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Daily Devotion for August 18, 2015


Hebrews in Egypt
These herders, shown arriving in Egypt, are from a tomb painting. They could be Hebrew or Hyskos, but the beards, clothing, and livestock identify them as Semitic.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.




Celtic Prayer for the Morning

I  will kindle my fire this morning in the presence of the holy angels of heaven; Without malice, without jealousy, without envy, without fear; without terror of any one under the sun, but the Holy Son of God to shield me.

God, kindle thou in my heart within a flame of love to my neighbour, to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all; To the brave, to the coward, to the man in the street, O Son of the loveliest Mary, from the lowliest thing that lives to the Name that is highest of all. In the name of Christ, I pray.

Amen.

Keep Me from Falling

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

Mine eyes are open but they cannot see for gloom of night:
I can no more than lift my heart to thee for inward light.

The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul;
In agony I turn to thee for truth and self-control.

For Passion and all the pleasures it can give will die the death;
But this of me eternally must live, thy borrowed breath.

'Mid the discordant noises of the day I hear thee calling;
I stumble as I fare along Earth's way; keep me from falling.

Amen.

Meditation

[“The wild and fiery passion of my youth consumes my soul.”]


For Faith

Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.

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.



endless knot

Self Assessment

Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.

~ Charles H. Spurgeon


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 1:8-14 (ESV)

Pharaoh Oppresses Israel

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of Israel are too many and too mighty for us. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.”

Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with heavy burdens. They built for Pharaoh store cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.

And the Egyptians were in dread of the people of Israel. So they ruthlessly made the people of Israel work as slaves and made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and brick, and in all kinds of work in the field. In all their work they ruthlessly made them work as slaves.



Notes on the Scripture

As history as shown time and time again, an insular ethnicity within a nation or society creates instability. Most often, they are gradually absorbed, but this was impossible with the Egyptians and the Hebrews, for both were strongly based in religions that excluded the other. To the Egyptians, herders of sheep and cattle were an abomination and the Egyptians would not even eat a meal with these unclean foreigners. For the Hebrews, at the time, the problem was more religious; their monotheistic God was a jealous god and the children of Abraham could not assimilate in a polytheistic and idolatrous culture.

Jew Hebrew slavery

The Egyptians had good reason to dread the Hebrews. They had been conquered by a tribe of Semitic herders — the Hyskos — who ruled Egypt for centuries. The Hyskos had just been expelled when Joseph first traveled to Egypt, so it was a fresh wound.

And so it was that the Hebrews became a slave race for a period, similar to black Africans in America and the Arab world, or Koreans in Japan.

The two cities mentioned here were prominent in history and known to the Greeks and Romans, but no longer exist. All of them were located in the eastern Nile delta, the home of the Hebrews. Pithom was the center of trade between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, and Raamses was (ironically) the old capital of Hyskos.

The Hebrew Bible, from which the Protestant Old Testament is generally taken, includes a third city in the list, Heliopolis, a very important city and the capital of Goshen itself (the name of the region where the Hebrews lived). It was located near present day Cairo and was destroyed primarily for materials to build Cairo. In fact, suburbs of Cairo are built on top of it. The famous London landmark called "Cleopatra's Needle" was looted during the cannibalization of Heliopolis.



Abraham and his family by Jozsef Molnar
Abraham and his Family by Jozsef Molnar, ca. 1850.

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

John 16:33 (ESV): I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.



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