Daily Devotion for January 19, 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.
Leonard Bernstein conducting the Benedictus from Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis".
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Blessed is he who comes in name of Lord.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I do not fear this day, for you are with me wherever I might go, your light to shine ahead, your footsteps to lead the way. I do not fear this day, for your word will be my guide. Your strength will sustain me and your love revive me, this day and all days. I do not fear this day, for you are with me. In the name of Christ, I call upon you.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who sets the solitary person in the comfort of families; I commend to your continual care the homes in which your people dwell. Put far from them, I beseech you, every root of bitterness, the desire of boastful vanity, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh; turn the heart of the parents to the children, and the heart of the children to the parents; and fill us all with true love and charity, so that we put aside petty differences and act with kind affection and the sympathy of brotherly love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
How Good is An Opinion?
A demonic spirit's favorite activity is making a person feel religious without an understanding of the Word of God.
~ Max D. Younce
Exodus 3:16-22 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush  - The Lord Charges Moses
Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt, and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey.”’
And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.’
But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.
And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”
Notes on the Scripture
God gives Moses a synopsis in advance; unlike many of His prophets, He gives Moses the comfort of knowing a precise outcome. Moses might not suspect the degree of difficulty, or long time that the process will take, but God in His wisdom does give him a specific set of promises.
“A land flowing with milk and honey.”
God's tone has become a bit gentler; perhaps He is pleased with Moses' humility, who in the previous verses says "who am I?" to carry out such a great mission. Moses has allowed the Lord to define their relationship: he asks who God is, and then, who he himself is. Although he has not always behaved correctly, Moses is utterly open to instruction and obedience when God speaks to him.
There is a capsule summary of the Christian quandary concerning predestination. God knows that the Pharaoh will be disobedient; but his foreknowledge is not the same as the actual occurrence. He will offer a peaceful solution that would hardly burden Pharaoh at all; He will give him a chance, and not raise His hand against the Egyptians until they actually defy Him.
It may seem a bit strange that God promises, or even commands, that the Hebrew women take their neighbors' clothing and jewelry. Of course, God is God, and who can question His commandments? But there are two ways of looking at this.
First, God's relationship with humanity was built over time, and at this early stage, His promises to His chosen people were often material and often at the expense of other, idolatrous tribes. The taking of Egyptians' possessions is small potatoes compared to the slaughter God will wreak a bit later. It is always well to remember that God's wrath is a terrible thing. If we make ourselves His enemies by the worship of idols, He will destroy us.
But there is justice in this instruction, also, for the Hebrews have been enslaved and abused for centuries. One could look at the instruction (or promise) to carry off this wealth as back wages or reparations.