Daily Devotion for February 16, 2012
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.
A nice modern Gospel song with a fantastic bass solo.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Belief is the truth held in the mind. Faith is a fire in the heart.
~ Joseph Newton
Genesis 19:1-11 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Sodom
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, "My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way." They said, "No; we will spend the night in the town square."
But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them."
Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, "I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof."
But they said, "Stand back!" And they said, "This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them." Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down.
But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
Notes on the Scripture
In chapter 19 of Genesis, the narrative shifts for a while from Abraham to Lot, his nephew, for the events of their lives are intertwined. Lot apparently has a "house in the city" and is there when the two angels, who were with the Lord when He visited Abraham, arrive to investigate. And do they get evidence!
Lot apparently recognizes them as holy, for he falls on his face before them. And like God with Abraham, they humble themselves to treat Lot as a friend and let him convince them to stay with him.
Their arrival could only be compared to the nightmare of a criminal's first night in San Quentin, for their house is surrounded by men demanding to have sexual relations with them. Lot does something we would consider almost as unspeakable — he offers his daughters to be raped, if the angels can remain unmolested. His reverence for God's angels is so strong, even this horrible act would be better, in his mind, than to see the angels assaulted.
But the men of Sodom are so utterly debased that they will break down Lot's doors to rape the visiting men. Of course, Lot need not have worried; angels can take care of themselves, and so they do, pulling Lot into the house and blinding the men at the door.
Note that the crowd consists of all the people of the city "to the last man". This is ominimous, for fresh in our mind is the end of Genesis 18, where God promised Abraham that he would spare Sodom if even ten righteous men could be found living there.
These events had repercussions 3500 years later, to this very day. First, of course, they gave us the word "sodomy"; and second, it became part of Jewish law, that ten men must come together to worship the Lord in public. A town can have a synagogue only if there are "ten righteous men" who can be found there.