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Daily Devotion for August 22, 2015


<i>The Baby Moses</i> by Ary Scheffer, ca. 1854
The Baby Moses by Ary Scheffer, ca. 1854.

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.

Our Saturday “Oldies” song was written by Bob Dylan after he found Christ, performed here by Aaron Neville. It is wondrous, indeed, to hear Dylan’s inimitable poetic style in a gospel song.




To Take up the Shield of Faith

Heavenly Father, let me take up the shield of faith this morning and carry it before me throughout the day. For the darkness of the world attacks my soul from every direction.

The world wants me to hate myself and hate you, precious Lord. It tries at every turn to seduce me to the emptiness of revenge. It lures me to the love of money. Envy, anger, and vanity are the traps it sets. It tells me to worship myself until I am hollow. Pride is its bait, and death is its reward.

Defend me, I pray, against the constant assault of impurity that life in the world brings. Great and powerful God, I take up your shield, the only shield that can protect me: my hope and certainty that your love and promise to protect me, for all eternity, will be with me for the asking. For the only truth is yours, the only power is yours, and our only hope lies in you, our true and mighty and loving God. In Christ's name I pray,

Amen.

Prayer for True Thought

Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and so guide me, that the clever words of men will never replace the truth which you have put into my heart. Through Christ I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[The law is a gift from God.]


Benediction

Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.

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.



Moses and Zipporah at the well
Moses meets Zipporah at the well, artist unk.

Proverbs 17:22

A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 2:11-22 (ESV)

Moses Flees to Midian

One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens, and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, and seeing no one, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. When he went out the next day, behold, two Hebrews were struggling together. And he said to the man in the wrong, “Why do you strike your companion?”

He answered, “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?”

Then Moses was afraid, and thought, “Surely the thing is known.” When Pharaoh heard of it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and stayed in the land of Midian. And he sat down by a well.

Moses, Jethro and Zipporah
Early glazed terracotta depicting
Moses, Jethro and Zipporah.

Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and saved them, and watered their flock. When they came home to their father Reuel [Jethro], he said, “How is it that you have come home so soon today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds and even drew water for us and watered the flock.”

He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why have you left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.” And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah. She gave birth to a son, and he called his name Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.”



Notes on the Scripture

U

nlike most of the great heroes of the Bible, Moses' early life is rather unremarkable. There is the way in which he escaped death as a baby, but we are not told that this is any sort of supernatural mark, and although the circumstances were interesting, many Hebrew babies must have lived through the purge; for we see many Hebrew men of Moses' generation.

He does have strength, both strength of character and physical strength; he kills an Egyptian, the fighting Hebrew clearly anticipates that Moses might be able to kill him, and he drives away a band of shepherds from the well. But this is presented to us as a human strength. The Hebrew fighter pointedly notes that Moses is nobody special. No angel or voice has announced him; he does not have special obligations, rights, or prophesies.

He is nothing more, at this point, than an escaped slave with Egyptian blood on his hands. The verses today might be the beginning of an adventure novel. He does take advantage of an opportunity, to get in good with a very minor shepherd, but it is his salvation, for surely he would have died eventually in the wilderness by himself.

Nobody is sure where "Midian" was, but we see the tribe of Midianites several times. Midianite traders sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt. (Genesis 37:36) The tribe was apparently descended from Abraham by his wife Keturah. (Genesis 25:1-2) Most likely, Moses had fled to the northwest corner of the Arabian peninsula, which is both a logical place for the Midianites to call home and the fastest route away from Egyptian influence.

Moses has a son, again a rather normal occurrence with no great religious significance. He calls him Gershom, which sounds like Hebrew for "sojourner". But the naming does give us the haunting phrase, "stranger in a strange land", used by Robert Heinlein as the title of a famous science fiction novel.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

2 Corinthians 7:1: Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.



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