Daily Devotion for February 26, 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.
This recording from the 1930s of Blind Willie Johnson singing "Let Your Light Shine on Me" is quite good for the time. Blind Willis doesn't have a pretty voice but his song is full of spirit.
Prayer for the Morning
Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.
Turn me, O good Lord, and so shall I be turned. Be favorable, O Lord, be favorable to your people, who turn to you in weeping, fasting, and praying. For you are a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. You spare us when we deserve punishment, and even in your wrath think upon mercy. Spare your people, good Lord, spare them, and do not let your heritage be brought to confusion. Hear me, O Lord, for your mercy is great, and after the multitude of your mercies look upon me and all your people; Through the merits and mediation of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Salvation
Most blessed Christ, I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. No matter how weak or lowly I may feel, I will always remember your words: that those whom the earth despises — the stones that the builders rejected — have become the cornerstone of your church. Let me be strong in faith and strong in your Spirit; for only by You, Lord Christ, may the gates of righteousness be opened to a sinner. I pray that I may be part of the foundation of your church on earth, and that by your grace, the gates of righteousness may be opened to me and to all who confess your holy name.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 50:22-23 (NKJV)
Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces,
And there be none to deliver:
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.
Exodus 12:33-42 (ESV)
The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders.
The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. And the Lord had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It was a night of watching by the Lord, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.
Notes on the Scripture
And so the promise of the Burning Bush, "I AM", is fulfilled. The Hebrews are not simply allowed to leave Egypt; they are practically driven away. They have won a war without drawing a sword; their only physical weapons are two staffs, carried by Moses and Aaron. Moreover, the Egyptians, in shock over the deaths of all the firstborn, are so desperate to be rid of them that they freely give up their gold, jewelry, and clothing.
The Hebrews were not looking for luxury; they would need the money to survive their coming ordeal. They head out into the wilderness, a huge host of about 25,000 people, and depart so quickly they cannot leaven their bread, just as they have been prepared to do.
(Note: The English translation of "six hundred thousand men on foot" is almost surely incorrect; we will discuss this at length in a day or two.)
They will now have to do penance for their sins; it will take them forty years to get right with God. The exodus itself is the beginning of God's training the Hebrews to follow His law. Worshipping idols is akin to "Sunday Christianity". One burns something before the idol when one wants something from the god, and then one goes on about his day, his conduct unchanged. But the relationship of the Hebrews to Yahweh will be something new. They will have to change their conduct permanently and continuously, living their lives in obedience to God-given law.
Profound, fundamental change does not come easy. The process has already started. We see the Hebrews acting in obedience to extensive dictates for Passover and gaining, by their obedience, a great boon.
Moreover, this new God is only partially revealed, unlike the tangible statues of Thoth and Anubis. He is beginning the long process of implanting faith. He is gradually weaning the Hebrews off the milk of a visible statue, onto the solid food of faith in an unseen God. There will still be visible evidence of Him, but it will be ever more distant, until their faith has grown so strong they can follow the Word of a God they cannot see.