I have been sharing my observance of Yom Kippur with a close friend and she highlighted an important aspect of Yom Kippur that may get overlooked by some. It is a day of repentance and atonement. It is a day of fasting. We are also instructed to humble ourselves before the LORD. This is more than just observing some traditional rules like not wearing shoes with leather soles or putting on perfume. It is truly about our heart and our attitude before our Creator.
She shared some scripture the LORD had led her to as she has been observing with her family and I wanted to share it more broadly.
Each year as I observe this solemn holy day, I allow myself to continue to grow and change the approach for my family. There is so much good Biblical content to help lead us in prayer and humility and reconciliation with YHWH that I am embracing more each year the 10 days between Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur to pray and reflect on this subject with my family. These days are commonly referred to as the Days of Awe. I encourage you to study at least some of the scriptures below as you seek to humble yourself before the LORD.
Daniel 9:4-19 (Daniel)
4I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, 5we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. 6“Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.
7“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8“Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9“To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12“Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. 14“Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.
15“And now, O Lord our God, who have brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and have made a name for Yourself, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have been wicked. 16“O Lord, in accordance with all Your righteous acts, let now Your anger and Your wrath turn away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; for because of our sins and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people have become a reproach to all those around us. 17“So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 18“O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. 19“O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”
1 Chronicles 16:8-38 (David)
Psalm of Thanksgiving
8Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
9Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
10Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
11Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.
12Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth,
13O seed of Israel His servant,
Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!
14He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.
15Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,
16The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.
17He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,
18Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
As the portion of your inheritance.”
19When they were only a few in number,
Very few, and strangers in it,
20And they wandered about from nation to nation,
And from one kingdom to another people,
21He permitted no man to oppress them,
And He reproved kings for their sakes, saying,
22“Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”
23Sing to the LORD, all the earth;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
24Tell of His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.
25For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He also is to be feared above all gods.
26For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the LORD made the heavens.
27Splendor and majesty are before Him,
Strength and joy are in His place.
28Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
29Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come before Him;
Worship the LORD in holy array.
30Tremble before Him, all the earth;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
31Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
And let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.”
32Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
33Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the LORD;
For He is coming to judge the earth.
34O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
35Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation,
And gather us and deliver us from the nations,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
And glory in Your praise.”
36Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
Then all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Hannah)
Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving
1Then Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the LORD;
My horn is exalted in the LORD,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2“There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
3“Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
4“The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
5“Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.
6“The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7“The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
8“He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
And He set the world on them.
9“He keeps the feet of His godly ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness;
For not by might shall a man prevail.
10“Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed.”
Luke 1:46-55 (Mary)
46And Mary said:
“My soul exalts the Lord,
47And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
48“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave;
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.
49“For the Mighty One has done great things for me;
And holy is His name.
50“AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION
TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
51“He has done mighty deeds with His arm;
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.
52“He has brought down rulers from their thrones,
And has exalted those who were humble.
53“HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS;
And sent away the rich empty-handed.
54“He has given help to Israel His servant,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Additional scriptures you may find enriching:
I invite you to pray with me:
Father, You and You alone are God. There are none like You. None can do the works that You do. Yet You love Your people and have made a way for us to be reconciled to You despite or sin. Thank You for Your grace and mercy shown through the death of Christ for our sins! May You be magnified and glorified in my life. Please continue to have mercy on me as a sinner. Guide me as a light unto my path. Help me to walk in repentance and seek diligently after Your ways. Amen.
Devotion by John in service to Christ
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