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Daily Devotion for May 10, 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.
I've had questions for tomorrow,
There've been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave blessed consolation,
That my trials only come to make me strong.
Through it all,
Through it all,
I've learned to trust in Jesus;
I've learned to trust in God.
Through it all,
Through it all,
I've learned to depend upon His Word.
I've been a lot of places,
And I've seen so many faces,
But there've been times I've felt so all alone;
But in that lonely hour,
In that precious, lonely hour,
Jesus let me know I was His own.
So I thank God for the mountains,
And I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He's brought me through.
Cause if I never had a problem,
I wouldn't know that He could solve them,
I wouldn't know what faith in His Word could do.
Music and Lyrics by Gary Victor Brown and Steve Harvey.
Prayer for the Morning (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
A Prayer of St. Basil the Great
I bless you, O God most high and Lord of mercies, who forever works great and mysterious deeds for me, glorious, wonderful, and numberless; who provides me with sleep as a rest from my infirmities and as a repose for my body tired by labor. I thank you that you have not destroyed me in my transgressions, but in your love toward mankind you have raised me up, as I lay in despair, that I may glorify your majesty.
I entreat your infinite goodness, enlighten the eyes of my understanding and raise up my mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open my mouth and fill it with your praise, that I may unceasingly sing and confess you, who is God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, the only-begotten Son, and the all-holy and good and life-giving Spirit: now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is a quiet voice at the end of the day, saying,"I will try again tomorrow."
~ Mary Anne Radmacher
Exodus 21:1-6 (ESV)
Laws About Male Slaves
“Now these are the rules that you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him.
If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,’ then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.
Notes on the Scripture
(Note: Having diverted for several weeks to examine the Ten Commandments in more detail, we now return to where we left off in Exodus. If you have not been following our study of Exodus, you might want to look at the Notes for May 9 to provide some context.)
In the Old Testament, what we might call slavery is abolished here, and what we would call “indentured servitude” substituted in its place.
Slavery is part of the natural order of society and is practiced in its cruellest form wherever religious sentiment has not affected the laws of a nation. Innumerable variations have existed; as late as 1865, we saw a sort of slavery almost identical to the Egyptian/Hebrew relationship — permanent racial slavery — in the United States.
Note that this law applies only to Hebrew slaves. People desperate for money would sell themselves or their children into “slavery”; but again, this relationship is poorly described as slavery, as it was voluntary and temporary.
The laws about an indentured servant who marries are just what one might imagine, given the marital customs. No woman would marry a slave voluntarily; the Hebrew custom of marriage was that the groom's family paid money to both the bride and the bride's family. (Whereas in Western culture, the bride's family was expected to pay the groom — and the amounts could be substantial. This custom lives on, in the widespread expectation that a bride's family will fund the wedding, although men are expected to provide an engagement ring.)
So, a male slave, who was destitute by definition, would never be able to marry unless his employer/master provided him a bride. In such cases, the master would not lose his rights to the female slave or the children. The indentured servant would have to choose permanent service to keep his family, or he could leave service as he entered it.
The salient point here is that the relationship was governed and constricted by law. The powerful master could not treat the slave purely on his whim. Nor could he cheat; the man who would make his service permanent slavery would have to state his voluntary will to do so in public, before witnesses.