Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 07/17/2002

July 17

Read Psalms 132 -- 138

In Today's Reading:

A prayer for God's blessing; joy of unity; exhortation to praise the Lord; God's enduring mercy; mourning of the exiles in Babylon; God's Word magnified.

Verses for Today:

The psalmist reminds us of how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment (anointing oil) upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments (consecrating the whole body) (133:1-2; Exodus 30:25; Leviticus 8:12).

The psalmist revealed that unity is like the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore (Psalms 133:3). The dew on Mount Hermon is the Life-Source of Israel, for the snow which melts and flows from its peak is the chief source of water for the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. Without it, most of Israel would be a desert. Since the dew comes from heaven, it illustrates that the life-source for true unity is the Holy Spirit. This is a gift of God resting upon Christians who have love and concern for each other. The Holy Spirit descends gently, like fresh dew, producing a mutual commitment to work out difficulties that arise in our relationships with one another. Unity takes place as spiritually mature Christians [endeavor] to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3).

The holy anointing oil that was poured upon the head of Aaron, the first high priest, is a foreshadowing of the anointing, indwelling, and outflowing of the Holy Spirit in believers today. The oil poured out symbolized the Holy Spirit Who, in love, covers as well as permeates the lives of those who have submitted themselves to Christ, [Who] is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23; 1:22; 4:15; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 1:18).

All true Christians have the same indwelling Holy Spirit and are members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Therefore, we should seek to express and promote the oneness of the Spirit with other believers without partiality to race, nationality, education, or wealth.

The key to true unity requires that we let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem [others] better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). Our fallen nature is ever prone to distort unwelcome encounters with others. Our emotions often create a crisis out of unimportant incidents. Added to this, we all too often selfishly demand our rights and blame our frustrations on others. Pride, self-will, and an independent spirit are the great enemies of the Spirit-filled life. It is Christlike to accept personal offense rather than to react to someone's rudeness. We need to recognize that people's bad attitudes are usually momentary frustrations caused by previous conflicts, sorrows, sufferings, or bad news. God permits "difficult people" to come into our lives to give us an opportunity to express His love and patience toward them, just as our Lord has made known His love and mercy toward us.

Unity is dependent upon communicating the love of Christ. By allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to flow through our lives, it transcends all personal differences. As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:27-28).

Christ Revealed:

As the descendant of David, Who would sit upon the throne (Psalms 132:11; compare Luke 1:32; Acts 2:29-30).

Word Studies:

132:6 Ephratah = the district in which Bethlehem was located; 132:11 fruit = offspring; 132:17 bud = flourish; 135:4 His peculiar treasure = the people of God; 135:14 repent Himself concerning His servants = God will have compassion upon His people; 136:12 a stretched out arm = mighty power; 137:3 wasted = plundered; 137:4 strange = foreign; 137:5 her cunning = skill upon the harp; 137:7 Rase = overthrow, destroy.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one another · Country: Mongolia (3 million) in east-central Asia · Major language: Khalkha Mongol · As a 70-year era of communism wanes, Bibles are now on sale in the capital, Ulaanbaatar · 29% Shamanist; 2% Buddhist; 2% Muslim; .2% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray that your life will always be pleasing to God (John 8:29).

Optional Reading: 2 Timothy 2

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 3:10

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