Daily Devotion for February 11, 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.
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day;
Earth's joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell'st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Music (Eventide) by Wm H. Monk, 1861
Lyrics by Henry Lyle, 1847
Prayer for the Morning
Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.
Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.
Prayer of Thanks
Thank you, oh source of all abundance, for surrounding me with good things. But help me to remember that nothing of earthly value owns timeless truth. Let your immeasurable blessings transform how I perceive material benefits. Teach me to appreciate unchanging treasures: the wealth of your compassion, the grandeur of your wisdom, and the richness of reconciliation. Lighten my selfishness with simple faith. Help me to reveal your love more joyously. And strengthen me in grace, oh God, always to give the best that serves you most in humble gratitude.
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Getting Close to God
“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness.”
~ Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Exodus 9:8-12 (ESV)
The Sixth Plague: Boils
And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from the kiln, and let Moses throw them in the air in the sight of Pharaoh. It shall become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and become boils breaking out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.”
So they took soot from the kiln and stood before Pharaoh. And Moses threw it in the air, and it became boils breaking out in sores on man and beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils came upon the magicians and upon all the Egyptians.
But the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
Notes on the Scripture
Both the tempo and the severity of the plagues are escalating. God now attacks the bodies of the Egyptians. The pain of the sores is shown by the magicians themselves, who "cannot stand before Moses."The disease is not merely painful, but also disfiguring; those afflicted, who are all Egyptian, cannot disguise their powerlessness before the might of Jehovah.
The role of the magicians is a gauge of the effect of the plagues on the people of Egypt. The roles of magicians, priests and physicians were closely tied and sometimes overlapping. Initially, they were able to recreate the plagues (at least to a degree) and show that they and their gods were as powerful as the God of the Hebrews. But as of the fourth plague (gnats), they fell so far behind that they could not even imitate it. They had been defeated and admitted that the plague was "the finger of God" and not a magic trick. Now, they cannot even stand before Moses.
The magicians are so thoroughly defeated that they have become irrelevant. They are not mentioned again in Exodus. Pharaoh stands alone, against the opinions of his advisors.
Another difference here is that Moses does not give Pharaoh any warning. Perhaps in light of Pharaoh's repeated lies and broken promises, God has simply begun to punish him. No specific demand is recorded, no promise evoked. The plagues of Egypt have become a plain demonstration of the destructive power of human pride, running contrary to the will of God.