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Daily Devotion for August 7, 2021


Rosselli|Tables of the Law Moses Golden Calf
Tables of the Law with the Golden Calf (detail), by Cosimo Rosselli, ca. 1480 (Sistine Chapel).

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.

Our “Saturday Oldie” is a wailing Country anthem, the original of House of Gold by Hank Williams, recorded around 1949.



Prayer for Morning

In the morning when I rise, I give praise to my God, who shows His glory in the sun. O Lord God, you are the source of all warmth, all light, all sustenance. You bring us out of the darkness of ignorance and the blindness of death every day, that we might remember who made us and who sustains us. Your sun is a promise, that the night of death will end and you will rise again, and with you, all who confess the name of your blessed Son, Christ Jesus.

Let me remember you when I rise and all the day, my God, every waking moment; and let me sleep each night in peace, confident that I will rise with your sun once again, in the time you have chosen for me.

Amen.

Prayer for a Loving Heart

Black man praying

Lord God, give me a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth.

Amen.

Benediction

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.

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

Where does Christ tell us, “[H]e who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me”?

Answer: Matthew 10:37



Devotional painting of
Illustration of Moses striking the rock for water, Torah, ca. 800 A.D.

Psalm 3:1-4 (ESV)

O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God.

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 32:25-29 (ESV)

The Golden Calf [4]
A

nd when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him.

And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men [three elaphs] of the people fell.

And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”



Notes on the Scripture

Aaron clearly screwed up, but he and his family (the Tribe of Levi) apparently find forgiveness because they were not instigators of the idol worship; Aaron even tried to convert the idolatry into a sacrifice to Yahweh. But they are heartily ashamed of giving in, rather than stopping — and certainly in Aaron’s case, even facilitating — the making and worship of the golden calf. They immediately rush to Moses when he calls for the faithful to assemble.

This is a rather terrible passage, even in the context of Exodus; for it is not Yahweh who does the killing, and it is not foreigners who are killed. Rather, Hebrews must engage in a slaughter of their own kind, possibly friends and neighbors. The Levites must pay a terrible price for Aaron’s weakness, as God requires them to act as the executioners.

agony of Jesus Christ
Agony of Jesus, from
The Passion of the Christ

Two side notes about the story: First, the number slain is “three elephs.” We do not know exactly how many men this would be, but it is almost surely less than a thousand. (See the notes on Exodus 12:37-42.) Secondly, the people killed were probably the ringleaders of the idol worship. We will not get to Numbers in this series, but a second similar incident, much later in the early history of Israel, states this more explicitly. (See Numbers 25.)

Today’s passage brings home one of the great lessons we learn from Exodus: sin angers God, and the price of God’s anger is blood. We really have lost this concept in modern times and, as a result, we have difficulty understanding the Old Testament. But our insulation from the stark realities of life and death as an everyday occurrence is a recent phenomenon and, largely, unrealistic.

God has not changed just because we have become more refined. We need to know the cost of sin, because we cannot fully appreciate the significance of Christ without it. The price of sin has not changed; it demands blood. Rather, the cost of our sin has been paid (in blood) by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Mel Gibson did popular Christian scholarship a great service by depicting the real horror of Christ’s sacrifice, in The Passion of the Christ.

But many viewers took away from the movie the thought, basically, of how terribly cruel human beings can be. This is a hard truth, but there is an even greater lesson to be taken, from that movie and today’s reading both: It is the blood sacrifice of our own sin that resulted in, or necessitated, such an agonizing sacrifice by the Son of God.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Sitting With Sinners”

Current Memory Verse     Remember the Bible

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Today in Daily Prayer


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In the meantime, you can always contact me at my personal email, masonbarge@gmail.com.

Memory Verse

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.



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Pam(UK)says...

Yes I too have same issue with quiz and warning message at top of the page. Everything else working though

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Tom(Concord, US)says...

Good morning, Mason and fellow Daily Prayer warriors. I'm experiencing an issue with the Daily Quiz. I get an error message telling me I've already taken today's Daily Quiz, but I haven't. Also, at the very top of the page, there's a "Warning" about the length of my session..."No space left on device". Nothing earth shattering, just wondering if anyone else was experiencing this.

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Pamsays...

Yes I have exactly the same issue, haven’t been able to do quiz for a few days and also error message at top of the page.

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New
Pam(UK)says...

Yes I have exactly the same issue, haven’t been able to do quiz for a few days and also error message at top of the page.

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Regular
Tom(Concord, US)says...

Good morning, Mason and fellow Daily Prayer warriors. I'm experiencing an issue with the Daily Quiz. I get an error message telling me I've already taken today's Daily Quiz, but I haven't. Also, at the very top of the page, there's a "Warning" about the length of my session..."No space left on device". Nothing earth shattering, just wondering if anyone else was experiencing this.

Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Aug 07, 2021 were:
butch lockhart (11)
Kathryn Halfman (8)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
butch lockhart (9 out of 9)

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