Highlights In Today's Reading:
How sad! God, the Creator of the world, speaks; then He waits for His indifferent servants: I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. . . . but My people would not hearken to My voice. . . . they walked in their own counsels (81:10-12). However, in times of trouble, the people quickly pray for protection. Then our merciful Father forgives and the exiles return. The love of God is clearly expressed: No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (84:11).
Oh, for more of the intense desire of the psalmist who had personally experienced it many times when he said: O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee (84:12). Sometimes the unbelieving world looks down on the Christian who turns his back on the pleasures of this world. But to be a servant of the Most High God is better than all the pleasure of a rich man's world. Christians enjoy a peace with God, which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Both David and the psalmist knew God would not permit them to miss out on, or be deprived of, His best and He would direct each step of life's way.
The Lord's guidance comes a step at a time. All of us can experience this confidence since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Our human nature wants guidance as far in advance as possible instead of being content to walk with God one step at a time. Some of our mistakes in guidance come from our wanting to see beyond the next turn in the road before we are willing to proceed, others from racing ahead on our own without praying or waiting on the Lord's leading. Though our actions may seem good and right in our own eyes, God declares that to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (I Sam. 15:22).
Saul missed the best of God for not obeying Him, and we need not follow in his steps.
The child of God is to trust Him as did Abraham who went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8), save that he was following the Guide who was leading him. Once we understand the loving care of God over each of His children, we need not allow fear to cause doubt and destroy our trust. This is the practical wisdom we should treasure in our hearts from David's experience. Do you doubt the Lord's step-by-step guidance of the future? Then look back upon the years of your past. No child of God can do so without grateful praise and thanksgiving, for God has led you every step of your way up to the very hour when you read these lines. P.TL.
Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. . . . ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that (James 4:14-15).
Thought for Today:
But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil (II Thess. 3:3).
By Jerusalem, from where the psalmist declared all of the springs (sources) of joy and happiness emanate (Ps. 87:7). Jesus, who will reign from Jerusalem, is the source of our joy as the angel announced at His birth (Luke 2:10). Jesus also declared: These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).
82:1 gods = earthly rulers and judges; 82:4 rid = rescue; 82:5 foundations . . . out of course = administration of justice is ignored; 82:6 Ye are gods = You are My representatives; 83:2 lifted up the head = exalted themselves.
Pray for Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Dave Camp (MI), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) • Country: Sweden (8.09 million) in northern Europe • Major language: Swedish • Religious freedom • 90% Evangelical Lutheran; 1.5% Roman Catholic; 1% Pentecostal; 4% Muslim; 3.5% Other (Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, Buddhist) • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His redeeming love (Rev. 5:9).
Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:21