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Bible Pathway - July 7, 2010


Psalms 72


The end comes for mighty King David's reign. Old, feeble, and near death, he prays his last prayer (Ps. 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 praised the Lord for the assurance that no effort against the faithful people of God, regardless of how powerful, can prevent Him from protecting and blessing those who are obedient to His Word. 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 (Ps. 75:6-7). God controls both the present and the future of His people. His judgment is impartial and righteous.

When confronted by problems, we need to praise our Almighty God, who hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Heb. 13:5). However, the psalmist was also led to proclaim that the proud and self-willed who love to boast will be judged (Ps. 75:4-5).

To illustrate this fact, in the 75th 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 Esau would despise the birthright and Jacob would cherish the Covenant blessing promised to Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 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 (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 this man of God a new name, Israel. He is referred to and praised far more times than all other men in Old Testament history (32:24-29).

Now that we have seen how God blessed Jacob, the man of faith who wrestled all night in prayer, we should take this lesson to heart. We too need to spend more time in prayer. God assures us: The wicked also will I cut off; but the horns (strength) of the righteous shall be exalted (Ps. 75:10).

Thought for Today:

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is (Mark 13:33).

Christ Revealed:

As the Righteous Judge who will crush the oppressor (Ps. 72:2-4). 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 (John 1:29,34-36; comp. II Thess. 1:8-9).

Word Studies:

73:4 bands =b> pain; 73:21 pricked in my reins =b> emotionally disturbed; 74:2 the rod =b> the tribe; 74:4 set up their ensigns for signs =b> replace the symbols of God with their own symbols; 75:5 speak not with a stiff neck =b> defy not God with an insolent attitude.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored that many may be reached for Jesus' kingdom • Country: Russia (146.5 million) northeastern Europe and northern Asia • Major language: Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Russian Orthodox; 9% Muslim; 1% Protestant (Baptist, Pentecostal); .8% Shamanist/Animist; .6% Buddhist; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% New Religions (e.g., Hare Krishna); .4% Jewish; .1% Old Believers; 32.1% Agnostics/Atheists/Others • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment and an understanding heart (I Kings 3:9).

Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1

Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:7

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