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Psalm 26

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, JULY 3 

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 26

Sometimes when we slow down and read the Psalms we are struck with the incredible honesty with which men like David wrote.  In fact, there are times in the Psalms that we almost flinch because we read things we weren’t expecting or we encounter thoughts that somehow we didn’t think it was OK to think. 

But all of that is part of the rawness and reality of the Psalms.  And that is part of the reason we are so often drawn to these passages of Scripture.  As we drill into this particular Psalm, we will find David making at least three requests.

The first request is that God would vindicate him.  The people that were slandering David are described in verses 4-5 and 9-10.  They were deceitful, hypocritical, evildoers, and wicked people.  They were sinners, bloodthirsty, schemers who would bribe others to get their way.

In verses 4-5, David obviously knew about these men but he didn’t associate with them.  There is a great lesson here.  We need to know about people who are around us.  And we need to be brave enough to share the Gospel with them all.  But we have to be careful about associating too closely with them.  That doesn’t mean we are better than they are.  It does mean that the more we hang out with people who live in opposition to God’s Word, the greater the tendency that we will adopt their ways. 

In verse 9, David gives us one reason he didn’t want to become like them.  That reason is he didn’t want his soul swept away with theirs.  In other words, he knew that at some point judgment would come upon all those who live in opposition to God’s Word and he didn’t want to be a part of that.

So, in verse 1, he lived in integrity.  Integrity here refers to a completeness or wholeness.  It refers to your actions matching your words.  In other words, you aren’t saying one thing and doing another.  You are living the way you are talking.  Because of that integrity, David was able to ask God to vindicate him.

The second request in verse 2 is for God to examine him.  Although David was living a life of integrity, he obviously knew there was always room for improvement.  He knew there was always the possibility of stuff lingering in him or growing in him that shouldn’t be there.  As a result, he asked God to prove or test him.  This word refers to exposing precious metals like silver or gold to intense heat to burn off the dross and other impurities.  He wanted God to work on his attitudes (Heart) and his professions (Mind).

The third request in verse 11 is for God to redeem him.  David knew that he was ultimately incapable of dealing with and dismissing the things in him that shouldn’t be there.  Try as he might to be better, he could not be perfect.  Perfection was the work of the Lord.  So, he asked God to buy or purchase him, to make him His own.  That was David’s only hope.  It is our only hope.  In fact, it was only through the redemption of God that David could find level or solid ground upon which to stand.

Vindicate me.  Examine me.  Redeem me.  Those are three pretty good requests that we would all do well to make today.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 25

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, JULY 2

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 25

This Psalm pictures life as journey that we can’t make on our own.  One of the struggles of the human condition is we think we can make it on our own.  We think we can get to our destination with no help.  But the reality is quite different.

None of us, no matter how good, strong, wise we might be, possess the abilities to get to where we need to be on our own.  We all need help. Every one of us.  Sometimes that help can come from others who are on a similar journey that we are on or from those who have just completed the section of the trip we are about to start.  But without God directing our steps and guiding our paths we are in trouble.

David was smart enough to know this.  And he was humble enough to admit this.  He knew that he would need help to successfully complete the journey.  In this Psalm, he points to three truths for the journey.

The first one is the help we really need only comes from God.  As the Psalm opens, David is lifting his heart, his soul, to God.  He knew God was the only true source of encouragement during difficult times as well as the only true source of success.

In verses 4-5, David prays for God’s guidance.  But he knew that God’s guidance can only be known through God’s Word.  So He asked to be led in God’s truth and taught God’s Word.  This is an important lesson for all of us.  Undoubtedly there are many times in life that we want God to guide us.  Never forget the source of that guidance will always be His Word.  We cannot truly know God apart from His Word.  And we cannot truly know God’s will for our lives apart from His Word.  We have to stay in the Word.

The second truth is the help we really need is found in the fact that God can be trusted.  In verse 8, David stops to consider the character of God.  The Lord can be trusted because He is good and upright.  The Lord can be trusted because His paths are marked by mercy and truth. 

The Lord can be trusted to teach the humble.  The Lord can be trusted to forgive the sins of the one who asks.  The Lord can be trusted teach the one who fears Him.  The Lord can be trusted to be close to those who fear and respect Him. 

The third truth is God brings the victory.  As you work your way through the remainder of the Psalm, we discover several things David was struggling with.  In verse 15, he is struggling with the dangerous snares of the enemy.  Satan is a master deceiver always trying to trap us.  In verse 16, David is struggling with loneliness.  One of the struggles of leadership is always loneliness.  Although we all need some alone time, loneliness can create havoc in our lives.  In verse 17, David is struggling with a broken heart.  He speaks of enlarged troubles of the heart.  Sometimes our troubles actually grow.  Sometimes those troubles just seem larger because of how we deal or don’t deal with them.  In verse 18, David is struggling with his past.  He asks for forgiveness of His sin.  In verses 19-20, David is struggling with fear.  And in verses 21-22, David is struggling with despair.  He is “waiting on God”.  Sometimes we wait on God with great expectation.  At other times our wait is characterized more by a losing of hope.

One of the great things about this Psalm is how real it is.  The honesty of David pierces our own hearts and slices through our own souls.  And yet there is incredible, unmistakable hope woven throughout the words.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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