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Daily Devotion for October 14, 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.
We rarely show dancing, but the Bible tells us repeatedly to dance in praise of God. This setting of Agnus Dei by the Parodosi Christian Ballet Company is lovely.
Prayer of St. Edmund
O Lord, into your hands and into the hands of your holy angels, this day I entrust my soul, my relatives, my benefactors, my friends and enemies, and all who confess your holy name.
O Lord, by the merits and prayers of your son, Jesus Christ, keep me today from all evil and unruly desires, from all sins and temptations of the devil, from a sudden and unprovided death, and from the pains of hell. Enlighten my heart with the grace of your Holy Spirit. Grant that I may ever be obedient to your commandments. Let me never be separated from you, O God, who lives and reigns forever, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayer for Peace
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live together in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Praise
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, mighty Lord, for I know you will answer me.
Among all men, and the gods of their imagination, and the works of their hands, there is none like You, O Lord; nor are there any works like those you have made. Our great thoughts are pitiful shadows of your wisdom, and our great machines are foolish beside the immensity of your universe.
All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name; for you are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.
[Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.]
Now all glory to you, mighty God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me 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,
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.
Psalm 5:1-3 (NKJV)
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Exodus 13:19-22,14:1-9 (ESV)
The Hebrews' Initial March to the Southeast
And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for Joseph had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones with you from here.” And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.
Notes on the Scripture
When on his deathbed, Joseph made his sons promise that they would bury him in the Promised Land. (Genesis 50:22-26) Remember also the enormous production of carrying Jacob's remains from Egypt to Canaan (Gen. 49:29 - 50:14), to be buried with Abraham and his other relatives, when Joseph was one of the greatest men in Egypt. The Bible refers to his remains as "bones" but Joseph (like Jacob) had been embalmed by the greatest undertakers in world history; he was a mummy!
he translation "equipped for battle" is misleading. The Hebrew reads "by fifties". Hebrew armies were divided (eventually) into units called simply thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. (In fact, when the rule of judges is instituted, civil society will be formally divided in exactly the same way. Israel is an integrated military/civil society, much like the rootless barbarian hordes that would plague Europe and eventually destroy the Roman Empire.) So it is reasonable to read this as "organized into military units". But they were not equipped for battle, in any sense of the word. They could not have had much in the way of swords, shields, spears, armor, etc. Nor did they have military training or experienced officers.
The importance of this appeared in the preceding verses, for it explains a primary reason that the Hebrews were headed for the barren desert, difficult and hostile to human life, rather than towards Canaan and the "land of milk and honey" God had promised them.
Note that they have not yet entered the true desert; they are still in Egypt, headed towards the southeast. While the land is not green farmland, it is still an inhabited region. Nobody really knows exactly where Succoth or Etham were. These were not cities or towns important enough to be recorded, but tiny hamlets, perhaps a few dwellings around a spring or well, long lost to antiquity.
We do know, however, that they were within the borders of the Egyptian state. As will soon become apparent, the inhabitants report the movement of the Hebrews to the Egyptian authorities.