Daily Devotion for August 24, 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.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.
T'was Grace that taught
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
the hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far
and Grace will lead us home.
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within in the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
then when we've first begun.
Lyrics by John Newton (1773)
Music origin unk.
For Perseverance Today
If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing. May every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue, as every new day is Your miracle day.
Prayer to Know God's Will
And shall I pray Thee change Thy will, my Father,
Until it be according unto mine?
But, no, Lord, no, that never shall be, rather
I pray Thee blend my human will with Thine.
I pray Thee hush the hurrying, eager longing,
I pray Thee soothe the pangs of keen desire -
See in my quiet places, wishes thronging -
Forbid them, Lord, purge, though it be with fire.
[Purging sinful desire.]
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The Bible does not contain the Word of God; It is the Word of God.
~ Lee Roberson
Exodus 2:23-25 (ESV)
God Hears the Cry of the Hebrews
During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.
And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel — and God knew.
Notes on the Scripture
In the movie The Ten Commandments, the Pharaoh of Egypt is called "Ramses", but the matter of who was ruling Egypt during the time of Moses is a wide-ranging debate among scholars. Today, the scholars who believe Rameses II was the Pharaoh during the events of Exodus are primarily Muslims! Christian scholars cannot even pinpoint the century during which Exodus is set or the dynasty to which the pharaoh belonged.
The problem of historicity, as with much of the Old Testament, is that the Hebrews were unusually good record-keepers for that day, all things considered, and really the only civilization that kept continuous historical records. The Egyptians kept records that were, when they exist, even better in ways, for they were written down contemporaneously, whereas the early Hebrew history was largely oral and not written down until long after. But Egyptian records were lost and then recovered, in a forgotten language that had to be deciphered; and they were also hit-or-miss.
Many people have used the lack of a recorded Egyptian account as a wedge to attack the authenticity of Exodus, but there are good reasons (other than simple faith) to give it credence. Pharaohs, like kings everywhere, did not like to remember defeats. You will find, in London, a great monument to Nelson's victory at Trafalgar, but you will have to travel to the United States to see the Battle of Saratoga or Yorktown engraved in stone. It is the victors who record victories.
n a more theological topic, one might wonder why God was so slow to react to the plight of His people, or why He had to "remember" his covenant with Abraham. The key lies, as it does with almost all great suffering by the Hebrews, in idolatry.
The Hebrews in Egypt were given to the worship of idols. Even Moses himself is no paragon of righteousness. He was raised as an Egyptian. He has married a foreigner, and it is not altogether clear that his killing of the Egyptian slaver was justified. (Moses' failings will become both clearer and more important as Exodus progresses.)
But the main point is, God has not "forgotten" anything. The word "remember" is used in the sense of "take into account"; He allows his promise to Abraham to overcome his anger at the Hebrews. God remains fully faithful to the Hebrews, even though they have not been fully faithful to Him; and even though He may punish them in the process, He will in fact rescue them from slavery (and possible extinction) and give them possession of Canaan, as He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.