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Daily Devotion for April 17, 2015

<i>Moses</i> by Ruth Rose Starr, ca. 1935.
Moses by Ruth Rose Starr, ca. 1935.



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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 to Bear Witness Before the World

Let all who take refuge in you rejoice, O Lord. Let us ever sing for joy. Let those who confess your name raise up their voice, filling the air with glorious noise. Spread your protection over us, mighty God, that we who love your name may exalt you before all the people of the earth. Let the quiet and the shy find their courage so that they may sing and shout to the sky, “There is one great God who rules over us all, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His only Son”.

May I be blessed to help the blind see your glory and the deaf hear your praise, lest they surely die. For they must be told: Every heart will find righteousness and eternal life in the holy name of Christ, and nowhere else. Make me your trumpet, make me your lighthouse; let me proclaim to the very end of the earth, that Christ is King!


To Receive God

God, of your goodness give me yourself for you are sufficient for me. I cannot properly ask anything less, to be worthy of you. If I were to ask less, I should always be in want. In you alone do I have all.


Prayer of St. Augustine

Look upon me, O Lord, and let all the darkness of my soul vanish before the beams of thy brightness. Fill me with holy love, and open to me the treasures of thy wisdom. All my desire is known unto thee; therefore perfect what thou hast begun, and what thy Spirit has awakened me to ask in prayer.

I seek thy face. Turn thy face unto me and show me thy glory. Then shall my longing be satisfied, and my peace shall be perfect.



[On earth as it is in heaven.]


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!


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.

Jacob and Esau by George Frederick Watts, ca. 1878. The ultimate “inheritance gone wrong”.

Genesis 46:1-4 (ESV)

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”

Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.”

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 4:1-3 (DP Bible)

Christians as Heirs (Galatians #40)

1-2 You should not be surprised that, although heirs, you were subject to a guardian in your childhood, for this happens to all heirs. No matter how mighty the title or how great the fortune a child might be destined to inherit, he is disciplined by adults who might be far below his eventual station in life: teachers, tutors, coaches, and such. So no matter how much money or power he will inherit, in some sense he is no better than a servant during his childhood. He is bossed about, coerced to do what others want, and sometimes punished for disobedience.

3 And so it was with us. While we were “children” we were subordinate to the Law. It taught us and chastised us, but it did not bring us into our inheritance.

Verbatim Bible

1 And I say, for so much time the heir child is, not-at-all he differs of slave a Translators imply the word despite here, so that the sentence makes sense; there is no grammatical clue. Perhaps a word was lost over the years. lord of all being,

2 but under guardians is and stewards until the appointed-time of the father.

3 And just so we, when we were children, under bUnder can mean physically under, or subordinate to, just as in English. the elements of the universe cThe meaning of this expression is heavily disputed. It has a range of meaning similar to English “elements”, but has also been taken by scholars to mean a) elemental religions (i.e. more primitive pre-Christian religions, including Judaism and pointedly the Mosaic law); b) elemental spirits, the gods of ancient religions corresponding to earth, air, fire and water; c) stars in the sky and/or the zodiac. All of these are reasonably well attested and should be taken seriously. I take the simplest choice, a person responding to the “elements of nature” before knowing God, a person who reacts only to the visible world, as this is the plain lexical meaning, and the reader may supply the interpretation. we were enslaved

DP Parallel Bible (3-Column) - Galatians 4

About the Daily Prayer BibleThe “Daily Prayer Bible” is a paraphrase translation. This means accuracy to the original text has been sacrificed, to make it more readable and readily understood. This is especially useful in the Epistles of Paul. Verses are often out of order and often explanatory matter is included in the actual translation.

It is part of a larger work, DP 3-Column Bible, a Bible translation with 3 different levels of literal accuracy, which you can access by clicking the link at the bottom of the Scripture section. We call the most readable and least accurate translation the “Daily Prayer Bible”. The middle translation (“The American Bible”) is what is called a “literal” translation, accurate to the original text but using English grammar and idioms.

The third translation is a unique transliterative text, called “Verbatim Bible”, that has an unparalleled degree of accuracy but is not readable except with difficulty. It gives the non-Greek-reading user the ability to see the inaccuracies and ambiguities that become invisible in even the best so-called “literal” translations, such as the NASB or our own American Bible.

Notes on the Scripture

The chapters breaks in the Bible were created by a man named Stephen Langton, who was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1207-1228. The Bible he used was, of course, the Latin Vulgate, but English can claim half the credit: The Wycliffe English Bible of 1382 was the first Bible to use this system of Langton's .

Wolf reading, from an illuminated Bible.

Unfortunately, if seems that his primary concern was that the chapters be roughly uniform in length, rather than be divided logically. It would surely be changed today, except that nobody wants to lose contact with the vast body of literature from the past centuries; imagine trying to read C. S. Lewis and, every time he cites the Bible, having to look in a concordance to find the new chapter and verse.

Anyway, coming to the point of all this, Langton made a particular mess of dividing Galatians 3 and 4. The paragraph beginning Chapter 4 is so closely tied to the last paragraph of Galatians 3 that they need to be read together, as part of the same topic.

Today's verses flesh out the argument about the Law acting as a guardian and/or mentor for humanity; the Law is no more an end in itself than high school. It is very similar to a school or academy from which God always intended us to graduate, although the emphasis is on moral and behavioral training rather than academic training. Paul does approximately what we did in the last part of Ch. 3, comparing the guardianship of a minor, and thus the Jews under the Law of Moses, to a modern-day school.

But there is an odd twist to his argument: it really reflects neither Judaism nor Greek culture, but Roman law. In Rome, a male child was assigned to a tutor until the age of fourteen and then a “curator” until he reached 25. And while none of these cultures would execute an inheritance until the father died and the will was read, Romans would often gain a great deal of both power and wealth during their lives.

But even Roman law is a bad fit for the example, leading us to the events Paul really brings to mind when he speaks of slavery, inheritance and redemption: The sending of Jacob (Israel) into Egypt and then, centuries later, the greater second exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. In both cases this involved a release from slavery (much more so in Moses' case than Jacob's and Joseph's) and God's powerful affirmation of their status as His children.

endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Who Am I?”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 22:37-40: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

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