Daily Devotion for March 22, 2018
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.
The soft voice of Stuart Townend gives us a melodic take on the 23d Psalm.
To Live in God's Presence
Dear God, I know you are with me now. I know you are with me any time I call on you, or even think about you. Let me remember, every minute of every day, that you are with me, watching me, ready to help, protecting my soul even when the things of this world give me pain.
Let my every minute be lived in your presence. Let my every action be an offering of love to you. Let my every word be a prayer.
To Be Filled of the Spirit
Heavenly Father, fill me with Your Spirit until I am overflowing, as the sun is filled with light, until it spills out of me and illuminates everything it my path. Crowd out the flawed thoughts of my mind with your truth and wisdom; put so much of your knowledge and fear in my heart that there is no longer room for the seductive lies of this world. Comfort me in my pain, convict me in my transgressions, guide me when I am tested. Fill my being with energy and focus to spread your word and do your will, and, with the salvation of your grace through Jesus Christ, this will be enough for me.
[Using God’s truth to crowd out our flawed and sinful thoughts.]
And now let me go forth praising you, O Lord, with all my heart, telling of all your wonders, with my words and in my actions. I will be glad and rejoice in you this day. I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
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.
Luke 12:22-26 (KJV)
And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.
Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?
1 Samuel 18:20-30 (NLT)
In the meantime, Saul’s daughter Michal had fallen in love with David, and Saul was delighted when he heard about it. “Here’s another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!” Saul said to himself. But to David he said, “Today you have a second chance to become my son-in-law!”
Then Saul told his men to say to David, “The king really likes you, and so do we. Why don’t you accept the king’s offer and become his son-in-law?”
When Saul’s men said these things to David, he replied, “How can a poor man from a humble family afford the bride price for the daughter of a king?”
When Saul’s men reported this back to the king, he told them, “Tell David that all I want for the bride price is 100 Philistine foreskins! Vengeance on my enemies is all I really want.” But what Saul had in mind was that David would be killed in the fight.
David was delighted to accept the offer. Before the time limit expired, he and his men went out and killed 200 Philistines. Then David fulfilled the king’s requirement by presenting all their foreskins to him. So Saul gave his daughter Michal to David to be his wife.
When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and how much his daughter Michal loved him, Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life.
Notes on the Scripture
aul is frustrated in so many ways. The people love David. The people believe David to be a greater warrior than Saul. Michal, his daughter, loves David. So Saul devises a plot, to rid himself of this multi-faceted menace in one fell swoop. How many ways does this backfire on Saul? I can count five.
Instead of being killed by the Philistines, David brings Saul double the number of foreskins required. So first, of course, it backfires because David is not killed. Second, the people love David even more; Saul has actually augmented David’s reputation as a warrior. Third, by enlisting servants in the plot, Saul has publicized his promise. He has certainly increased the talk and excitement about the challenge.
Fourth, Saul now has to cement the love Michal has for David by giving his consent to their marriage. And fifth, he has now taken David for a son-in-law.
If you will excuse the five-dollar word, Saul has enabled David’s “optative affiliation” with him, the King of Israel. This practice allowed married couples of the time to choose affiliation with either of their families, and they usually chose the family with the higher prestige, power, or wealth. It was a form of adoption that enabled a husband to stand in for his wife and inherit from her father. Saul has, in effect, put David in line to inherit the throne as Saul’s heir!
Not that it matters in reality, for God has anointed David to be king. But the irony of Saul himself making David a lineal heir (even though second-in-line behind Saul’s own son) is thick.
Another irony is apparent to those who know much about the life of David; for David will ultimately imitate Saul, by sending Uriah the Hittite into battle to be killed, solely to make Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, a widow.