Daily Devotion for October 17, 2020
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.
This week we have a different kind of “Saturday Oldie” -- 19th century old! The hymn is a lost favorite of early America, although there are recordings of it by rural black and white guitar and banjo players. Here we hark back to an even older version by the Anabaptists, with a harmonized a capella version.
And by faith we can see it afar;
For the Father waits over the way
To prepare us a dwelling place there.
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore;
In the sweet by and by,
We shall meet on that beautiful shore.
We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.
To our bountiful Father above,
We will offer our tribute of praise
For the glorious gift of His love
And the blessings that hallow our days.
Music by Joseph P. Webster
Lyrics by Sanford F. Bennett, 1868
To Know God
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
To Love Lost Souls
Lord Jesus, I want to love with Your love those souls that are withering or lost. Enable me to remove any prejudices, judgments, and assumptions from my heart so that I may see them as You do: glorious and beloved children of the Father who have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. Remind me that You love them as much as You do me, and that at some point, You used someone to revive me as I withered and to bring me into Your flock when I was lost.
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What verse of the Bible commands us to take our values from the Bible rather than human society?
Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you.
~ George Muller
Exodus 3:13-15 (ESV)
Moses and The Burning Bush  - The Name of God
Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
Byzantine mosaic, ca. 9th century
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”
And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.”
Notes on the Scripture
There is a theological term, “immanent”, which is useful to think about here. It unfortunately sounds like not one, but two more common words, “eminent” (outstanding, distinguished) and “imminent” (about to happen), but it is not related in meaning to either of them. (Note the odd spelling.) The immanence of God means God as He exists in the world, as he is with us. Because God is immanent, we can know Him, at least in part.
We cannot know God completely; we cannot see Him as He is. But, from time to time, God will be with us in a form we can know and understand. He makes himself into something or someone with whom we can communicate. In our world today, the immanent God is the Holy Spirit. Christ’s promise to us, that He would not leave us alone, meant that God would be present forever as the Holy Spirit. Thus we say that the Holy Spirit is the immanent God.
At the beginning of Exodus 3, God has been out of communication with the Hebrews for hundreds of years. His appearance as a burning bush and a voice is a momentous event. Remember how gently God approached Abraham, in the time just before He destroyed Sodom (Genesis 18). One might say that this was possible, or appropriate, because Abraham knew God and actively sought to please Him.
“I AM” (Exodus 3:14)
But at the beginning of Exodus, God appears to Moses in a more fearsome, attention-grabbing manner. Moses does not seem to have had much prior knowledge of God. So God appears to him in a startling supernatural occurrence, explicitly demanding reverence and telling Moses exactly who He is. (Exodus 3:1-6.) Moses is not bold enough to demand God’s name, but instead asks Him what he should say if others ask.
The Name of God was a critical concept to ancient peoples, for their gods had names, and it was by their name that people thought the power of the god might be invoked. But the true God does not give what we would consider a “name”. He basically says, “I’m God, period. If you have to call me something, know me as the God of Abraham and your forefathers.”
The Hebrews will adopt “I AM” as the “name” of God. Certainly He knows this and allows (and often encourages) them to do it. But one must suspect that this mind-puzzle is a sop to human limitations. The immanent God is God as He shows Himself to us, so that we can grasp His existence, a voice and visual phenomenon created to communicate with humanity. God as He exists — the full nature of God — is unseeable and unknowable to our limited capabilities. Later on in Exodus He will tell Moses that to look upon the “face of God” would be fatal. He transcends our reality; we can ultimately know Him only as “I am”. “God” is the god who is.