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Mar 9, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

March 9, 2022
Lent

Today’s Readings: 

  1. MORNING: Psalm 17, Prayer for protection from evil ones
    • Psalm 17 Commentary from the Early Church
  2. MIDDAY: Job 1:1-22, Satan tempts Job
    • Lesson: God is the source of all good.
  3. EVENING: Luke 21:34—22:6, Satan enters Judas
    • Lesson: Without faith and virtue

Invitatory

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

God, our God,

to you we must awaken at the light.

A you arouse us from sleep, 

free our souls also from the slumber of our spirits, 

that we may be contrite in our beds 

and mindful of our duty to you; 

you reign forever and ever.

Amen. [1]

The Hymn

“Now let us all with one accord”

By Gregory the Great, 540-604


Morning Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [2]

Short Verse

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;* O LORD, make haste to help me. 

Psalm 40:14

Morning Reading

Psalm 17, Prayer for protection from evil ones

Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;

    give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.

From you let my vindication come;

    let your eyes see the right.

If you try my heart, if you visit me by night,

    if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me;

    my mouth does not transgress.

As for what others do, by the word of your lips

    I have avoided the ways of the violent.

My steps have held fast to your paths;

    my feet have not slipped.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;

    incline your ear to me, hear my words.

Wondrously show your steadfast love,

    O savior of those who seek refuge

    from their adversaries at your right hand.

Guard me as the apple of the eye;

    hide me in the shadow of your wings,

from the wicked who despoil me,

    my deadly enemies who surround me.

10 

They close their hearts to pity;

    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.

11 

They track me down;[a] now they surround me;

    they set their eyes to cast me to the ground.

12 

They are like a lion eager to tear,

    like a young lion lurking in ambush.

13 

Rise up, O Lord, confront them, overthrow them!

    By your sword deliver my life from the wicked,

14 

from mortals—by your hand, O Lord—

    from mortals whose portion in life is in this world.

May their bellies be filled with what you have stored up for them;

    may their children have more than enough;

    may they leave something over to their little ones.

15 

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;

    when I awake I shall be satisfied, beholding your likeness.

Psalm 17 Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 17:8-9: This should be the careful consideration of wise people, that since the days of this life are short and the time uncertain, death should never be unexpected for those who are to die. Those who know that they are mortal should not come to an unprepared end. Therefore this, which has been proclaimed by the voice of the prophet, should be taken up in the hearts of those praying, so that it may be said, not with the lips only but also with the heart. . . . [W]e are always in need of divine help. This is the unconquerable courage of human devotion, that we always have a protector without whom we are not able to be brave. (Leo the Great, Sermon 90.4.1} [3]

Psalm 17:15: Why talk about those treasures of wisdom and knowledge, about those divine riches, if not because they are what suffices us? And why talk about that multitudinous sweetness, if not because it is what satisfies us? . . . He will convert us and show us his face, and “we shall be saved”; we shall be satisfied, and it will suffice us. (Augustine, Sermon 194.3) [4]


Midday Prayer

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God, we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks. All things are of your making, all times and seasons obey your laws, but you chose to create us in your own image, setting us over the whole world in all its wonder. You made us the steward of creation, to praise you day by day for the marvels of your wisdom and power. 

The Roman Missal [5]

Short Verse

Happy are those who act with justice* and always do right! 

Psalm 106:3

Midday Reading

Job 1:1-22, Satan tempts Job

1 There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 He had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and very many servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold feasts in one another’s houses in turn; and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 And when the feast days had run their course, Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” This is what Job always did.

Attack on Job’s Character

6 One day the heavenly beings[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan[b] also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan,[c] “Where have you come from?” Satan[d] answered the Lord, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan,[e] “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil.” 9 Then Satan[f] answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have you not put a fence around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 The Lord said to Satan,[g] “Very well, all that he has is in your power; only do not stretch out your hand against him!” So Satan[h] went out from the presence of the Lord.

Job Loses Property and Children

13 One day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans fell on them and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three columns, made a raid on the camels and carried them off, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly a great wind came across the desert, struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; I alone have escaped to tell you.”

20 Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing.

Midday Lesson

God is the source of all good.

In Job 1:1-5, “Job is called ‘blameless and upright,’ one who ‘feared God and turned away from evil’ (v. 1). This doesn’t mean he claimed to be perfect and sinless. In fact, in 6:24; 7:21; and 42:6, he confesses his sin.” [6] Herein, Job showed awareness “about human nature when he made sacrifices for his children” (v. 5). [7] “Job recognized the corrupt nature of sin tempting his family and sought God’s forgiveness in case they had ‘sinned, and cursed God in their hearts’ (v. 5). This also showed the kind of man Job was— concerned about his children’s spiritual well-being.” [8]

In Job 1:6–22, “Job’s troubles begin because of a false accusation against him which Satan brings before God. The devil claims that the only reason men fear and serve God is fear of punishment and hope for reward. He argues that men and women like Job don’t really care about God at all, just about themselves.” [9]

Re-read verses 20–21. Consider how Job’s response “to the terrible grief and awful catastrophes disprove[s] Satan’s accusation against all believers.” [10] “If Job had only worshiped God for the benefits he received, his loss and calamities would have shown this is not a God to be worshiped but to be cursed. But Job recognized that everything he had—yes, all that he had just lost—were undeserved gifts from God in the first place. 1:22 makes it clear that ‘Job did not sin or charge God with wrong’ because of these calamities.” [11] “Job did not lay blame on God as we are tempted to do; he blessed God as the source of all good. The Scriptures make it clear that the source of our suffering is Satan, other sinners, our own sin, and the curse creation bears from our fall.” [12]


Eventide Prayer

O God,

you do not desire the death of sinners, 

but you want them to turn to you and live. 

Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature. 

We confess that we are but ashes,

and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust. 

Forgive all our sins,

and give us the blessings that come with true repentance; 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. [13]

Short Verse

By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” 

Genesis 3:19

Eventide Reading

Luke 21:34—22:6, Satan enters Judas

Exhortation to Watch

34 “Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

37 Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. 38 And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

The Plot to Kill Jesus

22:1 Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. 2 The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus[a] to death, for they were afraid of the people.

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; 4 he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. 5 They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present.

Eventide Lesson

Without faith and virtue

“The ‘opportune time’ that the Devil had been seeking to destroy Christ since his failed temptations in the desert (cf. Lk 4:13) included the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot. It was an opportune time as well for the enemies of Christ, who were seeking a way to get rid of him.” [14]

“The first day of the Jewish Passover, which commemorated Israel’s freedom from Egypt, was called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For the next six days of this feast, only bread prepared without yeast would be consumed by faithful Jews. The faithful of the Church are called to be ‘leaven in the world’ whose word and example influences society for the better (cf. 1 Cor 5:7-8).” [15]

“Satan entered into Judas [and] ultimately, it was the Devil who would prompt him to betray Christ to the Jewish authorities.” [16] “Satan does not enter a man except by the man’s consent. The reason Satan chose Judas and none of the others is that Judas had a place for Satan in his heart, while the others did not. Luke’s mention of Judas being numbered among the twelve emphasizes the depth of the betrayal and shows that religious position is worthless if not accompanied by faith and virtue.” [17]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Calm me, O Lord, as You stilled the storm. 

Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm. 

Let all the tumult within me cease. 

Enfold me, Lord, in Your peace. 

Amen. [18]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 15). Rossway.

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects: Seasons of the Year. 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. 217). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Leo the Great. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1549). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[4] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1549). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[5] Tickle, P. (2006). February. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 17). New York, NY: Image Books

[6] Palmer, W. (2018). Prologue In Narrative Prose. In Books of the Bible Study Questions: Job (PDF ed., pp. 4). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved at: https://communication.cph.org/hubfs/_books/2018/Books%20of%20the%20Bible%20Study%20Questions/581802_601%20Job%20201802161021.pdf?hsCtaTracking=8fb7d7e9-9fe1-4bc3-a417-2a869ba0e8f4%7Cb469ef11-ab3a-422d-af34-f55ee0b3052c

[7] Ibid. 6

[8] Ibid. 6

[9] Ibid. 6

[10] Ibid. 6

[11] Ibid. 6

[12] Ibid. 6

[13] Stratman, P. (2001). Lent. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 75). Rossway.

[14] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3146). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[15] Ibid. 14

[16] Ibid. 14

[17] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1423). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[18] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer: Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92215). London: HarperCollins.

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