Exodus 3:7-15 (NIV)

7 The LORD said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.  8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey–the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.  9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” 12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain. 13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.   

Exodus 3:12 (NIV)

12 And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”   

DEVOTION – Cindy Ryan (New York)

     Here I am again, I thought as I drove through my hometown.  It was the fourth time in a month that I had found myself driving down familiar streets to help out with my grandmother.  She had hurt herself and needed my assistance.  I wanted to help her, but going back there brought up old memories that I would rather not relive. I even prayed, “Lord, must I keep going back there?  It’s just too painful!”

A few weeks later the Lord turned my attention to Exodus 3:7-15.  Moses had killed a man in his hometown in Egypt.  He fled to live in another country where, several years later, he encountered God in a burning bush.  God sent him back to Egypt to lead his people, the Israelites, out of slavery.  Moses did not want to go and said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh?”  And Gold told him, “I will be with you.”

Those five words – “I will be with you” – sank deeply into my spirit:  They assured me that God would be with me and gave me the strength I needed to persevere.  With God’s help, I could get through the pain and return to my “Egypt.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The Lord will be with us when we face difficult times.

PRAYER: Faithful God, thank you for being forever by our side in times of trouble.  Give us wisdom to ask for your help and courage to follow your direction.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE DEALING WITH PAINFUL MEMORIES

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