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Daily Devotion for October 17, 2017


<i>Ruth and Naomi (detail)</i>, by Evelyn De Morgan, 1887.
Ruth and Naomi (detail), by Evelyn De Morgan, 1887.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.




Prayer for This Day

Heavenly Father, let me do my work this day; and if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times. May I still remember the bright hours that found me walking over the silent hills of my childhood, or dreaming on the margin of a quiet river, when a light glowed within me, and I promised my early God to have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. May I not forget that poverty and riches are of the spirit. Though the world knows me not, may my thoughts and actions be such as shall keep me friendly with myself.

Lift up my eyes from the earth, and let me not forget the uses of the stars. Forbid that I should judge others lest I condemn myself. Let me not follow the clamor of the world, but walk calmly in my path.

Give me a few friends who will love me for what I am; and keep ever burning before my vagrant steps the kindly light of hope.

And though age and infirmity overtake me, and I come not within sight of the castle of my dreams, teach me still to be thankful for life, and for time's olden memories that are good and sweet; and may the evening's twilight find me gentle still.

Amen.

For Guidance

O  God, be present with us always; dwell within our hearts. With thy light and thy Spirit guide our souls, our thoughts, and all our actions, that we may teach thy Word, that thy healing power may be in us and in thy church universal.

Amen.

Parting Prayer

Lord, pour your love into my heart, that I may love you above all things, and my neighbors as myself. Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.


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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What Bible verse instructs us on the handling of lawsuits?

Answer: Matthew 5:40
“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.”



endless knot

Psalm 98:1-4 (NASB)

O sing to the Lord a new song,
For He has done wonderful things,
His right hand and His holy arm have gained victory for Him.

The Lord has made known His salvation;
He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.


Blue Latin Cross

Ruth 1:1-7 (NKJV)

The Story of Ruth (part 1)

Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem (in Judah) went to live in the country of Moab: he, and his wife, and his two sons. And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi . . . . And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

Naomi's husband died; and she was left with her two sons. And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. Then her sons died, both of them; and only the woman was left, out of the original family.

She arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for it was told in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in Judah, giving them bread. Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.

Notes on the Scripture

I thought it would be interesting to read the book of Ruth. Her name is famous, but her story is not often told. At least the first chapter (today and Thursday) will be presented in the modified King James version, because the language is lovely and seems to suit such an ancient tale.

It occurs in the era of the judges, that is, when the tribes of Israel and Judah were loosely united in a confederacy ruled by “judges,” after the Hebrews (led by Gideon) had conquered the various tribes and villages of Palestine, but before Saul became the first king. This would place the time very roughly around 1300-1100 B.C.

N

aomi, a Hebrew woman, was driven by famine to leave Israel and live in a foreign country. She and her family stopped in an independent kingdom founded by Lot’s son, Moab, on the southeastern shore of the Dead Sea. While she was there, her sons married Moabite women, but then her husband and both sons died, leaving her alone with only two Moabite daughters-in-law who were widows themselves. In the ancient middle east, like many places, being a widow without sons was a precarious position.

She learns that the famine in Judah has ended and determines to return to her own tribe. This makes good sense, despite the perils of the journey, because the Hebrews had at least a rough support system for widowed women. Naomi would have been considered still a part of her husband's family and could reasonably expect that they would feel some obligation towards her.




Devotional stained glass, Ruth and Miriam, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh
Ruth and Miriam, St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh


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Memory Verse

Philippians 2:8: Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.



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