Daily Devotional from dailyprayer.us

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January 16, 2021


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.

To Wield the Sword of Faith

Flood me with your Spirit, O God. Drown Satan in a deluge of your mighty power! Shake the foundations of hell. Let the beauty and love of Christ pour through me like a cataract. Let me wield the Sword of Faith. Renew me, empower me, purify me this day to your Great Commission.

Amen.

Because Of You

Because you picked me up, when I struggled to get through.
Because you healed my heart, when it was thrown and shattered.
Because you gave me hope, when it seemed so out of reach.
Because you filled me with peace, when chaos flowed through my veins.
Because you showed me the light, when there was only darkness.
Because you gave me comfort, when my voice cried out in pain.
Because you reassured me, when the doubts screamed in my head.
Because you kept me going, when there seemed nowhere to go.
Because you sustained me with strength, when weakness became all I knew.

lighthouse, light unto the nations

Because you came and stayed, when everyone else turned around and left.
Because you gave me a purpose, when life seemed so pointless.
Because you restored my happiness, when life seemed to snatch it away.
Because you filled this emptiness, when the void echoed with loneliness.
Because you helped me let it all go, when I gripped the tightest to hold on.
Because you showed me the beauty of life, when the world showed me nothing but hate and corruption.
Because you gave me a better life, when the old one fought to come back.
Because I am nothing without you, nothing but a hopeless being.
Because only You could tear down my wall of pride, and instead build it back up with love and humbleness.

Because of all this, I give you my life Lord.
I will put all my fears and failures in Your hands, my worries that consume me, my pain that destroys me.
You were always there, even when I rejected You.
Because of all You are, my life, oh God, is yours.

Amen.

Blessing

Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal high priest himself, the Son of God Jesus Christ, build up myself, and all Christians, in faith and truth, and in all gentleness and in all freedom from anger and forbearance and steadfastness and patient endurance and purity.

Amen.

Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

Where in the New Testament are we told not to speak ill of civil authority?

Answer: Acts 23:5

1 John 1:5-9 (NKJV)

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 10:21-29 (NKJV)

The Ninth Plague: Darkness
T

hen the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.”

But Moses said, “You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the Lord our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the Lord until we arrive there.”

But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let them go. Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!”

So Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.”


Notes on the Scripture

The very first words in the Bible are: “In the beginning . . . darkness was over the face of the deep. . . . And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Darkness was not created by God. Darkness is what exists in the absence of God. Which is to say, darkness is non-existence. Because this is the first thing we read in the Bible, it informs everything in the Bible that comes after it. (Biblical hermeneutics calls this the “First Mention Principle.”)

God has turned His face away from the people of Egypt. There is literal darkness over the land and it is not just the light of the sun that is missing; light itself has ceased to exist. The Egyptians cannot burn a candle.

little girl with menorah

The physical light is metaphorical as well as literal. The Egyptians now live outside God’s favor; they have lost His grace and love. But, despite the consuming nature of the darkness, the Hebrews are able to see light by burning candles in their houses. This is a very rich symbol to Jew and Christian alike, the burning of a candle as a demonstration of God’s light, and both religions will burn candles when they turn their minds most fully toward God, i.e. on special occasions and during worship services.

The tenth and final plague, coming next, is what stands out in the minds of most people, but the most important one is the ninth, for it is the act of finality, the act of condemnation. A hanging draws popular notice, but it is only the inevitable consequence of a judge signing a death warrant.

The Pharaoh’s final and most outrageous act of pride — telling Moses that he will see Pharaoh’s face no more, and on the day he sees his face, Moses will die — is wrought with irony. Pharaoh is blind; living in absolute spiritual darkness, he believes that his face has the power of a god and that it is a curse on Moses not to see the face of Pharaoh. But the true God has turned His face upon Moses and the Hebrews, and it is a face of love and salvation.

So when Moses agrees with Pharaoh, he does so with knowledge that Pharaoh lacks. He will no longer “see Pharaoh’s face,” in the sense that he will never again look to Pharaoh as a source of authority or alliance of any kind.