July 01

Read Psalms 36 -- 39

In Today's Reading:

David's confidence in God; destruction of the wicked; the prayer of a penitent heart; brevity of life.

Verses for Today:

While I was musing the fire burned (out) . . . Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, Thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age (lifetime) is as nothing before Thee (39:3-5).

David sat watching a fire burning, its bright flames slowly turning to ashes (Psalms 39:3). He was reminded of how life, once bright, soon fades and eventually ends in death. The Holy Spirit moved him to write of how inspiring and promising life may seem, but how soon it will end.

David points out that the brevity of life is an issue for everyone to consider, not just senior citizens. However, our culture seeks to distract us from realizing that opportunities for fulfilling the will of God are quickly gone.

Compared to eternity, earthly life is but a handbreadth, insignificant in its length. Yet, strangely enough, how easy it is to be caught up with daily activities, so much so that we lose sight of the fact that our lives are always just one breath away from death. We too need to realize: "How brief my life on earth really is." Our daily prayer should be: Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom (90:12).

Most people's time and energy are devoted to preparations for earthly achievements, securities, and pleasures. Many make the fatal mistake of waiting too long for a "convenient time" to serve the Lord, Who said: If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily (today), and follow Me (Luke 9:23).

David continued: Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry . . . for I am . . . a sojourner (a mere temporary resident), as all my fathers were (Psalms 39:12). In our brief journey through life, we may sometimes retrace our steps or repeat a task; but wasted time can never be recovered. This points out how seriously we need to consider what God would have us do today and not just at some time in the future.

Death will forever separate us from all of the material things that we now prize and hold dear. And, for the majority of us, death will come unexpectedly, much sooner than we think. Let us pray for spiritual insight and for deliverance from selfish goals that reduce our opportunities to help teach a lost world the Words of Eternal Life.

Surely this prayer of David was recorded so that it would impress upon us the vital importance of turning our hearts in search of true wisdom. Truly, our obligation is to [redeem] the time (Ephesians 5:16). This means that we take advantage of every opportunity today to serve the Lord. Every funeral is a reminder that soon we too will face the Lord and give an account of how we used the time and resources He entrusted to us.

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men. . . . that they . . . should not . . . live unto themselves, but unto Him Which died for them, and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).

Christ Revealed:

As the Fountain of Life and the Light (Psalms 36:9). In Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of men. . . . That was the True Light, which [lights] every man that [comes] into the world (John 1:4-9; compare 4:10,14; Revelation 22:1).

Word Studies:

36:7 put their trust under = take refuge in; 38:2 presseth me sore = your punishment presses heavily upon me; 38:8 roared = groaned with anguish; 38:11 sore = afflictions.

NOTE: Definitions may not agree with present-day usage as given in your dictionary; we attempt to explain the thought expressed in the original language.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Libya (5 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and Italian · No form of Christian witness to Libyans is permitted · 98% Muslim; 2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with great faith and the Lord will answer (Matthew 21:22).

Optional Reading: Colossians 4

NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:16