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Daily Devotion for June 15, 2021


The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon> by Edward Poynter, ca. 1890.
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon by Edward Poynter, ca. 1890.
When one thinks of polygamy in the Bible, Solomon is the superstar. One would imagine that the many women seated behind him are not his sisters! (See Full-sized.)

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.

This beautiful and touching hymn reminds us that our separation from our brothers and sisters in Christ is never final; a loved one from whom we are parted, even by death, will be protected by the very hand of God, until we are reunited.




Prayer for the Morning

You are ushering in another day, untouched and freshly new, So here I come to ask You God if You'll renew me too?

Forgive the many errors, that I made yesterday, And let me try again dear God, to walk closer in Thy way.

But Father, I am well aware, I can't make it on my own. So take my hand and hold it tight, for I can't walk alone.

Amen.

Prayer for the Power of the Holy Spirit

O  Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

Amen.

Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)

May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.

Amen.


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 basic lesson does Proverbs 3:5 teach us?

Answer: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;”



Stained glass rose window, art nouveau

Proverbs 22:12 (ESV)

The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the traitor.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 21:7-11 (ESV)

Laws About Female Servants
W

hen a man sells his daughter as a handmaid, she shall not go out as the male servants do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her.

If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter.

If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.


Notes on the Scripture

We have used the word servant instead of slave today, but neither is accurate. We simply do not have an English word: “servant” is inaccurate, because the servitude might be partially or entirely involuntary, but “slavery” is also inaccurate, because the daughter had rights and expectations.

Marriages were of two kinds, both of them arranged and involving the payment of money by the groom or groom’s family to the bride and/or her family. This seems unthinkable in modern Western society, but it was the general rule in history even for the highest-born; marriages of crown princes and princesses in Europe were still strongly influenced by parental permission well into the 20th century.

Christian family minimalist

The primary wife had more status; she could propose or refuse a match and it was her children who would be the heirs. Remember, when Abraham sought to obtain Rebekah as the (first) wife for his son Issac, his first order of business was to charm Rebekah herself. (Genesis 24:22-61)

Men would often take a second wife when their first wife passed childbearing age or died. In some cases, a man might take a subordinate wife (or wives) while the first wife was still fertile. A few, such as Abraham and Jacob, took more than two. The institution was flexible. But today’s verses govern the potentially harshest case, a woman bought outright as a servant.

A woman “bought as a handmaid” was sold into servitude without her assent; yet she was not fully a slave, as we think of the term. She could not be sold, nor could her children. She could not be treated as a prostitute; if a male member of the family wanted to have intimate relations with her, he had to treat her as a wife.

On the other hand, a servant woman’s bondage could be lifelong, if she was allowed to remain a maiden. If she became a concubine or “wife”, however, and was mistreated, she would have a right to break the bond, without regard to how long she had served. So the rules regarding male and female indentured service were very different. Men would go free automatically after six years, whereas women could go free at any time, but only if they were mistreated.

A very odd fact: multiple marriage is not completely forbidden in the New Testament. Indications are that men with multiple wives were church members. One can infer, however, that it was frowned upon, or even forbidden after one had accepted Christ, from Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians: “Let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” (1 Cor. 7:2)

And while a man with more than one wife might join the church, “Deacons must have only one wife.” (1 Timothy 3:12) This would appear to prohibit divorced men and polygamists from serving as church officials.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Dust Am I”

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Today in Daily Prayer


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1 Thessalonians 4:11-12: Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, . . . so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.



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Jennifersays...

I humbly ask this, where does Abraham seek to obtain Rebekah as the (first) wife for his son Issac, his first order of business was to charm Rebekah herself. (Genesis 24:22-61). Thank you for your help, Jenn

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