Daily Devotion for January 11, 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.
This rendition of the tuneful Swing Down Chariot sounds like riding on a train. It will put some steam in your engine!
Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian (350 A.D.)
O Lord and Master of my life, this day, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me; deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. Deal with me not after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness.
Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering. I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion; that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy. I exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
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.
In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Exodus 2:1-10 (ESV)
The Birth of Moses
Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months.
When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank. And his sister stood at a distance to know what would be done to him.
Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her young women walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her servant woman, and she took it. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews' children.”
Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, “Shall I go and call you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Go.” So the girl went and called the child's mother.
And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son.
She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”
Notes on the Scripture
The famous story of Moses in the bulrushes never gets old. His parents were both from the tribe of Levi, which would become a hereditary caste of priests because of Moses and his brother, Aaron. The basket would have been similar to boats made in many primitive cultures. Bitumen is a naturally-occurring petroleum product, liquid asphalt, fairly abundant in the Middle East; it is the "tar" in the La Brea tar pits. Pitch is rendered and thickened tree sap. These were still used in the 19th century as the primary waterproofing for great sailing ships.
The derivation of his name (Moshe in modern Hebrew) is interesting, because it works in both Hebrew and Egyptian. In Hebrew, it can refer to a person who pulls something out or is pulled out, so it has the dual meaning of "being pulled out", referring to the baby, and "savior", one who will pull the Hebrews out of Egypt. The Egyptian, as far as can be discerned, means literally "water-saved": "saved from the water" or even "saved by the water", again giving it a double meaning.