Daily Devotion for March 24, 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.
Our Oldie this Saturday is a popular song from 1948, Will the Circle Be Unbroken. It is loosely based on the Carter Family's much better known religious song of the same name (which was, itself, based on a hymn).
I am probably one of a handful of people alive who even knows who the Dixieaires were, but I think they were fabulous musicians.
(Notice the old Southern pronounciation of “circle”, something between “sicle” and “soicle”. I had a great-aunt who spoke like this.)
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day. When I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Christian Unity
O Almighty God, who has built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head cornerstone: Grant that all who profess the name of Christ may be joined together in unity of spirit and faith, setting aside all doctrinal quibbling of our fallible human minds, that we may be a holy temple, a royal priesthood, acceptable to you, living in unity and Godly love as you have commanded us to do.
[What doctrinal quibbling separates me from love and unity with other Christians?]
May I go in peace, with God and with his other children, and may we love one another as Christ taught us. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come.
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.
Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
1 Samuel 19:8-23 (NLT)
Saul Tries to Kill David
(As David repeatedly leads Israel in battle, he continuously rises in the affection and regard of the Hebrews. Saul has become increasingly jealous of David and has twice thrown a spear at him.)
hen Saul sent troops to watch David’s house. They were told to kill David when he came out the next morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, “If you don’t escape tonight, you will be dead by morning.” So she helped him climb out through a window, and he fled and escaped. Then she took an idol and put it in his bed, covered it with blankets, and put a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.
When the troops came to arrest David, she told them he was sick and couldn’t get out of bed.
But Saul sent the troops back to get David. He ordered, “Bring him to me in his bed so I can kill him!” But when they came to carry David out, they discovered that it was only an idol in the bed with a cushion of goat’s hair at its head.
“Why have you betrayed me like this and let my enemy escape?” Saul demanded of Michal.
“I had to,” Michal replied. “He threatened to kill me if I didn’t help him.”
So David escaped and went to Ramah to see Samuel, and he told him all that Saul had done to him. Then Samuel took David with him to live at Naioth. When the report reached Saul that David was at Naioth in Ramah, he sent troops to capture him. But when they arrived and saw Samuel leading a group of prophets who were prophesying, the Spirit of God came upon Saul’s men, and they also began to prophesy. . . . Saul himself went to Ramah . . . .
But on the way to Naioth in Ramah the Spirit of God came even upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy all the way to Naioth! He tore off his clothes and lay naked on the ground all day and all night, prophesying in the presence of Samuel. The people who were watching exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet?”
Notes on the Scripture
Saul seems to have a problem with impulse control, among other things. He tried to kill David with a spear in a jealous rage, then repeatedly sends men to kill him, and finally rides out himself, determined to murder David. But, of course, David has now been anointed by God.
Saul is an odd and complex character. Although he has been cursed by God for offenses that are difficult to understand, and often behaves erratically and violently, he never loses his faith in the Lord. There is no hint of idol worship or intentional sacrilege from him. Still, God has anointed David to become King, and Saul, acting on human impulse, seeks to protect his throne.