July 07

Read Psalms 72 -- 77

In Today's Reading:

David's prayer for Solomon; mystery of the prosperityof the wicked; the wicked and the proud rebuked; Majesty of God praised.

Verses for Today:

Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks . . . for that Thy Name is near Thy wondrous works declare. . . . For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another (75:1,6-7).

God has never forsaken His faithful servants, even though, at times, it may seem that we are left alone. We praise the Lord for the assurance that no effort against His faithful people, regardless of how powerful, can hinder His ability to protect, promote, and bless them. Praise and thanksgiving demonstrate a renewed assurance that God controls both the present and the future of His people.

When we are confronted by problems, we are taught to pray that the Almighty God will guide and strengthen us. However, the psalmist was also led to foresee that some precious saints would suffer violence because of their faith and was led to write: Precious shall their blood be in His sight (Psalms 72:14). As we remain faithful to the Lord in times of crisis, He will enable us to remain strong, even unto death. Fear none of those things which [you] shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that [you] may be tried . . . be . . . faithful unto death, and I will give [you] a crown of life (Revelation 2:10). Our lives belong to God, and, as the righteous Judge, He allows for each of us what will best glorify Him, as well as prepare us for eternity.

No one is ever relieved of his responsibility to God. The call to faithfulness, service, or suffering is according to the sovereignty of God and the abilities He has given us. Therefore, we may be sure that, whatever handicaps or lack of abilities we may have, or how the forces of evil seem to prevail, all are ultimately used for our good and for His glory.

Trusting in the Lord means sincerely praying for guidance that He will work out His will in and through our lives, regardless of circumstances, while we faithfully fulfill our God-given opportunities.

God is referred to as the God of Jacob (Psalms 75:9); therefore, we need to consider why God wonderfully blessed and protected Jacob. Esau had threatened to murder his brother over the birthright God had foretold would be Jacob's. God knew that Esau would despise the birthright and that Jacob would cherish it enough to risk his life to secure the Abrahamic Covenant from his father.

Twenty years later, when Esau received word that Jacob was returning home, Esau went out to meet him with 400 of his servants (Genesis 32:6). It appeared that Esau would now fulfill his vow to kill Jacob. This threat led Jacob to pray all night, during which time God gave him a new name, Israel, a name that reflected his character and position as a prince [who had] power with God and with men. . . . and He (God) blessed him there (Genesis 32:24-29).

Christ Portrayed:

As the righteous Judge: He shall . . . break in pieces the oppressor (Psalms 72:4). Psalms 75:8 describes the judgment of God upon those who refuse to accept the salvation so freely offered by Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29). They must one day face the wrath of the Lamb (Revelation 6:15-17; compare 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).

Word Studies:

73:4 bands = painful diseases; 73:21 grieved and . . . pricked in my reins = became bitter and was deeply disturbed; 74:2 the rod = the tribe; 74:4 set up their ensigns for signs = replaced the symbols of God for their own symbols; 75:5 speak not with a stiff neck = defy not God.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Richard Armey (TX) and Rep. Gerald (Jerry) Weller (IL) · Pray for the President · Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa · Major languages: English and Chichewa · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for your daily needs (Luke 11:3).

Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18