Apr 23, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

Cover image: Artist’s rendition of Goliath’s fall (Wikipedia)

April 23, 2022
Eastertide

Today’s Readings: 

Invitatory

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

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!

Opening Prayer

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for that thou hast delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and hast brought us into the kingdom of thy Son; and we pray thee that, as by his death he hath recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to joys eternal; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [1]

Hymn

“Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands”

(1982 Hymnal # 185)

By Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Lyrics [2]:

1. Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands

for our offenses given;

but now at God’s right hand he stands,

and brings us life from heaven;

therefore let us joyful be,

and sing to God right thankfully

loud songs of alleluia! Alleluia!

2. It was a strange and dreadful strife

when life and death contended;

the victory remained with life;

the reign of death was ended;

stripped of power, no more he reigns,

an empty form alone remains;

his sting is lost forever! Alleluia!

3. So let us keep the festival

to which the Lord invites us;

Christ is himself the joy of all,

the sun that warms and lights us;

by his grace he doth impart

eternal sunshine to the heart;

the night of sin is ended! Alleluia!

4. Then let us feast this holy day

on the true bread of heaven;

the word of grace hath purged away

the old and wicked leaven;

Christ alone our souls will feed,

he is our meat and drink indeed;

faith lives upon no other! Alleluia!

Morning Prayer

O LORD, be gracious unto us, for we have waited for thee; be thou our arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

Blessed art thou, O Lord, who, on the seventh day, didst rest from all thy work, and didst bless and sanctify it.

          THE institution and rites of the Sabbath. 

          Our intervals of rest on its return. 

          The death and resurrection of Christ. 

          The consequent absolution from sin. 

          The example of those, who are gone before us to their rest.

     O MY God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee; for mine iniquities are increased over my head, and my trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

               Since the days of my youth I have been in a great trespass unto this day, neither can                stand before thee because of this…

     Be not angry with me for ever, by reserving evil for me; neither condemn me into the lower parts of the earth…

     For thou art the God, even the God of them that repent, and in me thou wilt shew all thy goodness; for thou wilt save me that am unworthy, according to thy great mercy.

                Therefore I will praise thee for ever, all the days of my life. Amen.

  • The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews [3]

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

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and delivered us. Amen, amen, amen. 

Traditional

David with the Head of Goliath, circa 1635, by Andrea Vaccaro

Morning Reading

1 Samuel 17:32-51, David conquers Goliath

32 David said to Saul, “Let no one’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down, and kill it. 36 Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 David said, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you!”

38 Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail. 39 David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.” So David removed them. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, and chose five smooth stones from the wadi, and put them in his shepherd’s bag, in the pouch; his sling was in his hand, and he drew near to the Philistine.

41 The Philistine came on and drew near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was only a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the field.” 45 But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This very day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head; and I will give the dead bodies of the Philistine army this very day to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give you into our hand.”

48 When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand in his bag, took out a stone, slung it, and struck the Philistine on his forehead; the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, striking down the Philistine and killing him; there was no sword in David’s hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine; he grasped his sword, drew it out of its sheath, and killed him; then he cut off his head with it.

When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.

David hoists the severed head of Goliath as illustrated by Gustave Doré (1866).

Morning Lesson

Faith is superior to human skill

David had the Holy Spirit, but Saul no longer did: What difference did this make? [4] “Back in chapter 11 when the Ammonites threatened the people of Jabesh-gilead, the Holy Spirit rushed upon Saul and filled him with righteous anger and zeal. Now Saul trembles in fear like the rest of the people,” as “Saul continues to view the situation from a human point of view, failing to take into account what God can do.” [5] [6] “The Holy Spirit rushes upon David, giving him a holy zeal and trust in God’s deliverance.” [7] “Hannah had already proclaimed how God can defeat the mighty and exalt the lowly (2:4–9). This will soon happen.” [8] “Similarly, Jesus would go forward alone to destroy Satan, sin, death, and hell on the cross.” [9]

“In response to Saul’s practical observation” that David was just a boy (v. 33), David “delivers a testimony of faith in God’s almighty help. He speaks in the past tense of being a shepherd, anticipating a new future provided by God.” [10]

“Deliverance from enemies depicted as predatory animals [v. 37] is a biblical motif (Ps 22:21).” [11] “David sees no greater difficulty in defeating Goliath than in defeating the wild animals that attacked his flock [v. 36]. Goliath can be compared to a bear or lion (Pr 28:15).” [12] “Remembrance of God’s deliverance in the past fills David with confidence that God will not let him down.” [13]

Saul clothed David with his armor (v. 38) “Wearing someone else’s armor imbued the wearer with the owner’s essence. Also, Saul could claim credit for David’s victory.” [14]

“Goliath’s pride was offended when he saw a youthful David come as his challenger.” [15] He curses and derides David (v. 43). [16] The word dog “later became a slur word specifically for Gentiles.” [17] “Goliath does not suspect that this youth’s impertinence is a carefully considered maneuver [v. 44]. Appearances can be deceptive (16:7).” [18] But David’s secret weapon is that “he comes in the name of the living God [v. 45]. He is acting more for God than for Israel.” [19] “The theological significance of the event is that God is the true deliverer of His people. The victory David anticipates will demonstrate to all the world the existence and power of Israel’s God.” [20]

Verse 47 tells says that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not save by sword and spear. This “event would be recounted and recalled in the liturgical assembly of God’s people. Glory belongs to God; David takes no credit for the victory over Goliath… Both Israelite and Philistine armies will be shown the error of placing trust in human devices for national security.” [21] The “point of the OT is that salvation comes from God alone… [T]he battle is the LORD’s.” [22] Martin Luther wrote, “You see that [David] was righteous and acceptable to God, strong and constant in faith, before he did this work. Accordingly, David’s ‘doing’ is neither a natural doing nor a moral doing; it is a doing in faith.” [23]

“David was able to move faster than Goliath because David carried no heavy weapons or armor. David was an expert marksman with a sling, and as he advanced on Goliath, he stayed out of range of Goliath’s huge weapons. What made David effective was more than his ability with a sling; it was his courage and his faith in God. To fight like David we need David’s kind of fearlessness. David’s confident trust in God had grown strong in his encounters with wild animals while guarding his father’s sheep (1 Sam 17:34-37). When you face towering problems, recall how God has helped you in the past. Take heart because God will give you strength. Use the skills God has already given you and move forward.” [24]

A ‘string of actions rapidly brings the story to its climax. Having testified to his faith in God, David makes short work of Goliath… Goliath’s helmet (v 5) should have protected him. He may not have worn it or adjusted it properly. Later Gk artwork depicts soldiers with their helmets pushed toward the back of their heads when not in battle.” [25]

“Ironically, David kills Goliath with the Philistine’s own sword [v. 51]. David’s victory affirms the superiority of faith in God over the supposed marvels of human technology and skill.” [26] “Sin is destroyed by its own fruit and is slain by the death to which it gave birth, as a viper is devoured by its own offspring. It is a glorious spectacle to see how sin is destroyed, not by the work of another, but by its own, and how it is stabbed with its own sword, as Goliath is beheaded by his own sword [I Sam. 17:51]. Goliath also was a kind of sin, a giant terrifying to all except the young boy David, that is, to Christ, who single handedly laid him low, beheaded him with his own sword” (Martin Luther). [27]

“This gripping story of the faith of young David provides a superb example of how God grants victory in the face of impossible odds. It anticipates Jesus’ victory on the cross in the face of all the powers against Him . We are not to place our trust in human endeavors and devices. The message of the cross is that God chose what is weak to shame the strong, and the “weakness” of God is stronger than human strength (1Co 1:18–27; 1Jn 4:4). • Lord God, when I feel insecure, let me cast my cares on You, knowing that You care for me. Amen.” [28]

Midday Prayer

We adore your resurrection, O Christ, through which we attain your salvation in eternity; forever and ever. Amen.

  • Antiphonary of Bangor, 7th century [29]

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 God, you have taught me since I was young,* and to this day I tell of your wonderful works. 

Psalm 71:17

Midday Reading

Luke 24:36-40, Beholding the wounds of the risen Christ

36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”[a] 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.[b]

Midday Lesson

The nature of our resurrected bodies

“Christ’s appearance to his disciples in the Upper Room provided further evidence of his Resurrection. He showed them the scars of his Passion and even ate in front of them. He was not solely spirit but had a material body, albeit a glorified one. This testimony refutes any conjecture that his appearance was illusory or metaphorical and also teaches us about the nature of our own resurrected bodies.” [30]

Eventide Prayer

O praise the Lord, all ye His servants, ye that by night stand in the house of the Lord. With these, O Lord, I lift up my hands to Thy sanctuary, and will praise Thy Name. O Lord, be with me this evening in all the mercies of Jesus Christ my Saviour. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury and Martyr [31]

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 Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come unto you. Thanks be to God. 

THE SHORT BREVIARY

Eventide Meditation

The Fourth Station Of The Resurrection

(From St. Augustine’s Prayer Book [32])

OPENING PRAYERS

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels. 

Rejoice now, all the whole earth, 

bright with a glorious splendor. 

Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people. 

For in Christ’s resurrection, 

joy has come to the whole earth.

O ALMIGHTY GOD, we come to seek the Living among the living and to follow Christ as he goes before us to Galilee and into joys eternal. Let the hope of his Resurrection shine in our praises, as it leads us into more faithful witness and more joyful service; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns in glory everlasting. Amen. 

The Light of radiant dawn streams out, 

And praise fills heaven all about. 

Earth echoes the exultant shout, 

And groaning hell is put to rout.

FOURTH STATION: MARY MAGDALENE ENCOUNTERS THE RISEN LORD 
The Reading: John 20:11-18

Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.” 

The Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name, alleluia.

And they follow because they know his voice, alleluia. 

Let us pray. O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

— THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, P. 225 

Hell’s chains are loosed and demons fled; 

Captivity is captive led; 

The angel crowned with light has said, 

That Christ is risen from the dead.

Concluding Prayer of the Church

We give you thanks, O God, for revealing your Son Jesus Christ to us by the light of his resurrection: Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [33]

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!


Citations:

[1] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects. 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. 172). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal church 185. Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/185

[3] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews. Unknown. Kindle Edition. 

[4] Palmer, W. (2019). SAUL MUST DECREASE, AND DAVID MUST INCREASE (16–31). In Books of the Bible Study Questions: 1 Samuel (PDF ed., pp. 15). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved at: https://communication.cph.org/hubfs/_cph/2019/01/publicity-book-of-the-bible-study-questions/581902_601%201Samuel.pdf?hsCtaTracking=c8ef80b0-e5e8-4628-bfac-91d9fd918a1d%7C75a5cf8d-11f6-4268-8a31-8ad6fcd8c72e

[5] A., E. E. (2016). 1 Samuel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1950). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[6] Palmer, W. (2019). SAUL MUST DECREASE, AND DAVID MUST INCREASE (16–31). In Books of the Bible Study Questions: 1 Samuel (PDF ed., pp. 15-16). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved at: https://communication.cph.org/hubfs/_cph/2019/01/publicity-book-of-the-bible-study-questions/581902_601%201Samuel.pdf?hsCtaTracking=c8ef80b0-e5e8-4628-bfac-91d9fd918a1d%7C75a5cf8d-11f6-4268-8a31-8ad6fcd8c72e

[7] Ibid. 6

[8] A., E. E. (2016). 1 Samuel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1950). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[9] Palmer, W. (2019). SAUL MUST DECREASE, AND DAVID MUST INCREASE (16–31). In Books of the Bible Study Questions: 1 Samuel (PDF ed., pp. 15-16). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved at: https://communication.cph.org/hubfs/_cph/2019/01/publicity-book-of-the-bible-study-questions/581902_601%201Samuel.pdf?hsCtaTracking=c8ef80b0-e5e8-4628-bfac-91d9fd918a1d%7C75a5cf8d-11f6-4268-8a31-8ad6fcd8c72e

[10] A., E. E. (2016). 1 Samuel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1950-1951). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[11] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[12] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[13] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[14] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[15] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[16] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[17] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[18] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[19] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[20] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[21] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[22] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[23] Ibid. 10, P. 1951

[24] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). 1 Samuel. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6039). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[25] A., E. E. (2016). 1 Samuel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1951). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[26] Ibid. 25

[27] Ibid. 25, P. 1951-1952

[28] Ibid. 25, P. 1952

[29] Stratman, P. (2001). Easter Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 77). Rossway.

[30] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2895). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[31] LAUD, W. (1855). Saturday: The Praise of God. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 70). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[32] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 214-218). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[33] 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. 134). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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