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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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Daily Devotion for July 15, 2020

<i>Tobit Burying the Dead</i> by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1640.
Tobit Burying the Dead by Andrea di Lione, ca. 1640. As we shall see, Tobit was a favorite subject of the 17th century masters.



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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.


Even though I speak not one word of Russian, I sang in the Yale Russian Chorus for two years just because I loved the music so much (it was quite a task memorizing all the words). This haunting Alleluja was part of our sacred repertory. It moves me so deeply that it is virtually proof of God's existence.

“Allelujah. Blessed are they whom Thou hast chosen and taken unto Thyself, O Lord. Their memory is from generation to generation, and in paradise will dwell their souls. Allelujah.”

Prayer of Resolve

Blessed Jesus, my Savior and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve — and will try this day with my full heart — to imitate Your example, to be like You: mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and kind. I will redouble my efforts to see Your image in all those I meet and deal with this day — not only people I like — and to be as helpful to them as I would be to You. I resolve to avoid this day all those sins which I have committed heretofore and which I now sincerely desire to give up forever.


To Witness to Christ

Heavenly Father, Christ left with us his instructions to spread the gospel into every nook and cranny of the world, to let others know about him and find him, to save their souls and bring them into true peace and your ultimate purpose for us. But I am so stupid and ignorant, I do not know what to say. I am so filled with a desire not to offend others that I am afraid to speak up. It is so much easier for me just to sit back and leave everything up to you, or up to professional preachers. I retreat into thinking that this is somebody else’s job.

Luke Evangelist
Saint Luke the Evangelist
by Josef Kastner, 1906

Help me dear Lord to do your work. I promise to try, but I cannot do this without your help. Fill me with the fire of your Holy Spirit and give me the words and the strength, if only to witness how much you have meant to me in my own life. Give me strength to plunge straight through feelings of awkwardness or potential hostility, and to offer to you just the simplest witness before others. For I know that if I help only one person to find you, it is worth ten thousand rejections. Bless me to remember, that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

In Christ’s name, I pray,



“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

~ John Shedd

Prayer for Christ to be with Us

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us,
    wherever He may send us.

May He guide us through the wilderness,
protect us through the storm.

May He bring us home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown us.

May He bring us home rejoicing
once again into our doors.


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.

endless knot

Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV)

Because he has set his love upon Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.

Blue Latin Cross

Tobit 1:9-22 (DP Bible)

Tobit’s Ups and Downs in Assyria

ut then we were captured, and most of us ate the food sacrificed to Assyrian idols; but I refused, and God rewarded me for my faith by making me an official of the king, a purchasing agent. He sent me to Media at time, to buy goods, and I was able to set aside some money (which was left with my kinsman Gabael in Media.) This is how I was able to give bread to the hungry and clothing those in need.

But the king died and was succeeded by Sennacherib. He did not keep the roads to Media safe and my income was cut off. But worse, the wars he fought went against him, as foreseen by the prophets, and he killed many Jews out of anger. He threw their bodies outside the walls. I would sneak out and bury them in secret; but Sennacherib caught onto me — a turncoat informed on me — and I had to go into hiding, for my life was forfeit. Thus I lost all that I had in Nineveh, and although Anna and Tobiah were safe, we were separated.

Then my fortunes turned again. Sennacharib was assassinated by his own sons. The new king, Esarhaddon, appointed my nephew as to oversee all the accounts, a very high position; and he secured my return to my home, with my wife and child.

Notes on the Scripture

By this late date in the Northern Kingdom's history, no doubt a great number of the dietary laws had been forgotten; but Tobit’s grandmother had taught him the most important one; as idolatry was the great sin of Israel, so eating food sacrificed to idols must be thought the greatest of dietary taboos. He does not speak of what this would have cost him, but at least until he gains some income, this must have meant going hungry much of the time.

Sennacherib, while as wicked and bloody as many Eastern potentates, was a powerful military leader and Tobit was unlucky that he ran afoul of one of the king's few defeats, and that it was in Judea. He came back filled with hatred for the Jews.

There is no motive given for his disgraceful habit of murdering Jews and throwing their bodies over the walls, to be eaten by wild animals and rot; burial was the custom of the Assyrians and a bounden duty of the Jews. To leave Jewish bodies exposed was an offense against God. Remember, in this regard, how anxious the Jews were to get Jesus into a tomb before sunset.

<i>Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem</i>, Rembrandt van Rijn ca. 1630
Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, Rembrandt van Rijn ca. 1630.

Daily Inspiration

“The Great Commission”

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Today in Daily Prayer


The programmer I hired doesn't seem to be doing anything. Sigh. This is going to take a while.

For those who don't know, on July 1, our server was sold to “Hostpapa” and the site was put on a new server. They promised the process would be “seamless,” but unfortunately, the opposite was true. Nothing worked. My apologies for all the things that are still non-functional, and my promise that they will work as soon as I can get it done.

Memory Verse

Matthew 10:37: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me . . . . And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

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