Daily Devotion for November 4, 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.
Secret Garden, a Norwegian Christian group, is not as well known as they deserve; they wrote and first performed both this song and You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban’s great hit.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit to be with Me This Day
In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.
Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,
Prayer to Know the Living Christ
Lord Christ, time and again I have lost you in a bleak and desolate spiritual wasteland, believing my eyes: For I do not see you. Have you died? Is the tomb empty because your body has been stolen? I look for you and do not see you.
Yet, somehow, you find me. I knock and the door does not seem to open; but you are behind me all the time. I seek and do not think that I find; but I am found. I imagine you and force myself to believe that the image I create is you; yet you yourself are actually there, seeing me and calling me all the time.
I wander off like a lost sheep, my eyes front, and cannot find my way back; but a shepherd seeks me out and calls me, gently. Bless you, and bless you seven times seven, for you admit no failure in finding those who seek you, no matter how lost they may believe themselves. I pray that I may hear your voice, oh Lord, for I know you call, and my desperation is only my willful deafness
[We need to seek God Himself more than His gifts.]
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 20:13 (The Message)
Don’t be too fond of sleep; you’ll end up in the poorhouse.
Wake up and get up; then there’ll be food on the table.
Exodus 18:1-12 (ESV)
Jethro Joins Moses
Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel his people, how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt. Now Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, had taken Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her home, along with her two sons. The name of the one was Gershom (for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land”), and the name of the other, Eliezer (for he said, “The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh”).
Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife to Moses in the wilderness where he was encamped at the mountain of God. And when he sent word to Moses, “I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons with her,” Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. And they asked each other of their welfare and went into the tent.
Then Moses told his father-in-law all that the Lord had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, all the hardship that had come upon them in the way, and how the Lord had delivered them. And Jethro rejoiced for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel, in that he had delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians.
Jethro said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh and has delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods, because in this affair they dealt arrogantly with the people.”
And Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and sacrifices to God; and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.
Notes on the Scripture
e know nothing about the religion of the Midianites, although scant circumstantial evidence suggests that they were willing to adopt and add gods to their worship from other tribes, and so probably worshipped Baal (Baal-peor) and Ashtaroth (the "Queen of the Heavens"). But they were descended from Abraham — Midian was his son by his late wife, Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2) — and might well have worshipped the God of Abraham, as well as others.
We have encountered the Midianites before; Joseph's brothers sold him to Midianite traders. (Gen. 37:28) So we know they were both traders and herders of livestock, and that they ranged from Canaan to Egypt, including the southern part of the Sinai. It was Mount Sinai, or Horeb, where Jethro had sent Moses to graze sheep when God first appeared to him in the burning bush.
Not much is said of the relationship of Moses, Jethro, and Zipporah. There is certainly an informality and fluidity to their relationship, but they always appear to be on good terms. There is an equal ease of accepting Jethro into Judaism. Scholars enjoy debate over whether Moses "divorced" Zipporah or simply sent her to safety while he undertook a dangerous mission to Egypt, but the truth is, there would have been little difference.
Moses will later marry a Cushite woman, but polygamy was common among the Hebrews of the day. In fact, many people are surprised to learn that polygamy is not forbidden in the Bible — including the New Testament! One might say that both Christ and Paul discourage it, or at least consider monogamy the norm; but nowhere is it called sinful.