July 7

Read Psalms 72 -- 77

In Today's Reading:

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

The psalmist expresses praise to God Who assures us: I will judge uprightly (Psalm 75:2). God is in control.

The psalmist praised the Lord for the assurance that no effort against the faithful people of God, regardless of how powerful, can hinder His ability to bless those who are obedient to His Word. God also is able to impart judgment on the sinner. 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 (75:6-7). God assures us that: The wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted (75:10). God alone is the Judge of His creation. Praise and thanksgiving lead us to a renewed assurance that God controls both the present and the future of His people. His judgment is impartial and always righteous.

When confronted by problems, we are taught to pray in faith that our Almighty God will protect, guide, and strengthen us. This is a great comfort. However, the psalmist was also led to foresee that the proud and self-willed who love to boast and brag will be judged by the same God in Whom we find comfort (see 75:4-5).

To illustrate this fact, in this psalm God is referred to as the God of Jacob (75:9); God wonderfully blessed Jacob. Esau had threatened to murder his brother, Jacob, over the birthright God had foretold would rightfully be Jacob's although Esau was the firstborn. God knew that Esau would despise the birthright and that Jacob would cherish the covenant blessing to Abraham and Isaac (see Genesis 25;21-23).

When Esau threatened to kill Jacob, he left home to live with his uncle Laban more than 500 miles north. Twenty years later, when Esau received word that Jacob was returning home, Esau went out to meet him with 400 of his servants (see Genesis 32:6). It appeared that Esau would now fulfill his vow to kill Jacob in order to regain his birthright. This threat led Jacob to pray all night, after which God marvelously blessed him and gave him a new name — Israel — which is referred to far more times than all other men listed in Old Testament history (see 32:24-29).

Now that we have seen how God blessed Jacob because he wrestled all night in prayer, we should take this lesson to heart. We too need to be persistent and spend more time in prayer. Fancy words are not needed; what is required is a humble, sincere heart. Let's consider the pattern for prayer that Jesus gave us. First we need to recognize Who God is and our relationship to Him, Our Father, and what our first concern should be: Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10). Then we can pray for our needs. Very important is seeking forgiveness for self as we forgive others. We also need to pray daily: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matthew 6:13).

Christ Revealed:

As the Righteous Judge Who will crush the oppressors (see Psalm 72:4). Psalm 75:8 describes the judgment of God upon those who refuse to accept the salvation so freely offered by Jesus, the Lamb of God (see John 1:29,34-36; compare II Thessalonians 1:8-9).

Word Studies:

73:4 bands = pain; 73:21 pricked in my reins = emotionally 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 with an insolent pride.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Rick Hash · Pray for Joe Brashier and the Bible Pathway International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts on WHRI, South Bend IN · the International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of William H. Malone · Government Officials: Rep. Richard Armey (TX) and Rep. Gerald (Jerry) Weller (IL) · Country: Ireland (4 million) off the coast of western Europe · Major languages: English and Irish (Gaelic) · Religious freedom · 93% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christians will be united as Christ and God are one (John 17:11,21).

Optional Reading: II Thessalonians 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18