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Psalm 33

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JULY 13

 SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 33

There is no such thing as a bad Psalm.  But this is a particularly good one.  At least it is for me at this point in my journey.  This morning I feel like I could hang out in the Psalm for two or three days but true to our pattern I will do my best to deal with at least part of it in this one day.

The Psalm opens with a worship experience.  But notice this worship is coming only from the righteous and upright.  There is an important truth here.  Only those who are made righteous by their faith in God can be true worshippers.  Those who are not Christ followers can enjoy worship and even participate in the elements of worship but only the saved can be true worshippers. 

As you look at the first three verses of this Psalm we will find that the Scripture informs us of what Biblical worship should look like.  By omission it also tells us what worship is not.  First, true worship might be loud – there is shouting going on – but it is never out of control.  Second, true worship is full of adoration of God – there is praising going on – but it is not out of line with the Scripture.  Third, true worship can use musical instruments but there is nothing wrong with worshipping just with our voices or worshipping in the still and quite of a moment.  Fourth, true worship demands our best – there is skillful playing going on – but we must never become the object of our worship or allow quality music to become the object of our worship.  Fifth, true worship is always fresh – there is a new song – but we must never reject the older hymns of our faith simply because they are not new.  Sixth, true worship is often congregational – the verbs in the Hebrew language in these first few verses are all plural – but there is often a need for private worship.  Seventh, true worship is always orderly.  God is not the source of chaos, confusion, or the conflict that comes out of that.  Any time the “way we want to worship” creates confusion in the congregation we are out of line in that congregation.  Our responsibility to those around us should always trump our freedom to do “what we want”, even in church.  Particularly in church.

Much of the rest of the Psalm tells us why we should worship God.  We are reminded in verses 6-7 that He is Creator.  He made the heavens and all of the stars and planets.  He made the earth and set boundaries for the seas so they couldn’t overtake the land and locked up the waters beneath the surface so they can’t flood the planet again.

In verses 13-15 we are reminded that He made all men.  And He sees all men.  No one is hidden from His sight.  From His throne in heaven, God sees everyone.  But He doesn’t just see them physically.  He knows their hearts.  God who fashioned our hearts sees our hearts.  He knows about our attitudes and our actions. 

In verses 16-17 we are reminded to be careful about where we put our trust.  Sometimes it easy to trust in what we can see.  Kings might trust in great armies.  Armies might trust in quality equipment.  Nations might trust in their own wisdom and subsequent action plans (v.10). 

But people of faith should always put their faith in God.  As verse 20 says He is our help and our shield.  We can trust Him.  We can trust His holy name in verse 21.  We can trust His mercy in verse 22.  We can trust His deliverance in verse 19.  We can trust Him!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 31

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, JULY 11 

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 31

This Psalm is a great and important reminder to trust in the Lord regardless of how difficult the circumstances might be.  Usually it is easier to trust God when things are good or easy.  But for some reason the worse or harder things get the harder it is to trust Him.  There is a great irony in that.  As things get worse or harder, we should run to God and trust Him to do what He has promised.  But too often in the face of increasing difficulties we are tempted to try to resolve the issues on our own. 

As this Psalm opens, we are reminded that when things get more difficult, we should trust God for His strength.  The first three verses are strong words about David’s trust in God during a time when others were trying to do him harm.  The beginning of verse 5 was quoted by Jesus while He was on the cross.  But here David appropriates these words as a great statement of his trust in God.  The word commit was used to refer to depositing money in a trust such as in a bank.  David knew if he deposited his life in God, it would be safe.

The second thing we encounter in this Psalm is that when we are struggling, we can ask God for mercy.  In verse 4, David said, “You (God) are my strength.”  In verse 14, David said, “You are my God”.  And in verse 15, he pleaded for God’s mercy or steadfast love.

In verses 9-10, David describes his condition that caused him to cry out for God’s mercy.  David was grieving.  He was sorrowful.  He was sighing.  And he was weak. He was in physical, emotional, and spiritual anguish.

As you read on in verses 11-13, you see where others that had been close to him now despised him because they believed the lies of his enemies.  When they met him on the street they turned and went the other way.  It was like he was dead – no one placed any value on him or on what he could do.  It was like he was as useless as broken piece of pottery.  And still those who were so violently opposed to him continued to scheme and plot against him.

Verse 14 marks a significant turning point in this Psalm.  Despite what was going on, David was still going to trust God.  He committed his times or life to God.  He knew that regardless of what was going on or how bad it was, he could trust his life and his eternity with the one, true God.

When we get to the last two verses, David’s perspective has changed.  Instead of focusing on himself and his situation, he is now speaking to the people of Israel.  There is a great truth here.  One of the best ways to get out of the mire and the mud created by those who are opposed to you is to go help someone else.  In other words, change your perspective.  Get your focus on others, their needs, their wants. 

So, David encourages others to love the Lord! He challenges them to trust that the Lord does right by the faithful.  He inspires them to be courageous and strong in the Lord.  And He reminds them to wait for the Lord.

We all go through difficult times, even preachers.  We all go through times when people are against us, even preachers.  We have all felt the misery of that opposition, even preachers.  We have struggled with the loneliness that accompanies that, even preachers.  And we all need to get refocused on God and His glorious goodness, even preachers.  And we all need to do our best to help those God has put around us, especially preachers.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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