Daily Devotion for September 7, 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.
We have some light humor today as well as a terrific, pick-me-up convention-style gospel song. If you just want to hear the music, move the timer (red line at the bottom of the screen) to 5:15.
When we leave this low land,
We will cross the Jordan;
Past the chilling torrent
Heaven's joy awaits.
Just beyond the blue horizon,
Just above the starry sky;
Far above this land of sorrow,
Way above each tear and sigh.
Just a few more miles before us,
Just a little while to wait;
Soon we'll sing redemption’s chorus
Heaven's joy awaits.
Heaven's breeze is blowing,
Gently to recalling;
I will soon be going,
Through the Pearly Gates.
Words and Music by Vep Ellis (1942)
To Take up the Shield of Faith
Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith this morning and carry it before me throughout the day. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.
The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord. It tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of revenge. It lures me to the love of money. Envy, anger, and vanity are the traps it sets. It tells me to worship myself until I am hollow. Pride is its bait, and death is its reward.
Defend me, I pray, against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ's name I pray,
My Father, I pray that I may have patience to live through the difficulties of life. May I correct my faults, that they may not destroy my peace and take from me my strength; help me to center my life in brightness and hope.
[The assault of impurity that life in the world brings.]
Community of Prayer
I pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.
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.
"God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them."
~ C.S. Lewis
Genesis 45:9-20 (ESV)
Joseph Promises to Provide for His Family
“Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’
And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”
Notes on the Scripture
n earlier times, the “Land of Goshen” was a well-known phrase. At least 30 states in the U.S. have incorporated towns named Goshen, not to mention numerous villages and townships, counties, etc. These were named, of course, in a time when the Bible was more widely read and better known; it is unlikely that one person in ten, today, would have any idea what the word Goshen referred to.
It does live on in the expletive “gosh”, which is itself less heard than in past times. It is thought to sound unsophisticated today and you would only hear it in a movie or t.v. show said by a hick or rube, or perhaps by a child. In fact Granny, on the old t.v. show Beverly Hillbillies, would actually say “Land of Goshen!” on occasion. But language has gotten coarser, or at least, coarse language is more widely accepted in public than it once was.
Goshen lies in the eastern part of the Nile River Delta, the part of Egypt closest to Canaan; it is the first fertile land you would reach if you traveled west from the Suez Canal. The only mention of it, or the Hebrew settlement of eastern Egypt, is in the Bible. It is indeed good land and suitable for the pastoral lifestyle of the Hebrews, as the grass is abundant.
The Egyptians looked down on tribes who herded livestock for their livelihood; the Pharaoh’s power lay in the great grain harvest of the Nile, and so, naturally, manorial farming was considered the highest form of basic economy. Joseph was not known as a herder; his service had been to the organization and storage of the grain crop. But the low-class lifestyle of his family and tribe will cause trouble, as we shall soon see.