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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Daily Devotion for October 19, 2015


<i>The Crossing of the Red Sea</i>, Sistine Chapel, attributed to Biagio d'Antonio, ca. 1481.
The Crossing of the Red Sea, Sistine Chapel, attributed to Biagio d'Antonio, ca. 1481. Although Pharaohs's army looks distinctly like 15th century Florentine cavalry, the panic and pain of getting "drownded" is captured dramatically.

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.



A Prayer of Entreaty by Jane Austen

Compassionate Lord, give me a thankful sense of the Blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference.

Be gracious to my Necessities, and guard me, and all I love, from Evil this day. May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care; and heartily do I pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan and Widow and that thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.

Above all other blessings Oh! God, for myself, and my fellow-creatures, I implore Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name. Hear me Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.

Amen.

Prayer to Live in the Moment

Lord Christ, I have puzzled long and hard over your words, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” But I get the gist of it: we have enough to worry about today. You have tomorrow covered.

Leaving the future in your hands is hard; I want to worry. Please, Lord Christ, show me the way. Teach me to live in the day, in the moment, so that I might focus myself on whatever is at hand.

Thy will be done, my Lord and God; I leave my destiny to your guidance. Help me to surrender myself to you in faith and clear my mind of confusion. Let my attention on your will be undivided, I pray, for my only hope lies in You.

Amen.

For Work

The things, great Lord, that I pray for, give me thy grace to labour for.

Amen.

Meditation

[The grace to labor for that which we ask.]


Dedication

Lord, in utter humility I thank you and glorify you, that you might hear the prayer of one so small as myself, amidst the billions of souls among billions of stars in one of billions of galaxies in your universe. Let me go forth in your peace, keeping your Spirit always in my mind; and bless me, I pray, that I might always follow your will and live in the radiance of your blessing.

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 in Exodus, Hebrews crossing the Red Sea
Old illustration from a children’s Bible.

Psalm 32:1-6 (The Message)

Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be —
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

Count yourself lucky —
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.

When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.

Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone —
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.

These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 14: 22-31 (KJV)

The Parting of the Red Sea [2]

And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

A

nd the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

Exodus Map - Hammond   Exodus Map 2



Notes on the Scripture

There is not much to say about this wonderful story, as what happened is clear from the face of the text. Moses raised his staff, God parted the sea, and the Hebrews — having packed up their camp, and so with all of their baggage and animals — traveled safely to the opposite shore. They walked on dry land, bravely, as the sea formed walls of water on either side of them.

When the Egyptians tried to pursue, the wheels of their chariots got stuck and came off. The Egyptians lost their nerve and tried to reverse course: but before they could get back, morning arrived, the Hebrews were by then safely across, and God pulled the plug on the walls of water. Thus, Pharaoh's army "got drownded".

There has been a huge amount of scholarship over the past hundred years, attempting to show how this might have happened naturally, but if you see this kind of speculation and think about it for a minute, you will see that it is utter nonsense. If someone don't trust the account in Exodus — if Exodus is wrong, a fable, a fiction — why do they think the Hebrews were ever in Egypt in the first place? There is no other record of it. If you do trust Exodus, on the other hand, no natural phenomenon can possibly explain what happened.

The one point at which the Old Testament may not agree with modern usage is that the Hebrews might have crossed a body of water no longer called the "Red Sea". But the border between Sinai and Egypt is littered with deep bodies of water (just look at the Hammond Map, linked above); these may have connected to the Red Sea over 3,000 years ago, or they may have been known as the Red Sea collectively.

The Bible, for example, talks about Paul sailing out of the harbor at Ephesus — but Ephesus is five miles inland! (I was just there, which is why this one comes to mind.) Is the Bible wrong? No — 2000 years ago, Ephesus was a port. The geography has changed. Both geography (and especially shoreline and shallow sea geography) and nomenclature have changed. The “Red Sea” that Moses crossed @ 3500 years ago might not even exist today.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“The Day You Find Out Why”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Proverbs 3:7 (ESV): Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.


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