Daily Devotion for September 30, 2023
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,” I thought we might enjoy our annual remembrance of a phenomenon, largely forgotten today: Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Praise to God the King
There is none like You, my King; You are great, and Your name is mighty in power. How could I not revere You, King of the nations? It is Your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like You. You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You. You are the great and mighty God, whose name is the Ruler of Armies. You are great in counsel and mighty in deed, and Your eyes see all the ways of everyone upon the earth. You reign over all mankind. Nothing is too difficult for You.
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Be merciful, O Lord, to those who have entrusted me, an unworthy sinner, to pray for them. Be merciful, O Lord, to all who ask Your help. O Lord, make this day a day of Your mercy; give to each according to their petition. Be the Shepherd of the lost, the Guide of Light of unbelievers, the Teacher of the unwise, the Father of orphans, the Helper of the oppressed, the Healer of the sick, the Comforter of the dying, and lead us all to the desired end — to You, our refuge and blessed repose. Thus I pray, in the name of Christ,
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 the Bible tell us, “Do not be conformed to this age . . . .”?
1 John 3:18 (ESV)
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
2 Samuel 5:17-25 (NLT)
David Conquers the Philistines
hen the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king of Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he went into the stronghold. The Philistines arrived and spread out across the valley of Rephaim. So David asked the Lord, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The Lord replied to David, “Yes, go ahead. I will certainly hand them over to you.”
So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “The Lord did it!” David exclaimed. “He burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So he named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). The Philistines had abandoned their idols there, so David and his men confiscated them.
But after a while the Philistines returned and again spread out across the valley of Rephaim. And again David asked the Lord what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” the Lord replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar trees. When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, be on the alert! That will be the signal that the Lord is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” So David did what the Lord commanded, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
Notes on the Scripture
The Philistines clearly did not like David’s consolidation of power; their strategy of attacking him quickly, before he could make any further gains, does not seem like a bad idea (except that, of course, they got badly beaten). The Valley of Rephaim, where the Philistine army assembled, is a sizable valley to the west of Jerusalem, and the Philistines would have cut off Jerusalem from the area around Bethlehem by occupying it.
God was still, at this time, in direct contact with the Hebrews and going before them into battle. The passage gives Him credit for the second, decisive victory; not only was the strategy of circling around behind them given to David by the Lord, but the passage indicates that God Himself struck the Philistine army.
The area between Gibeon and Gezer is sizable; David's victory over the Philistines was an enormous boon to him, at a time when his power base was new and still rather tentative.
Note: The term “poplar trees” is a guess, not a translation; the Hebrew word used here is unknown.