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Psalm 24

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

FRIDAY, JUNE 29 

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 24

This glorious Psalm presents a lot of important truth. 

It begins with the truth that the earth and everything and everyone in it belong to the Lord.  It is all His.  We might think the land is ours as we buy and sell it but it belongs to the Lord.  We might think our kids belong to us as we make decisions for them but they belong to Him.  We might think we are our own person and are directing our own life but we all belong to God.

It all belongs to Him and we are simply stewards tasked with the responsibility to use what He has given to us for His great glory and for the good of those around us.

As the Psalm continues, a question is posed.  Basically the question is who can approach the Lord.  Then the Psalmist lists some qualifications: clean hands, pure heart, pursuit of what is true, and integrity.  Before you start working on sharpening up that list of characteristics in your own life it is important to remember we all fail at this list.  We can’t do this on our own.  That doesn’t mean that the list is unimportant.  It doesn’t mean these characteristics shouldn’t be evident in our lives.  It means we can’t do this on our own. 

Because we can’t do this on our own, we can’t come to God on our own.  That takes a Mediator, a High Priest, a Savior extraordinaire.  It takes Jesus.  It is only through Him that we can truly come into the presence of God which is what is meant by the phrase “who seek the face of God” at the end of verse 6.

By the time we get to verse 7, we get to another Messianic section much the same as we found in the previous two Psalms.  This refrain of the King of Glory coming is repeated.  This could be a prophecy of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem days before His crucifixion and His Second Coming. 

This King of Glory is described as strong and mighty, mighty in battle, as well as (in verse 10) the Lord of Hosts.  By the way, the NIV translates this as the Lord Almighty.  In the original language this refers to the One who is the Captain of the Fighting Angels which is the meaning of the word hosts.  But there is also included in that Hebrew phrase a mention of the power possessed by the One who is the Captain of the Fighting Angels which is where the NIV gets “Lord Almighty”.

Regardless, the Messiah who has come and who will come is all powerful.  He commands heavenly armies.  There is nothing too hard for Him.  There is nothing too difficult for Him.  There is nothing that can stand in His way.  He is the King of glory!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 23

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JUNE 28

SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 23

This is one of the most famous chapters of the Bible.  People of all ages from many walks of life memorize and quote these familiar verses.  A lot of people love this particular Psalm.

To our own detriment we often connect this Psalm to death.  In fact, a whole lot of preachers (including me) have used these verses at a lot of funerals.  On one hand, that is OK.  This chapter does speak to the care, concern, protection, and future of God’s people.  All of those are important needs in the lives of Christ followers and great reminders at a time of death.  On the other hand, if we only see this Psalm in the light of a funeral we may miss some important stuff.

This Psalm has much to say about how we should live.  We should stay in the well-worn paths of righteousness.  We should not fear.  We should trust God to protect us.  We should anticipate sanctification (anointing with oil).  We should expect God to provide for us (shall not want, green pastures, stilled waters, overflowing cup, goodness, mercy).  And we should expect God to provide for our eternity (dwelling in God’s house forever).

But when we use these verses just to think about how we should live, we miss another important aspect of this Psalm.  Like Psalm 22 and even Psalm 24, the 23rd Psalm is actually a Messianic Psalm.  This Psalm is about David but more than that it is about Jesus.  He is, after all, our Good Shepherd.  Indeed, I would challenge you to reread this Psalm with Jesus in mind. 

As I was thinking about this Psalm and what I should write in this devotion, I struggled with the fact that most of the readers of this page would be very familiar with this Psalm.  As a result, I was quite uncertain what I could say that would deepen your understanding. 

I was looking through a commentary by Warren Wiersbe and came across something that I had not seen before.  So I thought I would share his words with you. 

He wrote that in the Old Testament the name of God, Yahweh or Jehovah, was often compounded to teach us something about God’s character.  Some of these compound names reflect the contents of this Psalm.

For example, “I shall not want” reminds us that God is Jehovah Jireh – “The Lord will provide” (Genesis 22:14). 

“Still waters” reminds us that God is Jehovah Shalom – “The Lord our peace” (Judges 6:24). 

“Restores my soul” reminds us that God is Jehovah Rophe – “The Lord who heals” (Exodus 15:26). 

“Paths of righteousness” reminds us that God is Jehovah Tsidkenu – “The Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16). 

“You are with me” reminds us that God is Jehovah Shammah – “The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 17:15). 

“Presence of my enemies” reminds us that God is Jehovah Nissi – “The Lord our banner”. 

And “Anoint my head” reminds us that God is Jehovah M’Kaddesh – “The Lord who sanctifies”.

Thank you Dr. Wiersbe for your insight.  It gave me a fresh look at this familiar Psalm.  I hope it was helpful for you as well.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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