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Daily Devotion for February 4, 2013

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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.


Prayer for Guidance

Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.

The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,


For the Human Family

O  God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human race, O Lord; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth.

That, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.



May the God who made me, the God who keeps me, and the God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down His blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep Him in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore.


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.

Michelangelo’s famous statue of Moses
Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses, ca. 1515. Commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II for his tomb, it is housed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome.


As King, he fought for us, as Priest he offered himself for us. When he fought for us, he seemed indeed to be conquered, but in reality he conquered; for he was crucified, and by his cross, whereon he was nailed, he slew the devil, and thereby is he our King.

~ St. Augustine

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 7:25, 8:1-7 (ESV)

The Second Plague: Frogs [1]

Seven full days passed after the Lord had struck the Nile.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Let my people go, that they may serve me. But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs. The Nile shall swarm with frogs that shall come up into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading bowls. The frogs shall come up on you and on your people and on all your servants.”’”

And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals and over the pools, and make frogs come up on the land of Egypt!’”

So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.

Notes on the Scripture

The first detail given (actually the end of the account of Plague One) is that a week passed after the first plague until the second. This may seem trivial. In Near Eastern storytelling, however. a frequent device in a compound tale or story involving a sequence of similar events is to give a detail in an early incident, particularly the first, and then omit it thereafter. The reader is to assume that it is true of all. Scholars call this a "programmatic" statement.

moses plague of frogs

This device occurs often in the Old Testament. If we look at the ten commandments, for example, after the first four dealing with respect for God, there are six about conduct with respect to other people, the first being "Honor thy father and thy mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12) Why, we may wonder, are we given a specific reward of long life for honoring out parents, whereas we are simply told not to commit murder, etc. (which actually would seem more thematically tied to long life)? The answer is that the "so that you may live long" phrase is programmatic. The answer is that it does not. It attaches to all six commandments in the group, not specifically to number five.

So unless we are told specifically otherwise, we are to understand that the ten plagues are coming a week apart. Once the time becomes right, God wants Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go now. He is given just enough time to think about what is happening, to digest the events, before being hit with the next wave.

We would assume that the plagues might be progressively worse, and indeed, the second plague has grown in the extent of its effect. The red Nile and the frogs are both merely annoyances; there was potable water when the Nile went red, and the frogs are not fatal. The frogs, however, are everywhere. Pharaoh and his court could shut themselves off somewhere and not have to deal with the bloody Nile, except by report; but these frogs are everywhere. Pharaoh himself will have a frog on his pillow when he goes to bed and a frog in his shoe when he wakes up. It hits him and his nobles and priests directly, just like everyone else.

Note that the magicians, although they make frogs appear from the earth, do not make Aaron's frogs disappear. Pharaoh's response is really rather absurd. Imagine somebody is breaking your windows by throwing rocks, and you show him that he isn't so tough by picking up rocks and breaking your own windows. The most Pharaoh can do is create even more frogs!

So, the battle is not about the plagues, but about pride and power. Pharaoh's magicians do not defend him or his people; rather, they only try to show that Pharaoh is as great in power as God.

endless knot

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Romans 10:9: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

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