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Daily Devotion for October 9, 2012
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, forever and ever.
Martin Luther's Prayer for Morning
I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have protected me through the night from all danger and harm. I ask you to preserve and keep me, this day also, from all sin and evil, that in all my thoughts, words, and deeds I may serve and please you. Into your hands I commend my body and soul and all that is mine. Let your holy angels have charge of me, that the wicked one have no power over me.
Prayer for Peace
I thank you, Master and Lover of mankind, King of the ages and giver of all good things, for destroying the dividing wall of enmity and granting peace to those who seek your mercy. I appeal to you to awaken the longing for a peaceful life in all those who are filled with hatred for their neighbors, thinking especially of those at war or preparing for war.
Grant peace to your servants. Implant in them the fear of you and confirm in them love one for another. Extinguish every dispute and banish all temptations to disagreement. For you are our peace and to you we ascribe glory: to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever and unto ages of ages.
I pray, Lord our God, for all those who suffer from acts of war. I pray for your peace and your mercy in the midst of the great suffering that people are now inflicting on each other. Accept the prayers of your Church, so that by your goodness peace may return to all peoples. Hear us and have mercy on us.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
When men sought to make Him a king He fled; now that they seek to put Him to death He goes out to meet them.
~ Rudolph Stier
Genesis 41:25-36 (ESV)
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh's Dreams 
Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. And the doubling of Pharaoh's dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.
Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
Notes on the Scripture
Joseph is a prophet or seer of sorts, but never claiming to have personal power; he ascribes his vision to God and glorifies Him. But why all this nonsense about dreams? If God wants to warn Pharaoh of a famine, why do so in a riddle? Because God wants Pharaoh to know the source of his knowledge. He wants Pharaoh to be compelled to rely upon His prophet. But even so, why does Joseph not have the dream himself, and simply prophesy the coming famine? Because he would not believe it. God puts the vision directly into the Pharaoh's eye, because he will believe his own "eyes"; whereas, he would give little credibility to some prisoner from a rustic tribe, not even an Egyptian.
Egypt is particularly vulnerable to famine, because it is so arid that crops cannot be grown without irrigation. The annual flooding of the Nile generates practically all the food for this large and powerful early empire. Moreover, the annual flood is not regular or predictable in its size and it could, indeed, be so small as to cause widespread starvation. (The Aswan Dam remedied the problem.)
Even worse, as far as the Pharaoh was concerned, was that these ancient people had no idea that the flood was caused by snow melting in mountains a thousand miles to the south. They invented gods who controlled the flood; and the Pharaoh was the intermediary. A famine was a sign that Isis was not pleased with him. A bad crop thus caused disaffection of the people, and a bad famine might result in the Pharaoh's execution and replacement.