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Psalm 28

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JULY 6

 SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 28

Sometimes when we think of the great heroes of the Old Testament, we are tempted to think everything always went great for them.  But that is seldom the case.  In fact, it may never be the case.  If you stop and think about it you will discover that undoubtedly all of the great heroes of the Old Testament faced difficult times.

By the way, the same can be said of almost all the heroes of the New Testament.  They had difficult times and many of them died the death of a martyr.

Of course, the greatest hero of the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament alike, faced incredibly difficult times.  Jesus was mistreated, lied about, rejected, falsely accused, beaten, whipped, and crucified. 

As this particular Psalm opens, David is facing one of those difficult times.  It seems to him that God has quit listening.  In verse one, he calls out.  In verse 2, he cries out which indicates desperation.  But for reasons only He understands God was temporarily silent.  It has often been said that God’s delays are not God’s denials.  It is just sometimes God delays His response to us and that delay is often interpreted by us as deafening silence. 

David knew that if the relationship between Him and God was broken, he would be like those who are dragged into the pit or into Sheol.  The good news is once a personal relationship with God is established, it can never be broken. 

When we get to verse 6, things are changing dramatically.  David is worshipping God. And David confesses that he knows that God has heard his pleas.  The relationship is not broken at all.  But instead the delayed response will actually strengthen the relationship. 

In verse 7, David’s worship becomes unadulterated praise.  He knows the source of his strength.  He knows the source of his protection.  He knows the source of his help.

In verse 8, it seems that the object of the Psalm is no longer David but the Jewish people.  This is an interesting turn and it is incredibly important.  Any time we have an encounter with God, the benefits of that encounter are not just for us as individuals.  They are also for those around us. 

So, David knows that God is not just his strength but He is also the strength of the nation.  He is the safe place for all of God’s people.  And He is the source of their provision.  The chapter ends with a wonderful picture of God as Shepherd caring the people of Israel as a lamb.

We must always remember that God is always faithful.  He will do what He has said He will do.  But we must not forget that He operates on His timetable not ours.  Because He sees the ending of a thing before its beginning we need to learn to trust His timing.  And we need to wait on His voice.  He will not forsake those who are in relationship with Him.  He will continue to be our protection, our provision, our safe place.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 27

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JULY 5

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 27

Enemies come in all shapes, sizes, and stripes.  We all face them.  Sometimes they are external: things and people outside of us.  And honestly, sometimes they are internal: things and thoughts that come from within us.  Sometimes these enemies threaten physical harm.  Sometimes they seem set upon wreaking havoc in our hearts, minds, and souls. 

Much of this Psalm is about David and the enemies that he faced.  As we read through it, we see him struggling through a fear of circumstances, a fear of failure, and a fear of the future.  But we also see how he chose to work through these fears and overcome them so that he not only could see the goodness of God (verse 13) but also encourage us, the readers (verse 14).

As the Psalm opens David describes God as his light and his salvation.  From our perspective those are two common metaphors for God.  But interestingly enough, as far as I can determine, this may be the first reference in Scripture to God being light.  The comparison is potent.  Regardless of the enemies that we face, the clearer view that light provides almost always helps calm us.  Being able to see clearly who and/or what the enemy is helps calm us.  This is particularly true when we can trust God as our salvation.  As David wrote in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

At the end of verse 1, David also describes God as his stronghold or refuge.  God is our safe place.

After describing God as light, salvation, and refuge, David came to the remarkable conclusion that he had no one to fear or no one to be afraid of.  That doesn’t mean his enemies couldn’t harm him.  It just meant that ultimately he was safe in the refuge of God regardless of what happened.

In verse 4 we encounter a petition.  David wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life.  From our perspective, we would typically think of this in terms of heaven.  And that certainly has merit.  But more specifically, David is talking about dwelling in the tent of God.  This may very well be a reference to the Tabernacle.  But it could also be a cultural reference.  At this point in history if someone invited you into their tent, you were under their protection and provision.  The relatively flimsy tent became your safe place.  No doubt David looked forward to living with God throughout eternity but in the context of this Psalm he was also certainly looking for the privilege of living with God every day of his life on this earth.

When we get to verses 7-10, David is struggling.  He is wrestling with the fear that God might reject him, turn His back on him, and forsake him.  There are times we all wrestle with the enemy of doubt.  We wonder if we are saved.  We wonder if God knows what we have thought or actually done.  We wonder if God will tire of us and turn away.  But as you get to the end of verse 10, David comes to the remarkable conclusion that God will take him in.  Even if his parents rejected him and he was exiled from his earthly family, God would take him in.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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