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Daily Devotion for June 22, 2022


The Meeting Between Abraham and Melchizedek|by Peter Paul Rubens
The Meeting Between Abraham and Melchizedek, by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1617.
(See Full-size.)

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.

A beautiful arrangement of this classic hymn by Fernando Ortega to remind us of God’s awesome creation. (With Marsha Skidmore.)




Prayer to be Reformed

Lord God, I have tried in vain to reform myself, and I have failed. Only you can truly change my heart; and I pray that you will do it, by the power of your Holy Spirit.

Make me your instrument, Holy God. Replace every prideful thought with a psalm, every angry instinct with a prayer of love and forgiveness. Let the sight of me radiate your glory, not mine; let every word that comes from my mouth be music from your harp and every thought in my mind the dove of your Spirit. Inhabit me, infuse me, reform me, that I may live only in Christ, and He in me.

Amen.

For a Blessing on the Families of the Land

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who sets the solitary person in the comfort of families; I commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them, I beseech you, every root of bitterness, the desire of boastful vanity, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness.

Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the parents to the children, and the heart of the children to the parents; and fill us all with true love and charity, so that we put aside petty differences and act with kind affection and the sympathy of brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Benediction

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

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

Which Bible verse tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God . . . .”?

Answer: 2 Timothy 3:16



endless knot

Psalm 85:8-9

I will hear what God the Lord will speak,
For He will speak peace
To His people and to His saints;
But let them not turn back to folly.

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 14:1-12 (ESV)

The Story of Abraham [7]
I

n the days of . . . Chedorlaomer king of Elam [and three other kings], these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, [and three other kings]. And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated . . . all the country.

Then the king of Sodom . . . went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam . . . four kings against five.

Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.


Notes on the Scripture

In the murky dawn of history, a tiny empire (Elam) has conquered five cities in the Jordan Valley. Today we see these cities, led by the King of Sodom (named Bera), rebel unsucessfully against Elam. Lot, who is living in Sodom, is caught up in the losing side; he is captured and his property is seized as loot.

Omitted from our Scripture today are long strings of names of kings (and kingdoms) which fought in this battle, called the Battle of the Valley of Siddim. Chedorlaomer, the king of Elam, had put together a coalition of Mesopotamian city-states to invade and conquer their neighbors. One of their conquests was the city-states of the Jordan Valley, which had been paying tribute for 12 years.

Assyrian chariot

Today’s Scripture describes the rebellion again them by the coalition of five city-states in the Jordan Valley, led by Bera, the king of Sodom. (You can see all the names, if you want, in Genesis 14.) These were all very early city-states, just at the dawn of the rise of great empires; outside the Bible, information on them is spotty and, of the names, only Elam is clearly known to archeology.

To understand just how small the scope of these early city states, our next installment will have Abram raising an army of 318 men to fight the four kings in the Elam confederation.

The first civilizations grew up around rivers, and the two at war here are no exception. The “kings” were one step up from tribal chieftains, the leaders of infant civilizations which had built small cities, possibly with masonry walls. The invaders came from one of the cradles of civilization, the Tigris-Euphrates Valley.

The Jordan River is much smaller than the Tigris-Euphrates and thus capable of feeding fewer people. It does not even empty into the ocean; it is entirely an inland river. Its headwaters are in the hills north of the Sea of Galilee; from Galilee, it flows south, picking up a few small tributaries, and terminates in a great depression: the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, a great hole in the ground partially filled by water from the Jordan.

The Valley of Siddim is another name for the Jordan Valley, and the “Salt Sea” is now called the Dead Sea.

Bitumen is the same substance found in the La Brea Tar Pits, a naturally occurring asphalt. When it bubbles aboveground, it forms a black, hot, sticky trap for the unwary. It seems rather stupid of the native inhabitants to be caught in these, rather than the invaders, but that’s what happened.



A battle stele, thought to be one of the kings
at the Battle of the Valley of Siddim

Battle Stele, Abraham at the Battle of the Valley of Siddim

Daily Inspiration

“Straw, Sticks, And Bricks”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NASB): No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.



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Judy(Elyria, US)says...

Thank you for today's music it was beautiful

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GregLangsays...

Alleluia!!! Amen

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