Daily Devotion for May 17, 2015
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.
Our Virtual Sunday Church this week is a “show church” put on by the Gaither organization, but if it is not a real church, the quality of the congregation’s singing makes up for it.
Prayer for Sunday Worship
O God, you make me glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son my Lord: Give me the peace to worship you with my whole heart and mind, forgetting the cares of the world, and dwelling with you for a short moment with my entire being. And give me this day such blessing through my worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in living knowledge of your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Renewal in Christ
My Father, if Your mercy had boundaries, where would be my refuge from just wrath? But Your love for me in Christ is without measure. Thus, I present myself to You with sins of commission and omission, against You, my Father, against You, Adorable Redeemer, against You and Your stirrings, O Holy Spirit, against the dictates of my conscience, against the precepts of Your Word, against my neighbours and myself.
Enter not into judgment with me, I pray, for I plead no righteousness of my own, and have no place to hide my iniquity. Pardon my day dark with evil.This morning I renew my repentance. I vow to love You more fervently, to serve You more sincerely, to be more devoted in my life, to be completely Yours; Yet I soon stumble, backslide, and have to confess my weakness, misery and sin. But I bless You that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from my doings, that His atonement is sufficient satisfaction for my sins.
If future days be mine, help me to amend my life, to hate and abhor evil, to flee the sins I confess. Make me more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Let no evil fruit spring from evil seeds my hands have sown; Let no neighbour be hardened in vanity and folly by my want of watchfulness.
If this day I be ashamed of Christ and His Word, or show unkindness, malice, envy, lack of love, unadvised speech, hasty temper, let it be no stumbling block to others, or dishonour to Your name. O, help me to set an upright example that will ever rebuke vice, appeal to goodness, and evidence that lovely are the ways of Christ.
Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.
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.
Proverbs 23:27-28 (The Message)
A whore is a bottomless pit;
a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
she’s worse than a pack of thieves.
Exodus 24:12-18 (ESV)
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”
Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days.
And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Notes on the Scripture
n his third trip up the mountain, Moses takes young Joshua as an assistant, leaving Aaron and Hur behind to maintain order and acts as chief judges in his stead. The details are only as specific as they need to be: it is impossible today to give an exact chronology or even to follow the events perfectly. For instance, the same language — “Moses went up the mountain” — describes both the first and second leg of the journey.
We might say that Moses and Joshua took a six-day climb most of the way up the mountain. Then, Moses alone was summoned into a clouded part that encompassed some area of the peak, and from which one could see a fiery glow, where he stayed for forty days. What did he eat? It does not say, although Moses will later say that he went without bread or water (Deut. 9:9).
What does “forty days and forty nights” mean? We do not know. It might be literal, but if so, it occurs time after time in the Bible and had some significance that has been lost to us. Some scholars believe that it was a Hebrew figure of speech, used for a long period of time less than a year. The modern equivalent might be to say that Moses stayed on the summit for “many weeks”.
The use of the “forty days” figure, and the later evidence that Moses fasted, ties Moses strongly to Christ — specifically Christ's long temptation, which is also described as “forty days and forty nights” fasting in the wilderness. Those whom God will make holy, so as to receive His direct communication and especially to receive laws to be revealed in His name to humanity, requires an extended period of total self-denial.
We make a much-modified sacrifice of self-denial in Lent; and having read this, we can understand the nature of our partial fast more fully.
Perhaps the vaguest statement concerns what God wrote on the stone tablets. The typical Christian understanding is that God wrote the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 on stone tablets, which for some reason modern Christians must follow, while all of the other law of Exodus was written by Moses at God's behest and applied only to the Hebrews. One must torture the actual statement beyond toleration to conclude that such a reading is accurate; and, as can easily be seen, it is directly contradicted in Exodus 34.
Both the ten commandments and the Law of Moses were the covenant with the Israelites; and both were later established for all the world. “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.” (Romans 3:13)
Generally, this doesn't cause much damage to Christians' understanding of how they should live their lives in Christ. Those who are going to try to read the Bible for instruction with an open mind and an attitude of humility can, actually, learn all they need to know in the New Testament.
But a real understanding of Exodus, the law, and God's relationship with the Hebrews, adds dimension and depth to our lives.