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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Daily Devotion for September 12, 2015


Aaron turns the Nile to Blood, Moses, Pharoah, by Jan Pynos ca. 1610
Moses and Aaron Change the Nile to Blood, Jan Pynos ca. 1610

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.

Mahalia Jackson in her chilling rendition of the classic spiritual, Trouble of the World.



Prayer of the Ancient Christians

I  give you thanks Holy Father, for your holy name which you have caused to dwell in my heart, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you have made known to me through Jesus your servant; to you be the glory forever.

You, almighty Master, created all things for your name's sake, and gave food and drink to men to enjoy, that they might give you thanks; but to me you have graciously given spiritual food and drink, and eternal life through your servant Jesus. Above all I give thanks because you are mighty; to you be the glory forever.

Remember your church, Lord, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love; and gather it, the one that has been sanctified, from the four winds into your kingdom, which you have prepared for it; for yours is the glory forever.

May grace come, and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not, let him repent. Come, oh Lord!

Amen.

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.

Amen.

Meditation

[Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.]


Benediction (from the Epistle of Jude)

Now all glory to you, great God, who is able to keep us from falling away and will bring us with great joy into your glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to you who alone are God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are yours before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time!

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.



Moses Burning Bush, by Eugene Pluchart
God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush by Eugene Pluchart, ca. 1848.

Why Should I Be Happy?

Has Christ put away your sin? If he has, be as happy as the days are long in the sweet summertime, and be as bright as a garden in the month of June, and sing like angels, for you have more to sing about than angels have.

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Psalm 145:3-6 (KJV)

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
and his greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise thy works to another,
and shall declare thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty,
and of thy wondrous works.
And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts:
and I will declare thy greatness.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 7:14-25 (ESV)

The First Plague: Water Turned to Blood

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh's heart is hardened; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning, as he is going out to the water. Stand on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that turned into a serpent.

And you shall say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, sent me to you, saying, “Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness.” But so far, you have not obeyed. Thus says the Lord, “By this you shall know that I am the Lord: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. The fish in the Nile shall die, and the Nile will stink, and the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile.”’”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, their canals, and their ponds, and all their pools of water, so that they may become blood, and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”

Stained glass drawing of Moses by James Frederick Fields ca. 1900

Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood. And the fish in the Nile died, and the Nile stank, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile.

There was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same by their secret arts. So Pharaoh's heart remained hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said. Pharaoh turned and went into his house, and he did not take even this to heart. And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink the water of the Nile.



Notes on the Scripture

Most scholars think that the "blood" with which God infests the Nile is not actual blood; there are naturally-occurring phenomena, such as algae, that would turn the water red, kill the fish and make it stink. Of course, nobody knows for sure. But Egyptian magicians are able to replicate the phenomenon, or at least close enough to convince Pharaoh that it is not an unknown power.

Pharaoh, being disinclined to give any credit to the Hebrews or their God, misses the point. If we liken the dispute between the Hebrews and Pharaoh to a fight, this is a blow that hurts, but not enough to make Pharaoh leave the ring. The phenomenon itself is not enough to have the Hebrews set free, but the symbolic warning is something he would have been wise to heed: a river flowing with blood is a physical metaphor for the destruction that God will visit on Egypt. The literal river flowing with blood will become a figurative "river of blood".



endless knot

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