Daily Devotion for May 6, 2021
After slaying the dragon, St. George gets the girl! A bittersweet tribute to the beauty of marriage, in a time when it was revered, as a young flower girl hands him a white flower of chastity. On the left, a saintly figure beckons to an earthy couple cutting grapes, to cross the wall and join them.
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.
Daniel O’Donnell and Mary Duff sing this sweet old lullaby, live in Branston, MO.
Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone.
oh, how welcome thy voice,
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.
If, in the dusk of the twilight,
Dim be the region afar,
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star?
Then when the night is upon us,
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over,
Watch for the breaking of day.
Hope, as an anchor so steadfast,
Rends the dark veil for the soul,
Whither the Master has entered,
Robbing the grave of its goal;
Come then, oh, come, glad fruition,
Come to my sad weary heart;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory,
Never, oh, never depart.
Music and Lyrics by Septimus Winner, 1868
Puritan Prayer to be Free of Carnal Sin
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, and tend me this day; without Your restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan's secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps.
Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my own nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they cause me pain; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.
Prayer of Thanks for This Life
O God in heaven, I was born a weak, defenseless child, but your angel spread his wings over my cradle to defend me. From birth until now your love has illumined my path and has wondrously guided me towards the light of eternity; from birth until now the generous gifts of your providence have been marvelously showered upon me. I give you thanks for every step of my life’s journey, together with all who have come to know you, who call upon your name. All glory be to you, O God, from age to age,
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then, of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus 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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What important message do we hear in Ephesians 2:8?
Psalm 10:16-18 (NKJV)
The Lord is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
Exodus 20:14 (ESV)
The Seventh Commandment
ou shall not commit adultery.
Notes on the Scripture
To the Israelites 3500 years ago, “adultery” was more extensive than it is today, because it included marriage to pagans as well as having sex outside of marriage. But it did include the contemporary meaning: A married person having sexual relations with somebody other than his or her spouse. Both commit the sin, even if one is single.
There is no fudging allowed. The Bible does not allow the first pebble to tumble down the sliding heap of sexual morality. If a person’s husband or wife has sexual problems, or will not have sex with them, or is away from home for a year, or acts so badly that the very sight of them is odious to their spouse, or whatever: there is no “but” clause. (Although even Christ would allow divorce of a partner who has committed adultery. Matthew 19:1-12)
The commandment does not deal with other aspects of sexual morality, but it is not hard to find them in the Bible, clearly stated. The urge to sex is immensely powerful and people do not want to hear that it is an offense against God to do what their body is urging.
In modern society, the sliding heap has slid so far that there is almost nothing left. It has been Satan’s point of entry into the destruction of Christian society, his greatest lure to turn the eyes of the careless away from Christ and towards a morality of narcissism. The rationalization of an unmarried couple in a “committed relationship” sleeping together is the little cut in the skin where the disease may enter.
The result? Today, forty percent of all children in the United States are born out of wedlock; to women under thirty, over 50% of children are born to single mothers, and in the African-American community, well over 70%. This is a societal disaster. Children born out of wedlock suffer far greater problems of every kind. Not to mention, the mothers - not having a man to carry half the burden - feel enormous pressure to turn to the government or society for help.
But the dire practical consequences of immoral sex is not the point. The point is: trust in God and do His will. If we truly have faith in Christ, we will not rationalize sin and we will not twist the clear words of the Bible.
Biblical sexual morality can be summed up in three phrases: No sex outside of marriage; no sex with someone of the same gender; and no lusting for “forbidden fruit.” There is no provision for “well, we can make an exception in this special case.” This all sounds rather harsh to the modern ear, but it is what the Bible says and, thus, God’s commandment to us on how we are to live our lives.
There is one very weird twist to all this: Nowhere does the Bible forbid polygamy outright. There is a clear implication in the New Testament that people should only marry one partner (for example, read Matthew 19, cited above) and Paul tells us, “Because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband,” which actually is a hair from saying, “Do not marry more than one spouse.” But in the early church, polygamy was tolerated for people who were already married to more than one person when they converted.