Daily Devotion for September 23, 2023
The artist is clearly critical of Solomon’s venery, depicting him worshipping a statue of Venus.
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.
Most people will recognize our “Saturday Oldie”; the original setting was the Abbess giving heart-warming advice to Maria von Trapp. “These walls were not meant to shut out problems.” (Sung by Patricia Neway, who won a Tony for her performance.)
Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for Forgiveness
Heavenly Father, true God, who sent your beloved Son to seek the wandering sheep, I have sinned against heaven and before you; receive me like the Prodigal Son, and clothe me with the garment of innocence, of which I was deprived by sin. Have mercy upon your creatures and upon me, a great sinner, through the miracle of Christ’s resurrection and your grace, I pray.
For Those in Financial Difficulty
Lord God, I remember and pray for all those suffering severe financial problems; the unemployed, the homeless, the bankrupt, the hungry, and those in desperate fear of such problems. If it is your will, I pray that they can find a way out of their difficulties, into financial stability.
May I never close my eyes to them. And may your Holy Spirit be with them, to comfort and lift them up in Spirit, that they might never despair, but find total joy in the promise of the life to come.
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ’s name,
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
What does Proverbs 30:5-6 teach us?
Living in Faith
All day long
I've stumbled from
Worry to worry
When I could have soared
From prayer to prayer.
Forgive me, Lord.
~ Ruth Harms Calkin
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (ESV)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Samuel 3:1-5 (ESV)
There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
Notes on the Scripture
It is a bit shocking, today, how primitive the morals, politics, and sensibilities of the Jews were at the time of David. We tend to think of him as a great king, a poet and musician, living in a time when modern morality began to arise.
But the primitive habits of the Hebrews are the linchpin of the story. For the most part, David has the habits and attitudes of any minor Eastern potentate of the bronze age. He attacks towns and slaughters the entire population, men, women, and children, without qualm. Not only does he sleep with numerous women, but also, the sons of these trysts are listed alongside the sons of his (multiple) wives. Daughters, of course, are not worth recording.
There really hasn’t been much progress since the days of Moses and Gideon; it will be up to David and another son, Solomon, to advance the Hebrew people to a new level of sophistication, but even they do nothing to inhibit polygyny or concubinage. The keeping of multiple wives and concubines will not really end, as a matter of stated proscription, until Paul writes 1 Corinthians.