Daily Devotion for February 9, 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.
A great German organist (Karl Richter) playing a great German composition (Toccata and Fugue in D minor) by another pretty decent German organist (J.S. Bach), and on an antique German organ (in the Basilica of Ottobeuren Abbey - see photo above) to boot. Großer Gott!
Prayer for the Morning
Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.
I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Surrender
All to Jesus, I surrender, all to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear.
~ John Piper
Exodus 9:1-7 (Complete Jewish Bible)
The Fifth Plague: A Plague on Livestock
Then Adonai said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Here is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let my people go, so that they can worship me. If you refuse to let them go and persist in holding on to them, the hand of Adonai is on your livestock in the field — on the horses, donkeys, camels, cattle and flocks — and will make them suffer a devastating illness.
But Adonai will distinguish between Egypt’s and Isra’el’s livestock — nothing belonging to the people of Isra’el will die.”’”
Adonai determined the exact time by saying, “Tomorrow Adonai will do this in the land.” The following day, Adonai did it — all the livestock of Egypt died; but not one of the animals belonging to the people of Isra’el died. Pharaoh investigated and found that not even one of the animals of the people of Isra’el had died.
Nevertheless, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he didn’t let the people go.
Notes on the Scripture
The plagues against Egypt are both integrated and progressive, and the fifth plague represents a major escalation in several aspects. It is a plague of death. The first four were irritating occurrences, burdensome and disruptive, but the widespread death of Egyptian livestock constitutes serious and permanent economic loss. The role of cattle, sheep and goats in a primitive agricultural economy is enormous: they are a major source of food, a major means of transportation, and the source of raw materials. They are used as a source of power, especially to plow fields.
And the damage does not end when the plague lifts, for the livestock is gone until they can be repopulated. Most of all, though, is the fact that YHWH is causing death; it is an ominous development.
There are more subtle differences in this plague, as well. This is the first time Moses has attributed a plague directly to "the hand of God". It clarifies that the dispute is not between Pharaoh and the Hebrews, but between Pharaoh and God Himself. In the same vein, the phrase "persist in holding onto them", sometimes translated as "holding them back," emphasizes how Pharaoh misunderstands what is going on.
From the Egyptian point of view, this is a matter of slaves wanting their freedom, a dispute between a conquering and a subjugated people. But in fact, the Hebrew inhabitance of Canaan is destiny, the will of the one true God. Pharaoh is not trying to maintain the status quo, as he thinks; rather, he is standing athwart a divine plan.