June 24, 2022 Devotional

  • Morning Devotional:
    • Psalm 16, Protect me, O God
      • Reflection: Psalm 16 Commentary from the Early Church
  • Midday Devotional:
    • 2 Kings 1:1-16, God’s fire consumes the king’s men
      • Lesson: Judgment falls on those who turn to other gods
  • Evening Devotional:
    • Galatians 4:8-20, Paul reproves the hearers
      • Lesson: A renewed calendar for a renewed creation

Invitatory

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

Come let us adore him.

Hymn

“In the Sweet By and By”

Morning Prayers

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the Cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.  Amen. [1]

Almighty God, in whom is no darkness at all: Grant me your light perpetually, and when I cannot see the way before me, may I continue to put my trust in you; that so, being guided and guarded by your love, I may be kept from falling, this day and all my days, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. 

—William Knight [2]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your throne;* love and truth go before your face. 

Psalm 89:14

Morning Reading

Psalm 16, Protect me, O God

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

    I have no good apart from you.”[a]

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble ones

    in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;[b]

    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

    or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

    you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

    I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord, who gives me counsel;

    in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;

    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;

    my body also rests secure.

10 

For you do not give me up to Sheol

    or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11 

You show me the path of life.

    In your presence there is fullness of joy;

    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Let us pray. 
Give to us, Lord Christ, the fullness of grace, your presence and your very self, for you are our portion and our delight, now and for ever. Amen. [3]

Reflection

Psalm 16 Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 16:1-11 

“The person of the Lord Savior is represented throughout the entire psalm. The first theme is undertaken from the perspective of his humanity in accordance with his custom. He speaks to the Father, asking to be saved because he has always placed his hope in him. In speaking this way, he does not minimize his own divinity in any way, but shows the nature of his humanity. . . . In the second theme, he returns thanks to the Father, who . . . has overcome the iniquity of this age by the strength of his omnipotence. On this basis, he claims that his soul has been freed from hell, and he mentions that after the glory of the resurrection he has been placed among the delights at [God’s] right hand.” 

Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms 16.1 [4]

Psalm 16:9-10 

“Let us see [Jesus] . . . in his suffering as man but not suffering as God, and in his dying in the flesh but being greater than death, and in not remaining . . . in the tomb as we do and not being held fast by the gates of the underworld together with the other dead. . . . For he rose again, despoiling death and “saying to the prisoners: Come out, to those in darkness: Show yourselves” [see Is 49:9], and he ascended to his Father above in the heavens to a position inaccessible to people, having taken on himself our sins and being the propitiation for them. Letter 41.13. Gregory of Nyssa: [Christ’s] Godhead, alike before taking flesh and in the flesh and after his passion, is immutably the same, being at all times what it was by nature and so continuing forever. But in the suffering of his human nature the Godhead fulfilled the dispensation for our benefit by severing the soul for a season from the body, yet without being itself separated from either of those elements to which it was once for all united, and by joining again the elements that had been thus parted, so as to give to all human nature a beginning and an example that it should follow of the resurrection from the dead, that all the corruptible may put on incorruption, and all the mortal may put on immortality, our firstfruits having been transformed to the divine nature by its union with God . . . [T]he Lord, reconciling the world to himself by the humanity of Christ, apportioned his work of benevolence to people between his soul and his body, willing through his soul and touching them through his body.”

Cyril of Alexandria, Against Eunomius 2.13 [5]

Psalm 16:11 

“He will be in unceasing joy, having become immune to suffering, to change, to death, even in his human nature. As God, you see, this was always the case, and of course even in his human nature once formed in the womb it was easy to provide him with this. But he allowed the nature he had assumed to travel through the sufferings so as by these means to loose the sway of sin, put a stop to the tyranny of the devil, undo the power of death and provide all people with the basis of a new life. So as man he assumes both incorruption and immortality.”

Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms 16.8 [6]

Midday Prayers

Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross, stretching out your loving arms: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may look to you and be saved; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen. [7]

Intercessions 

LET US PRAY, DEAR FRIENDS, the mercy of God for our brothers and sisters, from east to west, that they may pray for us also, howsoever divided in different places, through Christ our Lord.

Let us pray for the unity of the churches; for the sick, for the feeble, for captives, for penitents, for those in sorrow, for those who travel by sea, and for those who make any journey; for those who are occupied in works of mercy; for the spirits of the departed; and for the excommunicate, that the Lord God may give them the power to repent through Christ our Lord. Let us pray also the mercy of the Lord for the souls of our dear ones at rest, that the Lord may vouchsafe to them peaceful refreshment and, in a place of quiet and consolation, may allow them to profit by the intercession of his saints through Jesus Christ.

We offer to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, this prayer from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, on the right hand and on the left, in honor and glory of the humanity and divinity of Christ, in honor and glory of all the blessed angels, of the archangels Michael and Gabriel, in honor and love of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, through the same Jesus Christ. Amen. 

— Leofric Missal [8]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;* sing praises to the Lord He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;* he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice. 

Psalm 68:33-34

Midday Reading

2 Kings 1:1-16, God’s fire consumes the king’s men

1 After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.

2 Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria and was injured, so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.” 3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4 Now therefore thus says the Lord: You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.” So Elijah went.

5 The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, “Why have you returned?” 6 They answered him, “There came a man to meet us, who said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and say to him: Thus says the Lord: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone but shall surely die.’ ” 7 He said to them, “What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” 8 They answered him, “A hairy man with a leather belt around his waist.” He said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill and said to him, “O man of God, the king says: Come down.” 10 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up[a] and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order: Come down quickly!” 12 But Elijah answered him,[b] “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, “O man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. 14 Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.” 15 Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he set out and went down with him to the king 16 and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?—therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.”

Midday Lesson

Judgment falls on those who turn to other gods

“Because 1 and 2 Kings were originally one book, 2 Kings continues where 1 Kings ends. The once great nation of Israel was split in two because the people forgot God. The book begins with Elijah, a prophet of God, being carried away into heaven. It ends with the people of Israel and Judah being taken into captivity. In 1 Kings, the beautiful Temple of God was built. In 2 Kings, it is desecrated and destroyed.” [9]

“Our chaotic and corrupt world is strikingly similar to the world described in 2 Kings. Countries are tormented by war. Many people follow the false gods of technology, materialism, and war. True worship of God is rare on the earth.” [10]

“We can turn to examples such as David, Elijah, and Elisha, who were devoted to God’s high honor and moral law and who brought about renewal and change in their society. More important, we can look to Jesus Christ, the perfect example. For nations to do God’s will, they need individuals who will do God’s work. If your heart is committed to God, he can work through you to accomplish the work he has called you to do.” [11] Ahaziah (v. 2), the eighth king of Israel (ca. 853 to 852 B.C.), “is introduced in 1 Kings 22:51-53, but the division of 1 and 2 Kings cuts through the account of his reign. Little is known of him except that he fell from a second-story window or balcony, and his efforts to consult the Philistine idol of Baal about his recovery brought him into conflict with Elijah.” [12] Samaria (v. 2) was the “capital city of the Northern Kingdom, founded by Ahaziah’s grandfather Omri (1 Kings 16:23-24).“ [13] Ekron (v. 2) was a “Philistine city over 20 miles west of Jerusalem (possibly Khirbet al-Muqanna).” [14] Baal-Zebub (v. 2), is a “Hebrew expression meaning ‘Lord of the Flies’. It is a derogatory distortion of the name Baal-zebul, meaning ‘Prince Baal’ (cf. Mt 10:25). Baal is the storm and fertility god of Canaanite religion whose cult was promoted in Israel by King Ahaziah’s parents, Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 16:31-32).” [15] “Because this god was thought to have the power of prophecy, King Ahaziah sent messengers to Ekron to learn of his fate. Supernatural power and mystery were associated with Baal-zebub. Ahaziah’s action showed the king’s disrespect for God.” [16]

“Fire roars down from heaven, presumably in the form of lightning, and incinerates the Samarian delegation (v. 10). Elijah was known for spectacular feats of this sort (1 Kings 18:36-38). The incident shows not only that God protects his prophets but also that judgment falls on those who reject him in favor of other gods. • The apostles James and John have this episode in mind when they seek Jesus’ permission to call down fire upon inhospitable Samaritans in Lk 9:52-54.” [17]

“Notice how the third captain went to Elijah (vv. 13-15). Although the first two captains called Elijah “man of God,” they were not being genuine—God was not in their hearts. The third captain also called him “man of God,” but he humbly begged for mercy. His attitude showed respect for God, and God spared the lives of his men. Effective living begins with a right attitude toward God. Before religious words come out of your mouth, make sure they are from your heart. Let respect, humility, and servanthood characterize your attitude toward God and others.” [18]

Eventide Prayers

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen. [19]

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you

in thought, word, and deed,

by what we have done,

and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;

we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.

For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

have mercy on us and forgive us;

that we may delight in your will,

and walk in your ways,

to the glory of your Name. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

I love you, O LORD my strength,* O LORD my stronghold, my crag, and my haven. My God, my rock in whom I put my trust,* my shield, the horn of my salvation, and my refuge; you are worthy of praise. 

Psalm 18:1-2

Eventide Reading

Galatians 4:8-20, Paul reproves the hearers

8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to beings that by nature are not gods. 9 Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental principles?[a] How can you want to be enslaved to them again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid that my work for you may have been wasted.

12 Brothers and sisters, I beg you: become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong. 13 You know that it was because of a physical infirmity that I first announced the gospel to you; 14 though my condition put you to the test, you did not scorn or despise me but welcomed me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. 15 What has become of the goodwill you felt? For I testify that, had it been possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They make much of you but for no good purpose; they want to exclude you, so that you may make much of them. 18 It is good to be made much of for a good purpose at all times and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, for whom I am again in the pain of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 I wish I were present with you now and could change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Eventide Lesson

A renewed calendar for a renewed creation

“The Judaizers were making their holy-day calendar an end in itself (v. 10). Although God gave Israel her holy days, they point beyond themselves to Christ and His Kingdom. The OT holy days are fulfilled in the great feasts of the Church. Passover becomes Easter, while Pentecost, the celebration of the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai, becomes the descent of the Holy Spirit – a renewed calendar for a renewed creation.” [20]

“The angel of God (vv. 14-19) in the OT was a pre-incarnate appearance (theophany) of the Son, whom we know as Christ Jesus. A priest in the Church is called to be a manifestation of Christ and is to be received as Christ, but he is neither identical with Christ nor a mediator between a Christian and Christ. He must both win the love of his people (v. 15) and adamantly confront bad behavior and wrong belief (vv. 16-18). A true priest seeks spiritual growth, deification, for his people (v. 19), even if his people do not want the truth (v. 16).” [21]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Savior, lay Thy hand on me,

Bless me, and remember me. Amen.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in eternal peace. Amen.

Citations:

[1] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/06-Daily-Morning-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[2] Forward Movement. (2013). Prayers for Guidance and Surrender. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 470). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 785).

[4] Cassiodorus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1546). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[5] Cyril of Alexandria. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1547). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[6] Theodoret of Cyrus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1547). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] 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. 107). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[8] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Various Prayers. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 58-59). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[9] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). 2 Kings. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6323). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9

[12] Hahn, S., Mitch, C., & Walters, D. (2017). 2 Kings Commentary. In The First and Second Books of the Kings: With commentary, notes and study questions (Kindle, p. 110). essay, Ignatius Press. 

[13] Ibid. 12

[14] Ibid. 12

[15] Ibid. 12

[16] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). 2 Kings. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6324). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[17] Hahn, S., Mitch, C., & Walters, D. (2017). 2 Kings Commentary. In The First and Second Books of the Kings: With commentary, notes and study questions (Kindle, p. 110). essay, Ignatius Press. 

[18] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). 2 Kings. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6324). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[19] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[20] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Galatians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1624). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[21] Ibid. 20

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