June 8 Devotional (2021)

“…and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

A prayer inspired by Thomas Ken, who we remember on June 8th

Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Thomas Ken grace And courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us also thy strength that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever. Amen.


June 7, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:   1 Kings 18:17-40 / Revelation 20:7-15 / “Great Spirit!” (from South Africa)

Invitatory

O Lord, open thou our lips. 

And our mouth shall show forth thy praise. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn

“His Eye is on the Sparrow”

Morning Prayer

Almighty and eternal God, so draw my heart to you, so guide my mind, so fill my imagination, so control my will, that I may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use me as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people. Amen. [2]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart:* I will tell all of your marvelous works. 

Psalm 9:1
Elijah destroying the messengers of Ahaziah (illustration by Gustave Doré from the 1866 La Sainte Bible)
(source)

Morning Reading: 1 Kings 18:17-40

Elijah destroys the evil prophets

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

Morning Lesson

The Prophets of Baal Defeated

“Ahab had been searching for Elijah ever since he began prophesying against the king’s idolatry. At great personal risk, Elijah arranged to visit Ahab. Obadiah bore witness that many in Israel remained secretly faithful to the one true God.” [3]

“A contest between Elijah and hundreds of pagan prophets served as a test of faith for the people of Israel. Elijah means “the Lord is my God,” which was the cry of the people when Elijah’s holocaust was set ablaze through an extraordinary divine intervention.” [4]

Elijah’s prayer was simple: “Answer me, O Lord, answer me.” [5]

“Unlike the prayers of some of the Gentiles, who believed that magical powers would be unleashed merely by repeating the correct formulas and incantations, Christian prayer is a conversation with God. Vocal prayer, whether memorized or spontaneous, is a raising of the body, heart, and mind to God.” [6]

“The fire called down by Elijah is a type of the Holy Spirit, who changes and renews us through his transforming power. In Scripture, fire is often a sign of God’s presence, as when Moses saw the burning bush (cf. Ex 3:4) and when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the form of tongues of fire (cf. Acts 2:3). The fire of the Holy Spirit is not a fire of destruction but of purification and love.” [7]

“The order to kill the false prophets might seem a harsh and unacceptable act in light of the New Covenant of Christ. However, it was the prescribed penalty under the Mosaic Law, which represented an incremental stage in God’s gradual regathering of his people under his eternal law and the fullness of Revelation culminating in the Incarnation.” [8]


Midday Prayer

FOR FAITH 

Being justified by faith, we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. 

INCREASE MY FAITH, O Lord; give me diligence to learn and understand the Gospel; open my heart to trust in you; let my doubts spur me to seek deeper understanding with patience; for you have given me a mind to question, time to grow and mature, and you call me to know, to love, and to serve you even in the midst of uncertainty. Amen. [9]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

You are my hope, O LORD God,* my confidence since I was young. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength;* my praise shall be always of you. 

Psalm 71:5-6
Lake of Fire
By Arthur Robbins
(source)

Midday Reading: Revelation 20:7-15

Satan’s doom

7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. 9 And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Midday Lesson

Judgment Before the Great White Throne

“The lengthy millennial period of Satan’s binding and the saints’ heavenly reign (vv. 1-6) is concluded by the release of Satan and the final battle of history (probably the same as that of 16:12-16; 19:14-21). Gog and Magog (v. 8; see Ezk 38; 49) are nations hostile to God’s people, gathered for one final assault directed against the beloved city (v. 9), Jerusalem as the Church. As Elijah called down fire . . . out of heaven on his persecutors [2 Kgs 1:1-10], so here God sends a consuming fire (see Gb 19:24; 1 Kgs 18:38; Ezk 38:22; 39:6). The devil joins the beast and the false prophet in the lake of fire, the second death of eternal damnation, and is no longer a threat to the world.” [10]

“God executes judgment from the great white throne (see Dan 7:9; see also 1En 18:8). The One who sits on the throne in Revelation is God the Father (4:2-9; 5:1, 7, 13; 6:16; 7:10; etc.). However, in the rest of the NT Christ is the judge on the throne (Mt 25:31-46; Jn 5:22; Acts 10:42; 17:31; 2Co 5:10). John I about to show their unity: ‘the throne of God and of the Lamb’ (22:1). Earth and heaven flee away (Mt 24:35; 2Pt 3:10-13) in terror, a cosmic sign of the Great Day of the Lord and the coming of the new heaven and earth (21:1).” [11]

“Standing before God at His throne at the final judgment [v. 12], the dead are confronted with their works. The books of judgment (Dan 7:10) contain a record of men’s deeds; their own works will judge them (Ps 62:12; Jer 17:6). This judging of believers’ works is a common NT theme (Mt 16:37; Rom 2:6; 2Co 5:10; 1Pt 1:17). In contrast is the Book of Life. It contains the names of all saved by grace (see Ex 32:32; Is 4:3; Dan 12:1, 2) – not that they have no works, but that God’s mercy is far greater in comparison.” [12]

“The sea, Death, and Hades – the powers that held men captive – show all the dead are judged. That Christ has the keys to death and Hades (1:18) expresses not His power to put men to death, but His trampling is death by death. The sea as the symbol of turbulence, chaos, and the unknown will be no more (21:1). Death, the ‘last enemy that will be destroyed’ (1Co 15:26), and Hades, the intermediate state between death and resurrection, will end. They are cast into hell, the lake of fire (vv. 14-15), along with all who reject the grace of God.” [13]


Eventide Prayer

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, creator of the changes of day and night, giving rest to the weary, renewing the strength of those who are spent, bestowing upon us occasions of song in the evening. As you have protected us in the day that is past, so be with us in the coming night; keep us from every sin, every evil, and every fear; for you are our light and salvation, and the strength of our life. To you be glory for endless ages. Amen. [14]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

O tarry and await the LORD’S pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart;* wait patiently for the LORD. 

Psalm 27:18
The Holy Spirit 
By Alfonso Garcia
(source)

Eventide Reading

“Great Spirit!”

Great Spirit!

Piler-up of the rocks into towering mountains! When you stamp on the stones 

the dust rises and fills the land. 

Hardness of the cliff,

waters of the pool that turn into misty rain when stirred.

Gourd overflowing with oil!

Creator… who sews the heavens together like

cloth,

knit together everything here on the earth below. 

You are the one who calls the branching trees into

life;

you make new seeds grow out of the ground so that they stand straight and strong. You have filled the land with people. 

Wonderful one, you live

among the sheltering rocks.

You give rain to us people. 

We pray to you,

hear us, O Strong One!

When we be you, show your mercy.

You are in the highest places

with the spirits of the great ones.

You raise the grass-covered hills above the earth,

and you make the rivers,

Gracious One!

(South African [15])

Compline Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep, 

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Amen.


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] N/A

[2] Forward Movement. (2013). Prayers for Guidance and Surrender. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 463). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Kings. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 911). Downers Grove,, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[4] Ibid. 3, P. 912

[5] Ibid. 3, P. 912

[6] Ibid. 3, P. 912

[7] Ibid. 3, P. 912

[8] Ibid. 3, P. 912

[9] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 57). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[10] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1774). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] Ibid. 10

[13] Ibid. 10, P. 1774-1775

[14] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 113). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.


[15] Tutu, D. (1995). Adoration. In An African Prayer Book (Kindle ed., p. 29-30). Image/Doubleday.

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