Feb 10 Devotional Bible Study

February 10, 2022
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: 

  1. Psalm 1, Trees planted by streams of water
    • Lesson: Christ in the First Psalm
  2. Jeremiah 13:12-19, The threat of exile
    • Lesson: Willful alienation from God
  3. Acts 13:26-34, God raised Jesus from the dead
    • Lesson: The core of the Christian Faith

Invocation

O Lord open thou my lips 

And my mouth shall declare thy praise. 

O God + come to my assistance; 

O Lord, make haste to help me. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * 

and to the Holy Ghost. 

As it was in the beginning, is now, * 

and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Opening Prayer

Ever the first thing I say,

When I rise at break of day:

      The cross of Christ I’ll wear alway.

      I will wear it seemly well,

      ‘Tis to me no fabled spell:

      In my Maker do I dwell. 

  • from The Black Book of Carmarthen [1]

The Hymn

“Here I am, Lord”

Lyrics:

[Verse 1]

I, the Lord of sea and sky

I have heard my people cry

All who dwell in dark and sin

My hand will save

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

[Verse 2]

I, who made the stars of night

I will make their darkness bright

Who will bear my light to them?

Whom shall I send?

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

[Verse 3]

I, the Lord of snow and rain

I have borne my people’s pain

I have wept for love of them

They turn away

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

[Verse 4]

I will break their hearts of stone

Give them hearts for love alone

I will speak my words to them

Whom shall I send?

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

[Verse 5]

I, the Lord of wind and flame

I will tend the poor and lame

I will set a feast for them

My hand will save

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart

[Verse 6]

Finest bread I will provide

‘Til their hearts be satisfied

I will give my life to them

Whom shall I send?

[Chorus]

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night

I will go, Lord, if you lead me

I will hold your people in my heart [2]


Morning Prayer

O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [3]

Short Verse

The heaven of heavens is the LORD’s,* but he entrusted the earth to its peoples.

Psalm 115:16

Morning Reading

Psalm 1, Trees planted by streams of water

Happy are those

    who do not follow the advice of the wicked,

or take the path that sinners tread,

    or sit in the seat of scoffers;

but their delight is in the law of the Lord,

    and on his law they meditate day and night.

They are like trees

    planted by streams of water,

which yield their fruit in its season,

    and their leaves do not wither.

In all that they do, they prosper.

The wicked are not so,

    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Morning Lesson

Christ in the First Psalm

According to St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose of Milan, Eustathius of Antioch, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Cassiodorus, “The Man in Ps 1 is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Incarnation sets the tone of [Psalm 1].” [4] Psalm 1 “presents how Jesus lived His life in this world by showing the contrast between His godly life and the life of the ungodly. The Church, then, is to follow His example: His behavior in relation to the ungodly (v. 1); His zeal for the truth (v. 2); and His holy and virtuous life (v. 3).” [5]

Let us pray.

Christ our wisdom, give us delight in your law, that we may bear fruits of patience and peace in the kingdom of the righteous; for your mercy’s sake. Amen. [6]

Psalm 1 Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 1:1, Didymus the Blind:

The devil himself may be called the way of sinners. Let the one who stands in this way be warned lest he tarry there. Recall what the Scripture says: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” [Jms 4:7]. For the one who will not stand in the devil’s way will come to the Lord, who says, “I am the way” [Jn 14:6]. Truly the one who follows this way, traveling the way to the end, will receive a reward.

(Fragments on the Psalms 1.1 [7])

Psalm 1:2-3, St. Hilary of Poitiers: 

Meditation in the law does not lie in reading its words but in pious performance of its injunctions; not in a mere perusal of the books and writings but in a practical meditation and exercise in their respective contents, and in a fulfillment of the law by the works we do by night and day, as the apostle says: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

(Homily on Psalms 1.12 [8])

Psalm 1:3, St. John of Damascus: 

The soul watered by sacred Scripture grows fat and bears fruit in due season, which is the orthodox faith, and so is it adorned with its evergreen leaves, with actions pleasing to God. And thus we are disposed to virtuous action and untroubled contemplation by the sacred Scriptures.

(Orthodox Faith 4.17 [9])

Midday Prayer

Our God, in whom we trust: Strengthen us not to regard overmuch who is for us or who is against us, but to see to it that we be with you in everything we do. Amen.

  • Thomas à Kempis [10]

Short Verse

Sing to him, sing praise to him,* and speak of all his marvelous works.

Psalm 105:2

Midday Reading

Jeremiah 13:12-19, The threat of exile

12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, “Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?” 13 Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness. 14 And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.

15 

Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,

    for the Lord has spoken.

16 

Give glory to the Lord your God

    before he brings darkness,

and before your feet stumble

    on the mountains at twilight;

while you look for light,

    he turns it into gloom

    and makes it deep darkness.

17 

But if you will not listen,

    my soul will weep in secret for your pride;

my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,

    because the Lord’s flock has been taken captive.

18 

Say to the king and the queen mother:

    “Take a lowly seat,

for your beautiful crown

    has come down from your head.”[a]

19 

The towns of the Negeb are shut up

    with no one to open them;

all Judah is taken into exile,

    wholly taken into exile.

Midday Lesson

Willful alienation from God

“Jeremiah’s quotation [v. 12] of a well-known proverb on the blessing of plentiful wine would be met with a derogatory response.” [11] “Blessing turned to debauchery among the leaders and citizens of Jerusalem. The listing [v. 13] of kings, priests, prophets, and inhabitants is a means of depicting the entire religious and political nation by listing the different parts.” [12]

“The wine jars [vv. 12-14] bring to mind a happy celebration, but for the Lord they represented the wrath that would descend upon the people. The population’s willful alienation from God’s covenant made them directly responsible for their demise.” [13] “The wine jars of God’s wrath would be smashed and broken together, a picture of a devastated nation. The triplet of synonyms for compassion—pity, spare, and have mercy—heightens the effect of hopelessness in Judah’s situation.” [14]

“To give glory to God is to exalt and worship Him. [Verse 15] warns of the consequences of failing to glorify God. Four Hebrew synonyms for darkness are found in this verse, deepening the impression of divine displeasure meted out against God’s people. In the rugged mountains that dominate the landscape of Judah, where walking in the dark is hazardous, no hope or light would be discerned.” [15]

Verse 17 may be alternately translated, “If you will not hear it secretly, your soul will weep for your pride.” That is, if you do not read the Law and the covenants spiritually, your soul will be left barren.” [16] “Jeremiah had been told not to pray for the rebellious and unresponsive people of Judah (7:16; 11:14; 14:11), but here he expresses in secret his deep lament for the LORD’s flock, who had been carried away into exile.” [17]

The king and the queen mother [vv. 18, 19] are Jehoiachin and his mother Nehushta, who were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar (see 2 Kin. 24:8–12) after only three months on the throne in Jerusalem. Humble yourselves: Jeremiah advised the royal household to submit to Babylon. Judah had established a series of fortresses in the South that were an important line of defense from the days of Solomon to Zedekiah. They were a source of pride for the military but were destroyed by the Assyrians and again by the Babylonians.” [18]


Eventide Prayer

Let our evening prayers

ascend to your ears,

O divine Majesty,

and let your blessing descend over us, O Lord,

as we put our hope in you;

for you live and reign with your Son and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. 

Amen.

  • Antiphonary of Bangor [19]

Short Verse

Zion hears and is glad, and the cities of Judah rejoice,* because of your judgments, O LORD.

Psalm 97:8

Eventide Reading

Acts 13:26-34, God raised Jesus from the dead

26 “My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us[a] the message of this salvation has been sent. 27 Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. 28 Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. 29 When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead; 31 and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm,

‘You are my Son;

    today I have begotten you.’

34 As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,

‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’

Eventide Lesson

The core of the Christian Faith

“The prophets and John the Baptist preached of the coming Messiah, yet the hearts of many were still hardened, and those who opposed Christ put him to death. With his Resurrection, the truth of the Apostles’ preaching is verified and their mission to the world is confirmed.” [20]

“The family of Abraham [v. 26] refers to the Jews, while those who fear God refer to Gentile believers; thus, salvation is proclaimed to all mankind.” [21]

As in verse 27, “Paul consistently presses the point that if the OT is properly understood, it is clear Jesus is the Messiah. Even the Jewish leaders’ rejection of Jesus fulfilled these prophecies (Ps 2:1, 2; 118:22, 23; Is 53:1-9).” [22]

“The Resurrection of Christ, verified by many witnesses, is at the core of the Christian Faith. The Resurrection is explicitly reported in Scripture and Tradition and is the foundation for the entire scope of the Christian Faith. In fact, the truth of the Resurrection was so compelling that the Apostles and members of the early Church were willing to die on behalf of this essential tenet of our Faith. In the victory of the Resurrection, the suffering and Death of Christ finds its full meaning.” [23]

Compline Prayer

* May God be in my sleep; may Christ be in my dreams. May the Spirit be in my repose, in my thoughts, in my heart. In my soul always may the Sacred Three dwell. Amen. [24]


Citations:

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

[2] Dan Schutte – Here I AM, LORD. (1981, January 01). Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://genius.com/Dan-schutte-here-i-am-lord-lyrics

[3] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Ministration of the Sick. 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. 461). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[4] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Psalms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 713). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Ibid. 4

[6] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 765).

[7] Didymus the Blind. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1526). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[8] Hilary of Poitiers. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1526). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[9] John of Damascus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1526). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[10] http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/56-Occasional-Prayers.docx

[11] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4673). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[12] Ibid. 11

[13] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Jeremiah. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2276). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[14] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4673). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[15] Ibid. 14

[16] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Jeremiah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1195). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[17] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Jeremiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4673). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[18] Ibid. 17

[19] Stratman, P. (2001). Evening Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 18). Crossway.

[20] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Acts. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3358). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[21] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Acts. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1522). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[22] Ibid. 21

[23] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Acts. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3358). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[24] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92266). London: HarperCollins.

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