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Daily Devotion for January 29, 2013

God and the Angels visit Abraham by Arent de Gelder, ca. 1680
God and the Angels visit Abraham by Arent de Gelder, ca. 1680. Unlike Moses, Abraham is visited by a friendly, almost human manifestation of God.



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

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

Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer the Gospel May Be Spread

Almighty God, you called your church to be united in faith. By your grace you have given us new life in Jesus Christ, and by your Spirit you have called us to proclaim his name throughout the nations. Awaken in me such a love for you and your world that I may so boldly proclaim Jesus Christ by word and deed that all people may come to know him as Savior and follow him as Lord. And bless and strengthen all those who dedicate their lives to the increase of your church, both at home and abroad. Send your spirit to fill their tongues with your message, and protect them from all harm, to the glory of your Name.



Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

Abraham and the Angels
Abraham and the Three Angels by Eeckhout, ca. 1656.

Life Without Prayer

If man is man and God is God, to live without prayer is not merely an awful thing: it is an infinitely foolish thing.

~ Phillips Brooks

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 6:1-9 (NKJV)

Moses Tell the Hebrews to Have Faith

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”

And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Jehovah I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant.

Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the Lord.’”

So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.

Notes on the Scripture

The Name of God

God does not have a name. But when He manifests Himself to us, He sometimes gives us a name by which we may call Him. God knows our limitations. He knows we cannot know Him as He is and our minds cannot grasp Him as He is. He must adopt some kind of form to communicate with us, a "face" or "incarnation", and He will sometimes give us a name by which we can call the incarnation.

I AM from Exodus 3:14
"I AM" (Exodus 3:14)

In today's Scripture, God makes it clear that although He is the God of Abraham, the face He presents to Moses and the Hebrews is different from that shown to Abraham. Abraham was a righteous man and God came to him in the form of a man, sitting down at his table and sometimes engaging him in conversation like a friend. But the face of God seen by Moses and the Hebrews is quite different. First, where Abraham was proven faithful and righteous, even to the point of sacrificing Isaac, Moses and the Hebrews are not. God is angry with them, for their idolatry and lack of concern.

Second, the God of Abraham intended to form a covenant with him, to make promises to him, to show him love. He did destroy Sodom and Gomorrah quite terribly, but this was not the face that Abraham saw. (And, in fact, the only one of his family who saw it was turned into a pillar of salt.)

In Exodus, though, God manifests Himself very differently, for although His ultimate purpose is to save the Hebrews, they are a sinful and idolatrous people who must learn to respect and worship Him. He will also, ultimately, lead them into a period of tremendous violence.

And so, He uses a different name from the name by which Abraham knew Him. Still, the Hebrews, who are still weak in faith, cannot fully appreciate the nature of Jehovah, for they are completely immersed in their (considerable) difficulties of their day-to-day life. God will save them, but He will require severe atonement from them for their lack of faith.

(There are insurmountable textual difficulties concerning the "name of God" in Exodus. If this interests you at all, see the Extended Notes).

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Luke 11:9: “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon