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Monday, June 21, 2021
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Daily Devotion for June 12, 2021

The Unmerciful Servant, by Willem Drost, ca. 1655.
Little is known about Drost, but the resemblance to Rembrandt is unmistakable. This work illustrates a famous parable, found at Matthew 18:21–35.



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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.


For our “Saturday Oldie,” the Cathedral Quartet gives us a peculiar lesson in skeletal anatomy, inspired by Ezekiel 37 .

Prayer for the Morning

God, let your Holy Spirit be powerful to direct my thinking today, so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. Inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. In the name of my Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.


Lord of Healing

Lord of my greatest fear: Let in your peace.

Lord of my darkest shame: Let in your grace.

Lord of my oldest grudge: Let in your forgiveness.

Lord of my loneliest moment: Let in your presence.

Lord of my truest self – my all: Let in your fullness.


To Put My Trust in Christ

Lord God, let me not put my trust in the words of men, for their minds are weak and their tongues are tainted by the world. Let me not put my trust in the thoughts of my mind, for I am filled with sin and self-deceit; but let me test everything having to do with faith against our only true teacher, Jesus Christ, and the true Word of God that He inspired the apostles to write in the Bible.

In Christ’s name, I pray,


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.


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.

endless knot


Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying,"I will try again tomorrow."

~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 21:1-6 (ESV)

Laws About Male Slaves

ow these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.

If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.”

Notes on the Scripture

Today’s Scripture applies only to Hebrew slaves. People desperate for money would sell themselves or their children into “slavery”; but as we read Exodus 21 (and other portions of the Old Testament), we see that this relationship is poorly described as “slavery,” since it was voluntary, temporary, and subject to strict regulation. Exodus actually abolishes what we would call slavery, as to Hebrews, and substitutes what we would call “indentured servitude” in its place.

(Note, however, that in some circumstances non-Hebrews could be taken into permanent slavery. They enjoyed legal protections greater than Roman or even pre-1860 American slaves, but were nevertheless truly “slaves.”)

Exodus|Pillar of Cloud

The laws about an indentured servant who marries are just what one might imagine, given the marital customs of the time. For a woman to marry a slave voluntarily would be almost impossible to imagine; the Hebrew custom of marriage was that the groom’s family paid money to both the bride and the bride’s family. (Whereas in Western culture, the bride’s family was expected to pay the groom — and the amounts could be substantial. This custom lives on, in the traditional expectation that a bride’s family will fund the wedding, although men are expected to provide an engagement ring.)

So, a male Hebrew slave, who was destitute by definition, would never be able to marry during his servitude unless his employer/master provided him a bride. In such cases, the master would not lose his rights to the female slave or the children. The indentured servant would have to choose permanent service to keep his family, or he could choose his rightful freedom at the end of his term, but could not take with him the wife given to him by his master.

The salient point here is that the relationship was governed and constricted by law. The powerful master could not treat the slave purely on his whim. The law also has a safeguard against cheating; the man who would make his service permanent slavery would have to state his voluntary will to do so in public, before witnesses. Thus, a master could not keep a Hebrew “slave” past the legal six-year term, by lying and telling people the indentured servant had chosen to become a permanent slave.

<i>Tender Mercies</i> by Annie Henrie, ca. 2006.
Tender Mercies by Annie Henrie, ca. 2006.

Daily Inspiration

“Music Maker”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Change of Address

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Memory Verse

Philippians 2:6-7 (DP): Although He existed in the form of God, Christ did not retain equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.

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Comments (1)


I've always been curious about this bit of Scripture. ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.” When the Bible calls for boring his ear thru with an awl, I'm thinking the ear lobe. The Bible wouldn't call for anything drastic like puncturing an ear drum, would it? Just curious.

Mason(Atlanta, US)says...

Without actually knowing, I will say the chance is 99.99% that this is an ear lobe. If nothing else, nobody would want to decrease the usefulness of a slave by making him deaf in one ear! Plus, this self-declared slave is going to have to have a decent relationship with his master. Plus, it would be easier to identify a permanent slave by an earring or hole in his external ear.


Thanks, Mason, that makes sense.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Jun 12, 2021 were:
Gary Swart (12)
randall martin (12)
Kathryn Epperson (11)
Norman Daniels (11)
Keith Langley (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)

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