May 25, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

May 25, 2022
Eastertide

Today’s Readings: 


Invocation

The Lord is risen from the tomb who for our sakes hung upon the tree. Alleluia.

GLORY be to thee, O Lord, glory be to thee: glory to thee, who hast given me sleep to refresh my weakness, and to alleviate the labours of this fragile flesh. [1]

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

Morning Prayers

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Savior taught us, so we pray…

Our Father, who art in heaven,

    hallowed be thy Name,

    thy kingdom come,

    thy will be done,

        on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those

        who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

    but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

    and the power, and the glory,

    for ever and ever. Amen.

O send out Thy light and Thy truth, that they may lead me, and bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy dwelling; that I may go unto the altar of Thee, O my God, even the God of my joy and gladness, and give thanks unto Thee. Amen. (Psalm xliii. 3, 4)

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life, come and abide in us, cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One. 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!

Hymn

“The whole bright world rejoices now”

Short Verse

Be, Lord, my helper and forsake me not. Do not despise me, O God, my savior. 

The Short Breviary

Morning Reading

2 Chronicles 34:20-33, Josiah consults the prophet Huldah

20 Then the king commanded Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, the secretary Shaphan, and the king’s servant Asaiah, 21 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found, for the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on us is great, because our ancestors did not keep the word of the Lord, to act in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

The Prophet Huldah Consulted

22 So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to the prophet Huldah, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (who lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. 23 She declared to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me: 24 ‘Thus says the Lord: I will indeed bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, so that they have provoked me to anger with all the works of their hands, my wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’ 26 But as to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Regarding the words that you have heard, 27 because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, says the Lord. 28 I will gather you to your ancestors and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace; your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring on this place and its inhabitants.’ ” They took the message back to the king.

The Covenant Renewed

29 Then the king sent word and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 The king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites, all the people both great and small; he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 The king stood in his place and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord, keeping his commandments, his decrees, and his statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 Then he made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin pledge themselves to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were in Israel serve the Lord their God. All his days they did not turn away from following the Lord the God of their ancestors.

Morning Lesson

Huldah delivered His word

“Josiah knew that the scroll contained the Book of the Law of the Lord, but he did not know what to do about the words of wrath and judgment that it contained… Josiah wanted to know what God demanded of him because he fully intended to comply.” [3]

“Huldah the prophetess is one of four female prophets named in the OT, the other three being Miriam (Ex. 15:20), Deborah (Judg. 4:4), and Noadiah (Neh. 6:14). Shallum’s job [v. 22] was to supervise the storage and distribution of garments worn by the priests and Levites in the course of their duties. The Second Quarter was probably a suburb of Jerusalem near the Fish Gate north of the city (Zeph. 1:10).” [4]

“Huldah played a significant part in the history of Israel, although she appeared only once on the stage of the nation’s history, during a time of religious defection.” [5] “In Jerusalem, King Josiah of Judah initiated renewed interest in the Book of the Law, and Huldah participated in the subsequent spiritual revival. She was the wife of Shallum, who was “keeper of the wardrobe” (possibly either royal robes and attire or priestly garments and vestments). They lived in the Second Quarter, a newer section of Jerusalem which developed as a westward or northern expansion of the old city (perhaps somewhat like a modern-day suburb).” [6] “Huldah, not Jeremiah or Zephaniah (both of whom were active as prophets during this time), was consulted when the king instructed the priests to “inquire of the LORD” as to the meaning of the Book of the Law, a scroll that had been found during the work of restoration and cleaning in the temple. It was significant that with the number of prophets living in Jerusalem at that time, the priest Hilkiah and the rest of the king’s advisors turned to a woman for a word from God. This nullifies the reasoning some use to suggest that God only uses women for ministry when no men are available. Obviously, whether in a private audience or in the presence of the congregation, God used Huldah to bear testimony and deliver a message from Him to the high priest and to the king (22:14–20).” [7]

“The regard for Huldah’s own integrity and authority as a woman of God made her validation of the recently discovered Book of the Law all that was required for immediate action on the part of the king. Her message was not her own, but from the Lord. The fact that the phrase, “Thus says the LORD,” is repeated four times in her short prophecy emphasizes that Huldah understood her responsibility and opportunity to be a channel through whom God delivered His word (22:15–17, 19).” [8]

“All of the reforms set forth by King Josiah were based on the word of God as given to a woman. Huldah was apparently so well known as a woman of God and so highly trusted with regard to her understanding of God’s Law that for a time her nation’s whole religious consciousness and practice were re-ignited in faithfulness to God. Huldah, a deeply devout woman, made her God-given spiritual gifts available to God, and she was obedient and faithful to deliver the Word from God to her people.” [9]

Verse 28 says, I will gather you to your ancestors… “In the context of the whole message, this was a promise that Josiah would die and be buried among his own people, not in a foreign land. Huldah’s promise that Josiah would die in peace meant that he would be spared the calamity by which Judah would be judged. Josiah died in a time of war (see 35:23, 24), but that war was not the time of calamity. The calamity came later when Babylonian forces captured Jerusalem (see 36:17–20).” [10]

“The term Book of the Covenant (v. 30)refers to the Book of the Law of the Lord (v. 14), the Pentateuch. Josiah was about to lead the community in renewing the covenant. His reading of the scroll was part of his duties as king (see Deut. 17:18–20).” [11]

“Very few of the kings of Judah promised to follow the LORD as Josiah did. After David, only Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah made such public commitments (see 23:3; 29:10; 1 Chr. 17:7–14). They stand head and shoulders above the other kings of Judah and Israel.” [12] “We know that Josiah’s commitment to the Lord was real because he removed all the abominations. This included any and all idols that had been introduced by earlier kings.” [13]


Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

Midday Prayer

MAY THY STRONG HAND, O Lord, 

be ever my defense; 

Thy mercy in Christ my salvation; 

Thy all-veritable Word my instructor; 

The grace of thy life-bringing Spirit my consolation, 

all along the way, and at the last. 

The soul of Christ hallow me, 

And the body strengthen me, 

And the blood ransom me, 

And the water wash me, 

And the bruises heal me, 

And the sweat refresh me, 

And the wound hide me! 

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, 

keep my heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God. 

  • A translation of the ANIMA CHRISTI, attributed to Lancelot Andrewes [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

For you, O LORD, are good and forgiving,* and great is your love toward all who call upon you. 

Psalm 86:5

Midday Reading

Luke 2:25-38, The spirit of God on Simeon and Anna

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.[a] 27 Guided by the Spirit, Simeon[b] came into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon[c] took him in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 

“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,

    according to your word,

30 

for my eyes have seen your salvation,

31 

    which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32 

a light for revelation to the gentiles

    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul, too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came and began to praise God and to speak about the child[d] to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

Midday Lesson

Nunc dimittus

“When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the Temple to be dedicated to God, they met an old man who told them what their child would become.” [15] “Simeon (vv. 25, 26) represents humanity in waiting for the Consolation of Israel. He fulfills Psalm 91:16, in which God makes a promise to the one who loves Him: ‘With length of days I will satisfy him, / And show him My salvation.’” [16] Simeon “recognized the infant Jesus to be the Messiah at the Presentation of Jesus in the temple by Mary and Joseph (Lk 2:29-32). It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. When Simeon saw the child Jesus he took him up in his arms, blessed God, and said, ‘Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in peace as you have promised.’ Simeon was peaceful and ready to face death because he had seen the long-expected Messiah.” [17] “For the Christian, death is no longer frightful, but a gateway to everlasting peace (v. 29).” [18]

Verses 29-32 form the basis of the Nunc dimittis. “The canticle is also known as the Song of Simeon. The term Nunc dimittis is from the initial words of the Song of Simeon in Latin, which mean ‘now let depart.’ The canticle is identified as the canticle for Evening Office by the Apostolic Constitutions of the late fourth century. In the seventh century, Pope Sergius (d. 701) introduced in Rome a procession with candles and the singing of the Nunc dimittis to celebrate the Presentation of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple. The day came to be known as ‘Candlemas.’ The Nunc dimittis became the canticle for use at Compline in the west. It was also used as the canticle following the second lesson at Evensong in the 1549 BCP. It has appeared in this place in every subsequent Prayer Book except the 1789 BCP. The 1979 BCP uses the Nunc dimittis after the second lesson at Evening Prayer (p. 120) and near the conclusion of Compline (p. 135). At the Burial of the Dead, the Nunc dimittis may be used as an anthem as the body is borne from the church after the commendation. The Nunc dimittis also appears as Canticles 5 and 17 for optional use at Morning Prayer (pp. 51, 93). The Hymnal 1982 provides musical settings of the Nunc dimittis (S 196-S 200, S 254-S 260). The Hymnal 1982 Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 1 also provides musical settings of the Nunc dimittis (S 395, S 405).” [19]

“The second coming of the Lord will be the reckoning of the world (v. 34). For the believer, it will be a resurrection to life; for the unbeliever, it will be a falling into judgment (Jn 5:29).” [20] “The sword (v. 35) refers to the anguish that Mary will experience in witnessing her Son’s death on the Cross. Her soul will be pierced in grief.” [21]

Anna was a “prophetess in the temple of Jerusalem.” [22] [SHe was from the tribe of Asher. [23] Anna “spent all her days fasting and praying in the temple, awaiting the arrival of the Messiah… When she saw the infant Jesus, she thanked and praised God for fulfilling the promise He had made.” [24] She “spoke about Jesus to all who looked forward to the ‘redemption of Jerusalem.’” [25] “Both men and women are called to proclaim Christ’s redemption, and women are the first to proclaim His Resurrection (24:9).” [26]


Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

Eventide Prayer

O Lord, make mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I may be occupied in Thy words. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury [27]

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

Your loving-kindness is better than life itself;* my lips shall give you praise. So will I bless you as long as I live* and lift up my hands in your Name. 

Psalm 63:3–4

Eventide Reading

“Even during the night”

Surely I know the spring that swiftly flows 

Even during the night. 

The eternal spring is deeply hidden, 

But surely I know the place where it begins 

Even during the night. 

I don’t know its source because it has none 

But know that all beginnings come from this one, 

ven during the night. 

I do know that nothing can equal its beauty 

And that from it both heaven and earth drink 

Even during the night. 

I know there is no limit to its depth 

And that no one can wade across its breadth, 

Even during the night. 

Its brightness is never clouded over, 

And I know that from it all light flows, 

Even during the night. 

I know its current is so forceful 

That it floods the nations, heaven, and hell, 

Even during the night. 

The current that is born of this stream, 

I know, is powerful and strong, 

Even during the night. 

The living stream that I so desire, 

I see it in this bread of life, 

Even during the night. 

By St. John of the Cross [28]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen. †


Citations:

[1] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews (Kindle ed., p. 210). Kindle Edition. 

[2] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Morning Prayers. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 6). Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). 2 Chronicles. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 2697). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[4] Ibid. 3, P. 2698

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Female Prophets [Article]. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 2334). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[6] Ibid. 5

[7] Ibid. 5, P. 2334-2335

[8] Ibid. 5, P. 2335

[9] Ibid. 5, P. 2335

[10] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). 2 Chronicles. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 2698). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] Ibid. 10

[13] Ibid. 10

[14] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Daily Prayers. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 56). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[15] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Luke. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6903). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[16] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1397). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[17] Armentrout, D. S., & Slocum, R. B. (2021). Nunc dimittis. An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church. Retrieved May 14, 2022, from https://www.episcopalchurch.org/glossary/nunc-dimittis/

[18] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1398). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[19] Armentrout, D. S., & Slocum, R. B. (2021). Nunc dimittis. An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church. Retrieved May 14, 2022, from https://www.episcopalchurch.org/glossary/nunc-dimittis/

[20] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1398). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[21] Ibid. 20

[22] Detwiler, G. (2020). Anna. In The ultimate bible character guide (p. 44). essay, Holman Reference. 

[23] Ibid. 22

[24] Ibid. 22

[25] Ibid. 22

[26] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1398). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[27] LAUD, W. (1855). Wednesday Compline: At Night. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 30). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[28] Tickle, P. (2006). April Compline. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 518). New York, NY: Image Books.

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