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Daily Devotional Prayer

Daily Devotion for February 22, 2021


Exodus 14, Hebrew camp


Prayers

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Lord's Prayer

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.

Amen.

The Love of Christ

Oh holy Christ, I thank you and love you for seeing who I really am. You know things about me that I don't even know myself, for you see with the clear eye of God, and not through the psychological tangle of human emotion and self-deception as others see me and I see myself. I most especially thank you, I fall upon my knees in gratitude, that you love me despite all of the sin and ugliness you see in me. You can see my beauty and heart, also, though, and love me as nobody else possibly could.

Jesus Mary Magdalene John 20

Like a father, you love me. Like a perfect brother, you love me. Knowing that you see me so clearly, and yet love me enough to suffer torture and death to save my soul, transcends my comprehension. I would be sick with shame, except that you have forbidden it, and by the power of God forgive my wrongdoing.

I give myself to you wholly, freely; every part of me blesses you. Take me to your bosom, holy Christ; let me live your love and reflect your light, that others may see a dim reflection of your magnificence in my lowly life, and that despite my many grievous faults, I might please you by doing better today, and every day. And this I vow: I will try, at least once today, to take a step closer to you, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Prayer for Those Who Have Served in War

God of compassion, God of dignity and strength, watch over the veterans of our blessed nation who have served with loyalty and at great sacrifice. Bless them with wholeness and love. Shelter those who are in want, heal those who bear wounds, comfort the hearts of those who have lost friends and family, and bring peace to all who are haunted by the terrible memories of war.

Protect them and their families from loneliness and want. Grant them lives of joy and bounty. And may their dedication and honor, which have shielded us from tyranny, be remembered as a blessing from generation to generation.

Amen.

Meditation

“Through Christ we see as in a mirror the spotless and excellent face of God.”

~ Clement of Rome


Benediction

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.

Amen.

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.


This soft ballad from Matt Maher (with Casting Crowns) asks us if there is room in our hearts for God to write His story.


Lyrics

Scripture

Psalm 4:6-8 (NKJV)

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.

You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 14:1-14 (ESV)

The Egyptian Pursuit
Illuminated Letter T

hen the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, in front of Baal Zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the mind of Pharaoh and his servants was changed toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?”

So he made ready his chariot and took his army with him, and took six hundred chosen chariots and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the people of Israel while the people of Israel were going out defiantly. The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon.

Exodus Egyptian chariot
Egyptian chariot

When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Exodus Map - Hammond   Exodus Map 2


Notes on the Scripture

When the Hebrews make camp for the third time, next to a large body of water (which we really can't identify), they are still in Egypt, moving more or less along the border. Pharaoh believes that they are trapped by the desert because they cannot survive in it. But they are not; they are following God, literally, and God is baiting a trap. We must never forget God's wrathful nature against those who defy Him. It is part of His plan to demonstrate both His might over the most powerful human on earth, His punishment of one who despises Him, and at the same time His love and protection of those who worship Him.

Moses staff

One might think the Egyptians incomprehensibly stupid. But they merely demonstrate a phenomenon we see time after time, even today, when nations go to war. There is something in our nature akin to amnesia when we go to war. If one reads any history, one knows what happens: millions die, massive poverty and human misery ensue, even the governments are replaced. What were the Germans, French, Russians, Austrians, Hungarians, etc. thinking in 1914? Pharaoh's circumstances are peculiar, but the blind pride and puerile anger that lead him to attack the Hebrews are a recurring theme of human history.

The Hebrews show similar human foibles: the confusion and rapidly changing mentality of a mob. Suddenly they recall the naysayers, whose objections had been overcome when they decided to leave Egypt; and like any confused mob, their opinion changes rapidly to another extreme.

(It sounds like the Hebrews had an early Borscht Belt comedian in their company:“What, they don't have graves in Egypt? We had to come out here to die?”)

But God has chosen well, and Moses, the reluctant leader, steps up. In fact, it is at this point he begins to characterize the attributes of God for all time. We begin to see the revelation of the God we know.

Reading Moses' speech carefully we see, first, that God is a comforter of his people. He quells our fear. In a similar vein, God delivers us from our distress. Third, God asks and expects that those who believe in Him will trust Him and will act on their trust: “Fear not,” Moses declares, “stand firm.”

Fourth, God delivers us from danger and death. He will fight for us. And fifth, God despises and fights against evil, with enormous power and might; and when His time comes, He destroys both the people who embrace evil and, ultimately, evil itself.



Daily Inspiration

“The Greatest Commandment”


Good versus evil, William Blake ca. 1795
The Good and Evil Angels, Wm. Blake ca. 1795.

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 10:37: He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me . . . . And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.



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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Feb 21, 2021 were:

Norman Daniels (12)
Cindy Moniz (12)
Laura DeHay (12)
randall martin (12)
Pam Carpenter (11)
Elaine Gibson (11)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)
Keith Langley (9 out of 9)
Elaine Gibson (9 out of 9)
Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9)
Norman Daniels (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)