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Friday, October 21, 2016

Daily Devotion for February 2, 2013

Aaron turns the Nile to Blood, Moses, Pharoah, by Jan Pynos ca. 1610
Moses and Aaron Change the Nile to Blood, Jan Pynos ca. 1610



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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.


Alan Jackson gives his sweet country styling to this favorite children's hymn.

Prayer for the Morning

I  call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.

I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.

I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.

I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.


Prayer for Life

O  God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me so to die daily to sin, that I may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


Prayer for Peace

Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



May God Almighty send me his light and truth, to keep this day and all the days of my life. And may His mighty hand protect me, and all my brothers and sisters who have joined me in prayer this day, blessing our homes and our lives.


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

Moses Burning Bush, by Eugene Pluchart
God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush by Eugene Pluchart, ca. 1848.

Why Should I Be Happy?

Has Christ put away your sin? If he has, be as happy as the days are long in the sweet summertime, and be as bright as a garden in the month of June, and sing like angels, for you have more to sing about than angels have.

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 7:14-25 (ESV)

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent.

And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

Stained glass drawing of Moses by James Frederick Fields ca. 1900

Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile.

There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.

Notes on the Scripture

Most scholars think that the "blood" with which God infests the Nile is not actual blood; there are naturally-occurring phenomena, such as algae, that would turn the water red, kill the fish and make it stink. Of course, nobody knows for sure. But Egyptian magicians are able to replicate the phenomenon, or at least close enough to convince Pharaoh that it is not an unknown power.

Pharaoh, being disinclined to give any credit to the Hebrews or their God, misses the point. If we liken the dispute between the Hebrews and Pharaoh to a fight, this is a blow that hurts, but not enough to make Pharaoh leave the ring. The phenomenon itself is not enough to have the Hebrews set free, but the symbolic warning is something he would have been wise to heed: a river flowing with blood is a physical metaphor for the destruction that God will visit on Egypt. The literal river flowing with blood will become a figurative "river of blood".

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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