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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 October 3, 2015

<i>The Death of Pharaoh's First Born Son</i>, Lawrence Alma-Tadema ca. 1872.
The Death of Pharaoh's First Born Son, Lawrence Alma-Tadema ca. 1872. Alma-Tadema was known for frivolity and romantic fluff in both his style and subject matter; what a change of pace he shows in the power and style of this piece. Pharaoh, painted in the somber dark amber and deep shadows of a midnight lit by oil lamps, looks utterly stunned. Surrounded by slaves and riches, the trappings of power and wealth, he is shown at the moment he grasps the power of God and His wrath.  Full Size



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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.


Our Saturday Oldie this week is a 1950s tv clip. The Delta Rhythm Boys — known for their sense of humor — tell us what happened to some famous walls.

Prayer for Morning

Oh Lord, when it is still dark outside and I am half asleep
My prayers they slip and slide; I know my talk is cheap
For I am ever wandering; but I can hear you beckoning.

So every morning you can find me in this place
And I will be waiting; how I long to see your face
And I want to walk the deeper walk with you.


Prayer of Praise (from Psalm 86)

Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon you: for you will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; and no works like those you have done. All nations whom you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; and will glorify your name.

For you are great, and do wondrous things: you are God alone.

Teach me your way, 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.



[People want Jesus to be their Savior, but they don't want Him to be their Lord.]


Holy God, I pray to be filled with your Holy Spirit for the rest of this day. Let me go forth, walking with your Spirit in my heart, that I may be filled with the joy and energy and praise for your entire creation, thankful in the many gifts you have given me, and showing forth your light in my every word and deed. This I pray in Christ's name,


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.

<i>And There Was a Great Cry in Egypt</i>, Arthur Hacker, ca. 1893
And There Was a Great Cry in Egypt, Arthur Hacker, ca. 1893.

Proverbs 19:15 (NKJV)

Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:29-32 (ESV)

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock.

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians. And there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where someone was not dead.

Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, “Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!”

Notes on the Scripture

The Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn

When reading this chilling narrative, we must first call to mind the very first events in Exodus 1. A new Pharaoh, fearful of the size and strength of the Hebrews in Egypt, orders that all male children be killed at birth. We have come, after a long event-filled interval, to God's justice. In fact, Julia Ward Howe's line, "He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword," is only half right. For God's retribution is often slow in our perspective.

The Tenth Plague
Matthew Almy

We see analogies in everyday life. The heavy cigarette smoker lives without consequences for decades. Bernie Madoff lived like a king off the billions of dollars he has swindled for 30 years. Perhaps, in these cases, God simply wants us to learn about sin and long-term consequences. For He often calls upon us to put aside the immediate pleasure for a great gain, far in the future. The sinner, the idolater and atheist, the thief and the licentious: they live among us, often, like Pharaoh, as the rich, beautiful, and powerful of society. But they are called to account, as are we all.

The Lord has told Moses that the Exodus is a lesson for all generations; let us learn it well.

When the terrible event occurs, the Hebrews are ready to walk out the door. They are wearing their sandals and their staffs are in their hands; they have gathered gold and jewels from their neighbors; and, symbolically, they even ate their supper standing up.

So when Pharaoh summons them and says "Leave!", they do not say, "give us time to prepare." The Lord has taught them and they have wisely followed His instruction.

And as a final note, Pharaoh asks for their blessing. He is defeated, not merely in battle, but also in pride. He acknowledges (at least for the moment) the supremacy of Yahweh; his voice, accustomed only to command, is used in supplication.

endless knot

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Hebrews 13:8-9 (ESV): Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings . . . .

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