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Daily Devotion for February 8, 2016
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.
God bless Crystal Bowersox, who put the Word into mainstream television about the only way possible: by singing a gospel song on American Idol.
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 morning (e. e. cummings)
i thank God for most this
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes
Prayer to Gain and Share Wisdom
Lord, there is so much that I don't know, and I ask you to inspire me with a thirst for knowledge. I pray, too, for wisdom and understanding that I may use my knowledge well. I give thanks for many people I have never met whose knowledge and understanding have been passed on to me. I ask that I may benefit from their work and experience and may contribute, in turn, to the well-being of others.
[Faith is obedience without knowing the results.]
Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,
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.
Proverbs 23:27-28 (The Message)
A whore is a bottomless pit;
a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
she’s worse than a pack of thieves.
Exodus 24:12-18 (ESV)
The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”
Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days.
And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Notes on the Scripture
On his third trip up the mountain, Moses takes young Joshua as an assistant, leaving Aaron and Hur behind to maintain order and acts as chief judges in his stead. The details are only as specific as they need to be: it is impossible today to give an exact chronology or even to follow the events perfectly. For instance, the same language — "Moses went up the mountain" — describes both the first and second leg of the journey.
We might say that Moses and Joshua took a six-day climb most of the way up the mountain. Then, Moses alone was summoned into a clouded part that encompassed some area of the peak, and from which one could see a fiery glow, where he stayed for forty days. What did he eat? It does not say, although Moses will later say that he went without bread or water (Deut. 9:9).
What does "forty days and forty nights" mean? We do not know. It might be literal, but if so, it occurs time after time in the Bible and had some significance that has been lost to us. Some scholars believe that it was a Hebrew figure of speech, used for a long period of time less than a year. The modern equivalent might be to say that Moses stayed on the summit for "many weeks".
The use of the "forty days" figure, and the later evidence of a fast, ties Moses strongly to Christ — specifically Christ's long temptation, which is also described as "forty days and forty nights" in the wilderness. Those whom God will make holy, so as to receive His direct communication and especially to receive laws to be revealed in His name to humanity, requires an extended period of total self-denial.
We make a much-modified sacrifice of self-denial in Lent; and having read this, we can understand the nature of our partial fast more fully.
Perhaps the vaguest statement concerns what God wrote on the stone tablets. The typical Christian understanding is that God wrote the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20 on stone tablets, which for some reason modern Christians must follow, while all of the other law of Exodus was written by Moses at God's behest and applied only to the Hebrews. One must torture the actual statement beyond toleration to conclude that such a reading is accurate; and, as we have seen, it is directly contradicted in Exodus 34.
Generally, this doesn't cause much damage to Christians' understanding of how they should live their lives in Christ. Those who are going to try to read the Bible for instruction with an open mind and an attitude of humility can, actually, learn all they need to know in the New Testament.
But a real understanding of Exodus, the law, and God's relationship with the Hebrews, adds dimension and depth to our lives.
(Editor's Personal Note: I don't know about anyone else, but this detailed reading of Exodus has made tangible changes in my life, especially in how I observe Lord's Day, my understanding of giving of goods (tithing), my attitude towards simple superstitions, and actually a number of little things.)