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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Daily Devotion for August 24, 2015


<i>The Israelites Leaving Egypt</i> by David Roberts, ca. 1828.
The Israelites Leaving Egypt by David Roberts, ca. 1828. (See Full-size.)

Prayers

Scripture

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.



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.

Amen.

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.

Amen.

Meditation

[Purging sinful desire.]


Benediction

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.

Amen.


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.




Full-page miniature of a Gothic structure inhabited by dragons and incorporating the initial-word panel We-elleh (and these), at the beginning of "Exodus, the Duke of Sussex German Pentateuch") ca. 1320
The Hebrew word We-elleh ("And these") at the beginning of Exodus, from "The Duke of Sussex's German Pentateuch", Gothic, ca. 1320 (British Museum)

The Bible

The Bible does not contain the Word of God; It is the Word of God.

~ Lee Roberson


Blue Latin Cross

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.

Rameses, Yul Brynner in Ten Commandments, Exodus

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.

O

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.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Jehovah the Healer”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 7:1: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.


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