Daily Devotion for March 14, 2019
“Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams,” illustration from The History of Joseph and His Brethren, by Owen Jones, 1869.
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.
Prayer of Saint Clement of Rome
You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings.
Do not take into account every sin of your servants, but cleanse us with the cleansing of your truth, and “direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart,” and “to do what is good and pleasing in your sight” and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, “let your face shine upon us” in peace “for our good,” that we may be sheltered “by your mighty hand” and delivered from every sin “by your uplifted arm”; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.
Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth throughout the day to come, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently “called upon you in faith and trust,” that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.
To Appreciate Another
Grant me the moment, the lovely moment
That I may lean forth to see
The other buds, the other blooms,
The other leaves on the tree:
That I may take into my bosom
The breeze that is like his brother,
But stiller, lighter, whose faint laughter
Echoes the joy of the other.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.
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
Which book of the Bible contains the story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt?
Psalm 14:1 (NKJV)
The fool has said in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
Acts 7:9-22 (ESV)
Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin 
nd the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit.
And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
Moses (by Tissot)
But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.”
Notes on the Scripture
Today’s Scripture is a continuation of Stephen’s defense before the Sanhedrin. We have had to break Stephen’s speech up, simply because it is so long. Today, Stephen recounts how the Hebrews came to live in Egypt and then became slaves of the Pharaoh.
Stephen not only recites a summary of early Hebrew history, but he also makes some sense of it that we might not get from reading the Pentateuch. We know that the very early Hebrew history was not written until long after it had happened, including the stories of the creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, etc. Until about 1900 B.C., the only writing known was Egyptian hieroglyphs. Phoenician writing—the first alphabet and thus the first modern writing—appeared in Canaan some time between 1900 B.C. and 1200 B.C., roughly consistent with the time of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.
Stephen’s account of this period emphasizes Moses’ role as a scholar. He would have learned hieroglyphic writing if he “learned everything Egyptian wisdom had to offer.” Many scholars trace the origins of the Phoenician-Semitic to hieroglyphics. So it is entirely possible that Moses, coming into Canaan from Egypt, brought writing with him, enabling Hebrew scholars to write down the oral traditions that had been handed down for countless centuries, from Jewish parents and teachers to their children.
Just as a matter of interest, the Phoenician-Semitic alphabet was so similar to the modern English alphabet that you can recognize a few of the letters. It will look even more familiar if you know any Greek letters.
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Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Mar 13, 2019 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Pam Carpenter (11)
Norman Daniels (11)
randall martin (11)
Tom Kraft (11)
LANA OAKLEY (11)
Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9)
Greg Flippin (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
Gary Swart (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Daniel Williams (9 out of 9)
Allison King (9 out of 9)