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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for January 17, 2013

Moses at the burning bush, from the Cecil B. DeMille classic, <i>The Ten Commandments</i>.
Moses at the burning bush, from the Cecil B. DeMille classic, The Ten Commandments



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lessons and scripture

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.


A beautiful Christian ballad sung by the famous Welsh light tenor, Aled Jones. The middle verse is in Welsh but is translated on screen.

The video is shot in Aberystwyth, a scenic town on the coast of Wales.

Prayer for the Day

Holy God, you have given me another day. Bring your Holy Spirit into my mind and my life, so that I may walk this day in your presence. Let me feel your presence throughout the day, remembering always that you sent your Spirit that you might be a living force in all I see and all I do. When I feel temptation or begin to stray, show me your path. Correct me, comfort me, let me live your will; that I may be happy in this life and blessed in the life to come. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord.


Prayer for the Holy Spirit's Guidance

Gracious God,
Send your Holy Spirit to deepen my worship life.
Open my heart to the gifts and cultures which surround my church.
Open my heart to the people who are different from me.
In Jesus' name, I pray.



Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.


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.

Moses Burning Bush, by Eugene Pluchart
God Appears to Moses in Burning Bush by Eugene Pluchart, ca. 1848.

Proverbs 18:1 (NKJV)

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire;
He rages against all wise judgment.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 3:7-12 (ESV)

Moses and The Burning Bush [2]

Then the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites.

And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”

Notes on the Scripture

As we discussed in Exodus 3:1-6, Moses is not a particularly righteous man; his future as perhaps the greatest prophet of Judaism was not announced by angels at his birth, his mother was not visited in her pregnancy. While he seems strong and resourceful, he is by no means extraordinary, especially concerning his faithfulness to God.

So when he says, "who am I that I should . . . bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?", he is not being modest or humble. It is more along the lines of, "You can't be serious." Imagine an African-American murder suspect who has fled to rural Alberta, who has found a life working as a ranch hand and doesn't go to church, being told that he is to become God's great prophet. And by a burning bush in the middle of nowhere!

Canaanites, from the Egyptian "Book of Gates"
Canaanites, from the
Egyptian "Book of Gates".

Moses is understandably dumbfounded. He is not prepared for this in any way. He was raised partly as an Egyptian from birth and has no great knowledge the Hebrew God. He has not even circumcised his son, as we will see a bit later. He is not a leader of men or a practiced orator; his adult life has been the lonely and often solitary life of a shepherd in the wilderness.

Notes on Geography and Ethnology

Exodus tells us the names of the seven primary tribes of Canaan, but it is the only source historians have for much of the information. The Hivites, Perizzites, and Jebusites are unknown outside the Bible, although the latter two are mentioned in tablets found by archaeologists in Egypt, dating to @ 1400 B.C. (the "Armana Tablets"). The Amorites and Hittites were powerful ancient empires in Syria and Mesopotamia; apparently a fair number of each drifted down into Canaan. The Canaanites were a widespread, incohesive Semitic people inhabiting the lowlands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. (We will get yet another odd name, the "Girgashites", a tribe in the very north of Canaan, in Deuteronomy and Joshua, which Joshua will have to subdue). See Map of the Seven Nations of Canaan.

To put the geography in perspective, we have made a map showing the areas mentioned so far in Exodus, although the location of Mount Horeb (later called Mount Sinai) is speculative. Map for Exodus 2.

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Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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