Daily Devotion for January 12, 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.
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God, who has created all things, seen and unseen, this day is your creation and I give thanks to live in it. I pray that I will not shut you out of the day you have made, blinded by the petty concerns of life, but that I may be always open to your presence.
I open my body to you and give thanks for your life that fills and warms every cell of it.
I open my eyes and ears to you and give thanks for the light of your Word, without which I would live in the shadow of ignorance.
I open my heart to you and give thanks for your love that fills me with compassion, understanding, and peace.
I open my soul to you and give thanks for your Spirit, who fills me with wisdom when I take a moment to listen.
All that I am, I open to you, I return to you, giving thanks every moment of my life for the blessings that fill this day. Through Christ I pray.
Prayer for the Departed
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of your servants departed from this life and beseech you to grant them rest in the place of your rest, where all the blessed repose, and where the light of your countenance shines forever.
And I pray also to grant that my present life may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, I too may be made worthy to enter into your heavenly Kingdom with those I love but see no longer: for you are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of your departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto you I ascribe all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Exodus 2:11-22 (ESV)
Moses Flees to Midian
One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”
He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”
Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel [Jethro], he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”
Early glazed terracotta depicting
Moses, Jethro and Zipporah.
He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”
Notes on the Scripture
Unlike most of the great heroes of the Bible, Moses' early life is rather unremarkable. There is the way in which he escaped death as a baby, but we are not told that this is any sort of supernatural mark, and although the circumstances were interesting, many Hebrew babies must have lived through the purge; for we see many Hebrew men of Moses' generation.
He does have strength, both strength of character and physical strength; he kills an Egyptian, the fighting Hebrew clearly anticipates that Moses might be able to kill him, and he drives away a band of shepherds from the well. But this is presented to us as a human strength. The Hebrew fighter pointedly notes that Moses is nobody special. No angel or voice has announced him; he does not have special obligations, rights, or prophesies.
He is nothing more, at this point, than an escaped slave with Egyptian blood on his hands. The verses today might be the beginning of an adventure novel. He does take advantage of an opportunity, to get in good with a very minor shepherd, but it is his salvation, for surely he would have died eventually in the wilderness by himself.
Nobody is sure where "Midian" was, but we see the tribe of Midianites several times. Midianite traders sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. (Genesis 37:36) The tribe was apparently descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah. (Genesis 25:1-2) Most likely, Moses had fled to the northwest corner of the Arabian peninsula, which is both a logical place for the Midianites to call home and the fastest route away from Egyptian influence.
Moses has a son, again a rather normal occurrence with no great religious significance. He calls him Gershom, which sounds like Hebrew for "sojourner". But the naming does give us the haunting phrase, "stranger in a strange land", used by Robert Heinlein as the title of a famous science fiction novel.