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Daily Devotion for October 31, 2015

Israel Declaration of Independence, Henry Szyk ca. 1949
Israel’s Declaration of Independence (by Henry Szyk, ca. 1949). The primary graphic at the bottom center is clearly based on Exodus 17, although Moses lacks his staff (for artistic reasons) and is supported by Joshua and Aaron, rather than Hur and Aaron. (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.


I’m sure some of you will remember today’s “Saturday Oldie,” which became a popular hit in 1980.

Prayer for the Day Ahead (from an old Prayer Book)

Almighty God, my heavenly Father, who declares your glory and shows forth your creation in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in whatever work my hand may find today, from the service of mammon; and assist me, that I may do the work which you have given me to do, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men; for the sake of him who came among us, humbling himself to serve all who came to him and received him, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer for Physical Renewal

Lord, I come before you today in need of your healing hand. In you, all things are possible. Hold my heart within yours, and renew my mind, body, and soul.

I am lost, but I am singing. You gave me life, and you also give me the gift of infinite joy. Give me the strength to move forward on the path you've laid out for me. Guide me towards better health, and give me the wisdom to identify those you've placed around me to help me get better. In your name I pray,



[Am I able to feel gratitude even in suffering?]


May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions today, and always.


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.

<em>Victory O Lord!</em>, Moses supported by Aaron and Hur, battle against the Amalek, Bible, Exodus 17
Victory O Lord!, John Everett Millais ca. 1871, depicting Aaron and Hur supporting Moses during the battle against the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

Proverbs 20:6 (NKJV)

Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 17:8-13 (ESV)

Israel Defeats Amalek [1]

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.

Exodus Map - Hammond   Exodus Map 2

Notes on the Scripture

Verses 1-7 described Moses leading the Israelites into the deep desert and, at the point where thirst became a survival issue, striking a rock to bring forth a gushing spring of water. In today’s verses, the fledgling Hebrew army must fight its first real battle — and we see young Joshua, who will become the first “judge” of Israel, begin a promising military career.

Amalek had been the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:12), and his descendants had become a tribe of Bedouin-like bandits, camel-riding desert dwellers who lived by robbing traders and disappearing into the hostile vastness of Sinai. The Amalekites were surely far fewer in number, but superior in skill, experience, aggression and armament. They likely sent scouts to give the Hebrews the choice of surrendering their livestock and valuables without a fight; whatever the reason, the Hebrews have a days' warning before the attack.

We meet Joshua (Yehoshua, "Yahweh is salvation") for the first time, a vigorous young man clearly marked for military command. Moses gives him total military control; we can safely assume that there is much unwritten about Joshua's previous life for such a young man to be given such extraordinary responsibility.

We also meet Hur. Hur will simply disappear from the narrative of Exodus (long before the Israelites enter Canaan), so most Christians have never heard of him, but he is a much more prominent figure in Judaism. Joshua, of course, will become the great conqueror of Israel.

The direct symbolism of Moses' staff is impossible to miss. Israel will triumph against the Amalekites as long as the symbol of God is kept above Moses' head, and Israel will triumph over all of her enemies as long as God is held in importance above all men. But God demands that Moses — an old man — perform the excruciating physical task of holding a heavy staff over his head for hours. To succeed, Moses needs the help of the priesthood, represented by Aaron, and the government, represented by Hur.

endless knot

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“The Rewards of Charity”

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Memory Verse

Ephesians 4:29 (AKJV): Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

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