate as powerful as Solomon, one must always speculate as to how many of his 1,005 songs and 3,000 proverbs he wrote himself, and how many were written under his patronage and direction and then attributed to him. Or, for that matter, how many were written after he died and attributed to him. If the huge bulk of lost work is the same quality of the works that have survived. If he actually wrote them himself, he must be counted a literary genius of prodigious output and talent, especially given his other duties. But even the most cynical scholar must give him credit as a moral philosopher.

Two psalms are commonly attributed to him by at least some serious scholars: 72 and 127. Both carry his name. Another prominent theory is that Psalm 127 was written by David for Solomon, since both the Hebrew and the Greek (Septuagint) versions can be read either “A Psalm of Solomon” or “A Psalm for Solomon”. It does seem appropriate for a king to have written this for his son, but Solomon might well have written it for Rehoboam. If so, one must think he wrote it when he was young and still filled with piety. Also in favor of Solomon's authorship is the style and content; it sounds like Solomon.

It naturally divides into two parts. Part one, the better part, comprises two wonderful quatrains. The first four lines can be read with as much insight today as in 950 B.C. Initially, it applies literally to the Jerusalem that Solomon and David built. There is no human fortress that cannot fallThe inner city wall of Beijing was 65 feet thick and 45 feet high, for all the good it did various emperors.. If there is a central theme to the later histories of the Jews, such as 1 and 2 Kings, it is that their success or failure was determined absolutely by their obedience to the Lord. With His blessing, David slew Goliath; without His blessing, any Hebrew army faced certain defeat.

But its impact goes beyond the immediate, reminding us of the power of God in every life. We learn from it how to defend own “houses”, i.e. our lives, today. The Wall Street baron and the movie star might find wealth and fame beyond imagination; but without Christ, their strivings will become dust, while the lowliest laborer will find eternal righteousness and life, if he turns to Christ as his defense.

The second four lines are pure Solomon; they could come right out of Proverbs. Why tear yourself out of bed and sit up late, filled with worries? The peace of God will take away our burden of anxiety; under His gentle power we may sleep in confidence.

Part Two seem intended for the children of the author, describing how they will be the delight of their father if they follow the Lord. These are hopeful rather than prophetic; for no matter whether David or Solomon wrote it, their hope in their sons was ultimately unfulfilled. Only Solomon found greatness and piety, and the latter eventually failed, to the eternal condemnation of Israel.

endless knot

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Psalm 19:14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

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