Daily Devotion for March 17, 2023
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.
The only lyrics to the Vivaldi Gloria are Gloria in excelsis Deo - “Glory to God in the highest.”
It is performed here by an ad hoc chorus in Madrid, “Voices for Peace,” who are slightly unpolished but sing it with enormous heart and conviction. Glory to God, indeed!
Prayer to Do Good
If there be some weaker one,
Give me strength to help him on;
If a blinder soul there be
Let me guide him nearer thee;
Make my mortal dreams come true
With the work I fain would do;
Clothe with life the weak intent,
Let me be the thing I meant;
Let me find in Thy employ,
Peace that dearer is than joy;
Out of self to love be led,
And to Heaven acclimated,
Until all things sweet and good
Seem my natural habitude.
Prayer of Appreciation
O Lord, how lovely it is to be Thy guest. Breeze full of scents; mountains reaching to the skies; waters like boundless mirrors, reflecting the sun’s golden rays and the scudding clouds. All nature murmurs mysteriously, breathing the depth of tenderness. Birds and beasts of the forest bear the imprint of Thy love.
Blessed art thou, mother earth, in thy fleeting loveliness, which wakens our yearning for happiness that will last for ever, in the land where, amid beauty that grows not old, the cry rings out: Alleluia!
We have the power to do what we ought to do. This power is freedom. Freedom is the power to do what we ought, not the power to do what we want.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus’ name, I pray,
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.
Psalm 42:1-2, 11 (KJV)
As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?
Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Genesis 45:9-20 (ESV)
Joseph Promises to Provide for His Family
urry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’
And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants.
And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.’ And you, Joseph, are commanded to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. Have no concern for your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.’”
Notes on the Scripture
In earlier times, the “Land of Goshen” was a well-known phrase. At least 30 states in the U.S. have incorporated towns named Goshen, not to mention numerous villages and townships, counties, etc. These were named, of course, in a time when the Bible was more widely read and better known; it is unlikely that one person in ten, today, would have any idea what the word Goshen referred to.
It does live on in the expletive “gosh”, which is itself less heard than in past times. It is thought to sound unsophisticated today and you would only hear it in a movie or t.v. show said by a hick or rube, or perhaps by a child. In fact Granny, on the old t.v. show Beverly Hillbillies, would actually say “Land of Goshen!” on occasion. But language has gotten coarser, or at least, coarse language is more widely accepted in public than it once was.
Goshen lies in the eastern part of the Nile River Delta, the part of Egypt closest to Canaan; it is the first fertile land you would reach if you traveled west from the Suez Canal. The only mention of it, or the Hebrew settlement of eastern Egypt, is in the Bible. It is indeed good land and suitable for the pastoral lifestyle of the Hebrews, as the grass is abundant.
The Egyptians looked down on tribes who herded livestock for their livelihood; the Pharaoh’s power lay in the great grain harvest of the Nile, and so, naturally, manorial farming was considered the highest form of basic economy. Joseph was not known as a herder; his service had been to the organization and storage of the grain crop. But the low-class lifestyle of his family and tribe will cause trouble, as we shall soon see.
I truly love your storytelling of Joseph. I can't wait to read the scriptures and your notes explaining the details each day. Thank you.
One of my 5 blessings is coming this morning with 2 of my 10 grand blessings for breakfast. Thanks be to God!