Daily Devotion for August 27, 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.
With my head bowed low,
In the darkness as black as could be.
And my heart felt alone
and I cried, oh Lord,
Don't hide your face from me.
Hold my hand all the way,
every hour every day,
From here to the great unknown.
Take my hand, let me stand,
Where no one stands alone.
Like a king I may live in a palace so tall,
With great riches to call my own;
But I don't know a thing
In this whole wide world
That's worse than being alone.
Music and Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong,
Frank E Wright, III, and Michael Pritchard.
Prayer for the Morning
Father, as I face this new day, let me be aware of the work you have done for me as I slept. I praise you that your loving care never slumbers, but has been with me while I was least aware of it; and that you renew me and the whole world, fresh every day, preparing your plans for me.
I pray that I may seek your will this day, your plan for my life, and carry out your plan in my every action. I lay my hopes and fears on an altar before you, that your Holy Spirit may guide my hopes toward the light of your holiness, and may quiet my fears with the knowledge of your infinite peace, in total confidence that your grace will save me from the evils of this world. In Jesus' name I pray,
A Prayer of Abandonment to the Holy Spirit:
Holy Spirit, God of Love, be present to me; accept the offering of myself which I make to you. Receive these hands, these feet, these eyes, this tongue, and all my senses. Receive my memory, my will, my understanding, my desires, my sighs, the longings and the aspirations of my soul. Receive my every hour, my every moment, and all the happenings of my life. Holy Spirit, God of Love, knit my soul to you. Let your love possess my whole being - my senses, my powers, my affections, my very life. Let your love rule my labor and my rest, my going and my staying, and move me as it pleases. Let your love disquiet or comfort me, humble or exalt me, and burn away all my faults.
Holy Spirit, God of Love, draw me to yourself. Do with me what you will. Nothing will cause me fear if only your love enfolds me. I ask confidently because your desire to give is greater than mine to receive. Transform me into yourself, so that I may no longer know myself, nor find myself, except in you.
[God does not slumber.]
Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV)
A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.
Exodus 3:7-12 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush 
Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”
He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
Notes on the Scripture
As we discussed in Exodus 3:1-6, Moses is not a particularly righteous man; his future as perhaps the greatest prophet of Judaism was not announced by angels at his birth, his mother was not visited in her pregnancy. While he seems strong and resourceful, he is by no means extraordinary, especially concerning his faithfulness to God.
So when he says, "who am I that I should . . . bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?", he is not being modest or humble. It is more along the lines of, "You can't be serious." Imagine an African-American murder suspect who has fled to rural Alberta, who has found a life working as a ranch hand and doesn't go to church, being told that he is to become God's great prophet. And by a burning bush in the middle of nowhere!
Canaanites, from the
Egyptian "Book of Gates".
Moses is understandably dumbfounded. He is not prepared for this in any way. He was raised partly as an Egyptian from birth and has no great knowledge the Hebrew God. He has not even circumcised his son, as we will see a bit later. He is not a leader of men or a practiced orator; his adult life has been the lonely and often solitary life of a shepherd in the wilderness.
Notes on Geography and Ethnology
Exodus tells us the names of the seven primary tribes of Canaan, but it is the only source historians have for much of the information. The Hivites, Perizzites, and Jebusites are unknown outside the Bible, although the latter two are mentioned in tablets found by archaeologists in Egypt, dating to @ 1400 B.C. (the "Armana Tablets"). The Amorites and Hittites were powerful ancient empires in Syria and Mesopotamia; apparently a fair number of each drifted down into Canaan. The Canaanites were a widespread, incohesive Semitic people inhabiting the lowlands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. (We will get yet another odd name, the "Girgashites", a tribe in the very north of Canaan, in Deuteronomy and Joshua, which Joshua will have to subdue). See Map of the Seven Nations of Canaan.
To put the geography in perspective, we have made a map showing the areas mentioned so far in Exodus, although the location of Mount Horeb (later called Mount Sinai) is speculative. Map for Exodus 2.