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Daily Devotion for August 10, 2017
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.
As we travel through the desert
Storms beset us on our way;
But beyond the River Jordan
Lies a field of endless days.
Farther on still go farther,
Count the milestones one by one.
Jesus will forsake you never.
It is better farther on.
Oh my brother are you weary
Of the roughness of the way?
Does your strength begin to fail you
And your vigor to decay?
Jesus, Jesus will go with you,
He will lead you to the throne,
He who dyed His garments for you,
And the winepress trod alone.
At my grave I'll still you be singing,
Though you weep for one that’s gone.
Singing as we once did singing,
It is better farther on.
Traditional; first noted in 1877.
Prayer to Endure the World
Dear Jesus, look down on me this morning with sympathy, for I feel much afflicted. I have a headache and my back hurts. I did not sleep well and I did not sleep long enough. I am worried about my health, I am worried about my money, I am worried about my family. My home needs repairs. People do not give me the respect I deserve. Nobody listens to me.
There is a certain person who is driving me crazy! I don't have as much energy as I used to and I'm not sure I have enough to get everything done today that I want to do, or even, that I need to do.
The crazy and even destructive things people say in the media and the political mess in my locality and my nation make me despair. How can people be so stupid? They just seem to get worse and worse. The country is run by morons; how can people fail to elect people with some minimum of competence and honesty? Even in the churches, people cannot see or understand the most basic things about you, and the hypocrisy of so many Christians makes me half-ashamed to call myself one sometimes.
And then, Lord Christ, I realize. The world is not perfectible. There is only one place free from pain, worry, frustration, and all of the nonsense and damage that the human mind can create, and that is in your bosom. Hold me tight, Lord Jesus; give me the strength to endure the pain, give me the certainty of hope to avoid the anxiety, give me the blessed knowledge of Your coming again that I might not be stressed out about the things of this world; for they shall pass away soon enough.
And in the meantime, let me grow in you, that I might see my own wrongdoing and with the help of your Spirit, simply dissolve it away. It is in this world that Satan can find his prey, the fertile soil for evil. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, great Lord. Help me to prepare myself, I pray, in the name of Your love,
Prayer for Fruits of the Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ, give me a measure of your spirit, that I may be able to obey your teachings, to pacify anger, to pity the sinful, to moderate desire, to increase love, to put away sorrow, to cast aside pride in my accomplishments, not to be vindictive, not to fear death, always entrusting my spirit to Almighty God the Father, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, with no end.
[Having pity upon the sinful.]
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep me from falling away and will bring me with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his 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.
When men sought to make Him a king He fled; now that they seek to put Him to death He goes out to meet them.
~ Rudolph Stier
Genesis 41:25-36 (ESV)
Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams 
Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
he seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years; the dreams are one. The seven lean and ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears blighted by the east wind are also seven years of famine. It is as I told Pharaoh; God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.
There will come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt, but after them there will arise seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land, and the plenty will be unknown in the land by reason of the famine that will follow, for it will be very severe. And the doubling of Pharaoh’s dream means that the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it about.
Now therefore let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh proceed to appoint overseers over the land and take one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt during the seven plentiful years. And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.”
Notes on the Scripture
Joseph is a prophet or seer of sorts, but never claiming to have personal power; he ascribes his vision to God and glorifies Him. But why all this nonsense about dreams? If God wants to warn Pharaoh of a famine, why do so in a riddle? Because God wants Pharaoh to know the source of his knowledge. He wants Pharaoh to be compelled to rely upon His prophet. But even so, why does Joseph not have the dream himself, and simply prophesy the coming famine? Because he would not believe it. God puts the vision directly into the Pharaoh’s eye, because he will believe his own eyes; whereas, he would give little credibility to anyone else, much less a prisoner from some rustic tribe.
Egypt is particularly vulnerable to famine, because it is so arid that crops cannot be grown without irrigation. The annual flooding of the Nile generates practically all the food for this large and powerful early empire. Moreover, the annual flood is not regular or predictable in its size and it could, indeed, be so small as to cause widespread starvation. (The Aswan Dam remedied the problem.)
Even worse, as far as the Pharaoh was concerned, was that these ancient people had no idea that the flood was caused by snow melting in mountains a thousand miles to the south. They invented gods who controlled the flood; and the Pharaoh was the intermediary. A famine was a sign that Isis was not pleased with him. A bad crop thus caused disaffection of the people, and a bad famine might result in the Pharaoh’s execution and replacement.