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Bible Pathways - July 7, 2005

July 7


Read Psalms 72:1


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 praised the Lord for the assurance that no effort against the faithful people of God, regardless of how powerful, can hinder His ability to protect and bless those who are obedient to His Word. For promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He puts down one, and sets up another (Psalm 75:6-7). God controls both the present and the future of His people. His judgment is impartial and always righteous.


When confronted by problems, we need to praise our Almighty God, who has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). However, the psalmist was also led to proclaim that the proud and self-willed that love to boast will be judged (see Psalm 75:4-7).


To illustrate this fact, in this 75th Psalm God is referred to as the God of Jacob (75:9); God had wonderfully blessed Jacob. Esau had threatened to murder his brother, Jacob, over the birthright God had foretold would rightfully be Jacob's even though Esau was the firstborn. God knew that Esau would despise the birthright and that Jacob would cherish the covenant blessing promised 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 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 (see 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 that the effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16).


Christ Revealed:


As the Righteous Judge who will crush the oppressors (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 (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 = replace the symbols of God with their own symbols; 75:5 speak not with a stiff neck = defy not God with an insolent attitude.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Ellen Clarke· Staff: Rick Hash · Government Official: Rep. Jerry Weller (IL) · Country: El Salvador (6 million) in Central America · Major language: Spanish · Some intolerance of Protestants by government officials · 96% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25).


Optional Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1


Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Thessalonians 4:13

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