Daily Devotion for January 14, 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
Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
Prayer to Live Christ's Word
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me.
This I pray in Jesus' name.
Joy of friendships be yours
Wealth of memories be yours
Fruit of endevor be yours
Hope of heav'n be yours
Peace of God be yours.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The Bible does not contain the Word of God; It is the Word of God.
~ Lee Roberson
Exodus 2:23-25 (ESV)
God Hears the Cry of the Hebrews
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel — and God knew.
Notes on the Scripture
In the movie The Ten Commandments, the Pharaoh of Egypt is called "Ramses", but the matter of who was ruling Egypt during the time of Moses is a wide-ranging debate among scholars. Today, the scholars who believe Rameses II was the Pharaoh during the events of Exodus are primarily Muslims! Christian scholars cannot even pinpoint the century during which Exodus is set or the dynasty to which the pharaoh belonged.
The problem of historicity, as with much of the Old Testament, is that the Hebrews were unusually good record-keepers for that day, all things considered, and really the only civilization that kept continuous historical records. The Egyptians kept records that were, when they exist, even better in ways, for they were written down contemporaneously, whereas the early Hebrew history was largely oral and not written down until long after. But Egyptian records were lost and then recovered, in a forgotten language that had to be deciphered; and they were also hit-or-miss.
Many people have used the lack of a recorded Egyptian account as a wedge to attack the authenticity of Exodus, but there are good reasons (other than simple faith) to give it credence. Pharaohs, like kings everywhere, did not like to remember defeats. You will find, in London, a great monument to Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, but you will have to travel to the United States to see the Battle of Saratoga or Yorktown engraved in stone. It is the victors who record victories.
On a more theological topic, one might wonder why God was so slow to react to the plight of His people, or why He had to "remember" his covenant with Abraham. The key lies, as it does with almost all great suffering by the Hebrews, in idolatry.
The Hebrews in Egypt were given to the worship of idols. Even Moses himself is no paragon of righteousness; he has married a foreigner, and it is not altogether clear that his killing of the Egyptian slaver was justified. He has, moreover, been raised as an Egyptian. (Moses' failings will become both clearer and more important as Exodus progresses.)
But the main point is, God has not "forgotten" anything. The word "remember" is used in the sense of "take into account"; He allows his promise to Abraham to overcome his anger at the Hebrews. God remains fully faithful to the Hebrews, even though they have not been fully faithful to Him; and even though He may punish them in the process, He will in fact rescue them from slavery (and possible extinction) and give them possession of Canaan, as He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.