Daily Devotion for January 10, 2013
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.
Prayer for the Morning
For the bird who sings outside my window,
For the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says "good morning",
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,
Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To remember all of them, and know that you are here.
Prayer of Salvation
Most blessed Christ, I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. No matter how weak or lowly I may feel, I will always remember your words: that those whom the earth despises — the stones that the builders rejected — have become the cornerstone of your church. Let me be strong in faith and strong in your Spirit; for only by You, Lord Christ, may the gates of righteousness be opened to a sinner. I pray that I may be part of the foundation of your church on earth, and that by your grace, the gates of righteousness may be opened to me and to all who confess your holy name.
Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.
~ J. Sidlow Baxter
Exodus 1:15-22 (ESV)
Pharaoh Oppresses Israel 
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.
So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?” The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”
So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.
Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
Notes on the Scripture
The Pharaoh's fear has really gotten out of hand. Like Herod the Great to follow, he demands general infanticide. His treatment of the Hebrews, a people so welcomed by the old Pharaoh, has become the greatest cruelty possible; for to kill the baby boys means the eventual extermination of the Hebrew race.
Pharaoh's most basic error is that he does not fear God. The Egyptians were, at this time, developing possibly the most elaborate and devout polytheistic religion ever seen on earth. It was idolatry to the nth degree. At least 65 gods and goddesses have been identified, who were sufficiently important to rate statues. Eventually the later Pharaohs would be considered gods (or demigods) themselves, allowed to marry only others of their family. Cleopatra, famously, was slated to marry her brother when Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony intervened.
The midwives were themselves Hebrew, which is not completely clear in the text; and there is a Jewish flavor to the way they solve their dilemma, splitting the issue and finding a crack between defying the Pharaoh and no doubt being killed, on the one hand, and becoming the instruments of genocide, on the other.
But Pharaoh is not so easily foiled. He takes killing of the baby Hebrew boys out of the hands of the Jewish midwives. Now, anyone who knows of a male Jewish infant is ordered to throw him in the great river. It is an order Pharaoh will live to regret.