Daily Devotion for October 5, 2010
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
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have fed me with the spiritual food of his Body and Blood. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.
I remember your ancient laws, O Lord, and I find comfort in them.
Holofernes Learns the History of the Hebrews
It was reported to Holofernes, commander-in-chief of the Assyrian army, that the Israelites were ready for battle, and had blocked the mountain passes, fortified the summits of all the higher peaks, and placed roadblocks in the plains. In great anger he summoned all the rulers of the Moabites, the generals of the Ammonites, and all the satraps of the seacoast and said to them: "Now tell me, you Canaanites, what sort of people is this that dwells in the mountains? Which cities do they inhabit? How large is their army? In what does their power and strength consist? Who has set himself up as their king and the leader of their army? Why have they refused to come out to meet me along with all the other inhabitants of the West?"
Then Achior, the leader of all the Ammonites said to him: "My lord, hear this account from your servant; I will tell you the truth about this people that lives near you (that inhabits this mountain region); no lie shall escape your servant's lips.
These people are descendants of the Chaldeans. They formerly dwelt in Mesopotamia, for they did not wish to follow the gods of their forefathers who were born in the land of the Chaldeans. Since they abandoned the way of their ancestors, and acknowledged with divine worship the God of heaven, their forefathers expelled them from the presence of their gods. So they fled to Mesopotamia and dwelt there a long time. Their God bade them leave their abode and proceed to the land of Canaan. Here they settled, and grew very rich in gold, silver, and a great abundance of livestock.
Later, when famine had gripped the whole land of Canaan, they went down into Egypt. They stayed there as long as they found sustenance, and grew into such a great multitude that the number of their race could not be counted. The king of Egypt, however, rose up against them, shrewdly forced them to labor at brickmaking, oppressed and enslaved them. But they cried to their God, and he struck the land of Egypt with plagues for which there was no remedy. When the Egyptians expelled them, God dried up the Red Sea before them, and led them along the route to Sinai and Kadesh-barnea.
First they drove out all the inhabitants of the desert; then they settled in the land of the Amorites, destroyed all the Heshbonites by main force, crossed the Jordan, and took possession of the whole mountain region. They expelled the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Shechemites, and all the Gergesites; and they lived in these mountains a long time.
Notes on the Scripture
Achior outlines the early history of the Hebrews, whose forefather, Abraham, first lived in Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:28) and then migrated to Haran (Genesis 11:31) in Aram Naharaim (Genesis 24:10), which was called Mesopotamia by the Greeks. The gods of their forefathers were the pagan deities worshiped by Abraham's relatives.