July 24 Devotional (2021)

But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!”…..

A prayer inspired by Thomas à Kempis, Priest and Teacher of the Faith, who the Church remembers on July 21st

Holy Father, who hast nourished and strengthened thy Church by The writings of thy servant Thomas a Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what we ought to know, to love what we ought to love, to praise what highly pleaseth thee, and always to seek to know and follow thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

July 24, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:    2 Kings 3:4-20 / 2 Kings 4:38-41 / John 4:31-38


The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: 

Come let us adore him.

Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us: For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

A Poem

“The Divine Image” by William Blake

A Poem by William Blake

Text [1]:

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love 

All pray in their distress; 

And to these virtues of delight 

Return their thankfulness. 

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love 

Is God, our Father dear, 

And Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love 

Is man, His child and care. 

For Mercy has a human heart, 

Pity a human face, 

And Love, the human form divine, 

And Peace the human dress. 

Then every man, of every clime, 

That prays in his distress, 

Prays to the human form divine, 

Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace. 

And all must love the human form, 

In heathen, Turk, or Jew; 

Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell 

There God is dwelling too.

Morning Prayer

O Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, you enlighten the day. Do not take the light of lights, your loving-kindness, from us. Restore to us the joy of your salvation, and strengthen us with a perfect spirit, that the morning star may arise in our hearts; through you, Jesus Christ, who reigns forever. Amen. 

  • Antiphonary of Bangor, Collect at Prime #122 [2]
  • Short Verse

    Make me understand the way of your commandments,* that I may meditate on your marvelous works. 

    Psalm 119:27
    Painting by Jules de Balincourt

    Morning Reading: 2 Kings 3:4-20

    Elisha and the miracle of water

    4 Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. 5 But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. 7 And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to battle against Moab?” And he said, “I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 8 Then he said, “By which way shall we march?” Jehoram answered, “By the way of the wilderness of Edom.”

    9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! The LORD has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 11 And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, through whom we may inquire of the LORD?” Then one of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the LORD is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

    13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is the LORD who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 14 And Elisha said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him. 16 And he said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I will make this dry streambed full of pools.’ 17 For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ 18 This is a light thing in the sight of the LORD. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, 19 and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water and ruin every good piece of land with stones.” 20 The next morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came from the direction of Edom, till the country was filled with water.

    Morning Lesson

    The decline of true worship

    “Israel and Judah held some of the most fertile land and strategic positions in the ancient Near East. It is no wonder that neighboring nations like Moab envied them and constantly attempted to seize the land. Moab lay just southeast of Israel. The country had been under Israel’s control for some time due to Ahab’s strong military leadership. When Ahab died, Mesha, the Moabite king, took the opportunity to rebel. While Israel’s next king, Ahaziah, did nothing about the revolt, his successor, Jehoram, decided to take action. He joined forces with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and went to fight the Moabites. Together, Israel and Judah brought the Moabites to the brink of surrender. But when they saw the Moabite king sacrifice his own son and successor (3:27), they withdrew even though they had won the battle. Moab fought many other battles with both Israel and Judah. Some of them, in fact, were recorded by Mesha (c. 840 B.C.), who carved his exploits on a plaque called the Moabite Stone (discovered in 1868).” [3]

    Edom (verse 9), “was under Judah’s control at this time; thus, they marched with Judah and Israel, making it an alliance of three kings.” [4]

    In verse 15, Elisha said now bring me a musician. “In Old Testament times music often accompanied the giving of prophecy (1 Chronicles 25:1).” [5]

    “Jehoshaphat’s request for a ‘prophet of the LORD’ [vv. 11-20] shows how true worship and religious experience in both Israel and Judah had declined. In David’s day, both the high priest and the prophets gave the king advice. But most of the priests had left Israel (see the first note on 1 Kings 17:1), and God’s prophets were seen as messengers of doom (1 Kings 22:18). This miracle predicted by Elisha affirmed God’s power and authority and validated Elisha’s ministry. In 2 Chronicles 18, King Jehoshaphat of Judah and King Ahab of Israel gave the prophet Micaiah a similar request. But they ignored God’s advice—with disastrous results.” [6]

    Midday Prayer

    A Prayer of Self-Dedication

    Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to thee, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly thine, utterly dedicated unto thee; and then use us, we pray thee, as thou wilt, and always to thy glory and the welfare of thy people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. [7]

    Short Verse

    Open my eyes, that I may see* the wonders of your law. I am a stranger here on earth;* do not hide your commandments from me. My soul is consumed at all times* with longing for your judgments. 

    Psalm 119:18-20
    Watercolor drawing Cooking in a Pot by John White (created 1585-1586)

    Midday Reading: 2 Kings 4:38-41

    Elisha purifies the pot of stew

    38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39 One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40 And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. 41 He said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour some out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot.

    Midday Lesson

    Miracle with flour

    Gilgal (verse 38) “was the first place the Israelites camped after crossing the Jordan into Canaan (Josh. 4:19). Gilgal was probably about one mile northeast of Jericho.” [8]

    In verse 39, one of the men found wild gourds and added them to the stew. He had not realized that these gourds were poisonous! Luckily, some of the men noticed and alerted the others.

    To remedy the situation, Elisha added flour to the stew (verse 41). “The flour had no magical properties, of course. Elisha’s faith in the living God effected the miraculous cure.” [9]

    Eventide Prayer

    Out of the depths I have cried to You.

                Response O Lord, hear my voice.

                Call With my whole heart I want to praise You.

                Response O Lord, hear my voice.

                Call If you, Lord, should mark iniquities:

                Response who could stand? who could stand? [10]

    Short Verse

    The LORD has heard my supplication;* the LORD accepts my prayer. 

    Psalm 6:9
    “The Beaneater”
    By Annibale Carracci

    Eventide Reading: John 4:31-38

    Food that you do not know about

    31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

    Eventide Lesson

    The will of the Father

    “Christ fulfills His role as Messiah by doing the will of the Father [v. 34]; therefore this is His food. This also teaches us we are to perform the will of God in our lives without being distracted by earthly cares (6:27; see also Mt 4:4; 6:25-33).” [11]

    In verse 35, Christ said, Look, I tell you… “According to St. John Chrysostom, this command to look was given because the townspeople were approaching, ready and eager to believe in Jesus. Christ compares these foreigners (relative to the Jews) to fields ready for harvest. This command is also to all believers to look to those around us and to share the gospel with anyone wanting to hear it, regardless of race or ethnicity.” [12]

    “Those who sow [vv. 36-38] and those who reap are the prophets of the OT and the apostles, respectively [St. Chrysostom]. The prophets sowed in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, but did not see His coming and thus did not reap. The apostles did not do the preparation, but would draw thousand syo Christ in their own lifetimes.” [13]

    Compline Prayer

    THE day is vanished and gone; my life also is vanished, a life wherein we scarcely live. The night cometh on, death also cometh on; a death wherein we shall not die. Amen.

  • Lancelot Andrewes [14]

  • Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers


    [1] Blake, W. (n.d.). The divine image by William Blake. Retrieved April 28, 2021, from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43656/the-divine-image

    [2] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 16). Rossway.

    [3] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: 2 Kings. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 7096). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

    [4] Ibid. 3

    [5] Ibid. 3, P. 7097

    [6] Ibid. 3, P. 7096-7097

    [7] Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings. 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. 833). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

    [8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). 2 Kings. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 572). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [9] Ibid. 8

    [10] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Evening Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 91908-91925). London: HarperCollins.

    [11] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1460). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [12] Ibid. 11

    [13] Ibid. 11

    [14] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews (Kindle ed., p. 2555). Unknown. Kindle Edition. 

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