Daily Devotion for March 19, 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 touching moment, as Bill Gaither says goodbye to his longtime friend, George Younce
Prayer to Find God in Nature
Morning and evening, Lord, I beseech Thee, suffer my cry from this wood to reach Thee; these are Thy presents, Thy heart I find in the dark forest in sleet and wind.
As on the sea Thou sailest before, a cloud, that our ship might see this shore, so now Thou walkest, these trees Thy feet, and in this brook Thy heart doth beat.
Lord, I am fearless, Thy mercy shown, for where Thou art there is nought unknown; what are these seemings save Thine own? O grant Thy servant his grace of days, whose hours shall all be filled with praise: here Thy new works must numb’red be and fair names fitted to beast and tree. All to be learned, all to be loved, thus ever fresh Thy kingdom proved.
from The Kid by Conrad Aiken
Prayer for Freedom from Fear
O Lord, I beseech you to deliver me, and all of your children, from the fear of the unknown future; from fear of failure; from fear of poverty; from fear of bereavement; from fear of loneliness; from fear of sickness and pain; from fear of age; from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by your grace to love and fear only you, and fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in you; through our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
Prayer for Unknown Needs
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on my weakness, and mercifully give me those things which for my unworthiness I dare not, and for my blindness I cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
May the God who made me, the God who keeps me, and the God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down His blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep Him in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Do We Love God?
The acid test of our love for God is obedience to His Word.
~ Bob Jones, Sr.
Exodus 16:9-21 (ESV)
Bread from Heaven 
Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. And the Lord said to Moses, “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”
In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground.
When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer [two quarts], according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’”
And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.
And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
Notes on the Scripture
God is teaching the Hebrews to trust him every day afresh. He is reforming their minds to think about their provisioning for their journey — their daily bread — in a way that is not natural to them (or anyone). And His method reflects a more fundamental change in their minds.
Today's ten-dollar word is "syncretism", which means adopting thoughts from different schools and melding them into a new one. The Hebrews' minds have been formed in a world where religion was polytheistic and syncretist. If a new god was adopted by a powerful minority in Egypt, Egyptian priests could simply slot the new god into their existing system, modifying their beliefs slightly in order to accommodate and include the new-god-worshipers into the mainstream.
But Yahweh has no truck with syncretism. The true God deals in one absolute, unyielding truth.
He is, however, sympathetic to human psychology. The Hebrews are not praying to Yahweh for sustenance; they are complaining. (Kvetching, as it were.) And yet, God hears them and answers them as if they had fallen on their faces in humility and faith.
Anyone with basic knowledge of the human mind realizes how hard fundamental change can be. People cling to what they learned as children, and the older we get, the harder it is to change. Thus He is gentle, gradual, patient.
The instructions that come from Moses and Aaron are not insights or decisions, not the product of experience and leadership; they are prophesy. God is training the Hebrews to hear prophesy and then witness it coming true. He is slowly reforming their fundamental view of the world.
It is an instructive lesson for every person, because in order to find God, it is something that each of us must undergo as an individual. Trust in God does not come naturally, for our minds learn first from our senses, and lead us to learn how to deal with the world. We do have superstitious instincts, but we cannot trust those, either; there are many things God has not promised, and the wild imaginings of the uninformed spirit fall easily into the hands of evil.