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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 March 5, 2013

Exodus, <i>The Israelites Leaving Egypt</i> by David Roberts, ca. 1830.
The Israelites Leaving Egypt by David Roberts, ca. 1830. A disorganized rabble of slaves pick their way through dead Egyptians, in stark contrast to the magnificent structures of ancient Memphis. Full Size



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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.


For Faithfulness in the Use of this World's Goods

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given me all that I possess; Grant me grace that I may honor you with my substance, and remembering the account which I must one day give, may be a faithful steward of your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Teach me Your Way

Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; Unite my heart to fear your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever more. Great is your mercy toward me, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of hell. All praise be to You, Oh God my Redeemer, today and forever.


Prayer for The Unsaved

 O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, I pray for the souls of unbelievers, for they were made by you and formed in your image. Jesus, your Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech you, Holy Lord, that your Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but accept the prayers of those who remember them and be mindful of your mercy. I pray you to forgive their idolatry and blasphemy, in the hopes that they too may some day know Him whom you have sent, the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may yet be redeemed and delivered, as was always the deep desire of your Son.



Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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.

Devotional stained glass dove, spirit


At the supreme moment of his dying Jesus so identified himself with men and the depths of their predicament and agony that no man can now sink so low that God has not gone lower.

~ Os Guinness

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 13:17-18 (ESV)

The Hebrews Depart Egypt

When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.

Notes on the Scripture

Exodus contains two great stories: The release of the Hebrews from slavery, and the Hebrew journey to Canaan. The second story begins here. Oddly, when Archbishop Steven Langton divided the Bible into the chapters we use today (around 1220 A.D.), the major breaking point of today's short reading was not marked by a new chapter.

There has been, since before written history, a trade road along the Mediterranean coast connecting Canaan and Egypt. The world's greatest road builders, the Romans, built a marvelous road the called simply the Via Maris, the "Sea Road" (or perhaps "Ocean Highway", as it would more likely be called today). It was the logical and easy route for the Hebrews to follow from Egypt to Canaan, the equivalent of taking I-95 from New York to Miami.

Philistine warrior
Philistine warrior

But we must imagine what sort of people the Hebrews were when they exited Egypt. They had been Egyptian slaves for hundreds of years. The men were herders, farm laborers and construction laborers; the women, housewives, hand servants, and seasonal field hands. They were ignorant and unlettered. They had no military training and no weapons. None of them were trained to lead, and most knew only a sedentary or pastoral lifestyle. And perhaps most difficult, their personalities were strongly molded to conform to their role in Egyptian society.

Ahead of them on the Via Maris were the Philistines, a nation powerful enough to attack mighty Egypt in 1183 B.C. Of course, God could simply have swept away the Philistines, but He would have simply created a nation of sheep, which was not His intention. From what we can tell in the Bible, God's intention is that man should be self-sufficient and free, with free will; and that having been given this free will, turn to Him out of love and reverence. If God wanted puppets, he would have made puppets; but He did not.

And so, the Hebrew rabble is totally unprepared even to exist outside Egypt, much less meet a powerful army. They are like pitiful refugees in WW2 caught between the Germans and Russians. This is why God does not send them directly to Canaan, where they would immediately be attacked by the powerful Philistines. Instead, He will send them to the wilderness for forty years of training and hardening, in every sense: Mental, physical, moral, and perhaps most important, religious.

(In our study of Exodus, the following two maps will be linked when appropriate:)

Exodus Map - Hammond   Exodus Map 2

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

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Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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