Highlights In Today's Reading:
The end comes for mighty King David's reign. Old, feeble, and near death, he prays his last prayer (72:20) — not for his son, but for the one put in charge of the people of God. A series of psalms attributed to Asaph, David's song leader, follows. He laments: "Woe is me" and "It's not fair" as he sees the wicked prosper. Then he praises God that the righteous triumph. Learn a lesson from Asaph. In his trouble he chooses to remember who is so great a God as our God? (77:13).
The psalmist's transition from severe struggles to ultimate victory revealed the integrity of his heart. In self-pity the psalmist had complained: Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. . . . All the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. . . . Until I went into the Sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (73:12,14,17). During one point in his life, the psalmist became critical as he saw those who blasphemed God prospering and enjoying life while those who worshiped the Lord were having great difficulties. Through the passing centuries this has been a problem for many Christians who don't understand enough about His Word.
Keep in mind that the psalmist was not describing the facts, but rather what seemed to be the facts. He wondered why the wicked were not plagued with sufferings that the child of God had to endure: I was envious . . . when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (73:3). But he gained a true perspective of life's problems when he went into the Sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (73:17). Let a man enter into worship and praise to God and commune in prayer with Him and, spontaneously, that soul will be humbled, his pride and presumption will perish, and fresh insight will cause him to confess before God: So foolish was I, and ignorant (73:22).
The disciple who accepts the course of life's events as being under the control of God will trust Him and thank Him in humble prayer for the needed grace (the countless blessings of God). He will have taken the first step in the path that leads to daily fellowship with the Lord and a wholehearted surrender to live entirely for Christ. No Christian ever needs to feel slighted when others prosper because no good thing will He (God) withhold from them that walk uprightly (84:11).
When all other resources fail, we will discover that God, and God alone, is adequate to satisfy your every need. Draw near to Him and His presence will banish all your darkness and brighten and beautify your life with His Light, endless love, and loyalty. Seek . . . first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
Thought for Today:
But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in the time of trouble (Ps. 37:39).
As the Righteous Judge who will crush the oppressor (Ps. 72:2-4). Psalm 75:8 (Rev. 14:10; 16:19) describes the judgment of God upon those who refuse to accept the salvation so freely offered by Jesus, the Lamb of God (John 1:29,34-36; II Thess. 1:8-9).
73:4 bands = pains; 73:21 pricked in my reins = emotionally disturbed; 74:2 rod = tribe; 74:4 set up their ensigns for signs = replace the symbols of God with their own symbols; 75:5 speak not with a stiff neck = don't stubbornly resist God.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Cherry Lawson • Radio Sri Lanka Broadcasts sponsored by Gaye Metheny and in honor of Jesus • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Country: Suriname (431,000) on the northeastern coast of South America • Major languages: Dutch and English • Very limited religious freedom • 27% Hindu; 22% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 20% Muslim; 6% witchcraft and spirit worship • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in such a manner that others would be encouraged to praise and glorify God also (Jude 1:24-25).
Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:21