Scripture reading for July 10th: Psalm 139-143
Key Scriptures: Psalm 143:9-12 “Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in You. Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For Your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in Your righteousness, bring me out of trouble. In Your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am Your servant.”
The psalmist faces a desperate situation where God is his only refuge! He clings to the Lord and hides himself there in His presence. He asks for instruction in God’s will and the leading of the Holy Spirit. He asks God to preserve his life and bring him out of this trouble, silencing his enemies and foes. God is his last and best hope!
A knowledge of His will: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you might have great endurance and patience, . .” (Colossians 1:9-12)
Scripture reading for July 7th: Psalm 135-138
Key Scriptures: Psalm 138:2-4 “I will bow down toward Your holy temple and will praise Your Name for Your love and Your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your Name and Your word. When I called, You answered me; You made me bold and stouthearted. May all the kings of the earth praise You, O Lord, when the hear the words of Your mouth.”
The psalmist recognized that God’s Name and His Word were exalted above all things. He praised the Name of the Lord and thanked Him for His love and faithfulness. He thanked God for answered prayer. Because of God’s impeccable character, the psalmist was bold and strong in his faith! His prayer was that all kings of the earth would praise this awesome Lord!
God’s exalted Word: “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. . . .Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:30-31, 35)
Scripture reading for July 6th: Psalm 130-134
Key Scriptures: Psalm 133:1-3 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.”
As the twelve tribes assembled, they became one family before the Lord. This psalm decreed the blessing of unity upon the brothers as they gathered to worship in God’s presence. The ultimate blessing that the Lord bestowed was eternal life in His presence! Sounds like what Jesus Christ prayed in his final High Priestly prayer before the cross!
The blessing of unity: “For Your granted Him authority over all people that He might give eternal life to all those you have given Him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” . . . “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them even as you have loved Me.” (John 17:2-3, 20-23)
Scripture reading for July 5th: Psalm 126-129
Key Scriptures: Psalm 126:3-6 “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the streams in the Negev. Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”
As the pilgrims ascended the climb to Mt. Zion and the temple mount, they were surrounded by harsh desert and rocky soil. That reminded them of the difficult times that they had experience and where they sowed, often in tears, because of war, captivity, or their own disobedience. As they returned to God’s dwelling place, they sowed songs of joy. They knew God would not disappoint them and His presence would bring joy and fruitfulness!
The joy of sowing: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all time, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2nd Corinthians 9:6-8
Scripture reading for July 4th: Psalms 121-125
Key Scriptures: Psalm 125:1-2 “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore.”
These psalms were part of the “Songs of Ascent” that were sung or chanted by the Israelites as they journeyed on the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem. These psalms reminded them of their God’s care and protection. Mt Zion, another name for Jerusalem, was set on a small mountain and surrounded by other hills. This served as a metaphor of how God surrounded His people, not only then, but for ever and ever!
God’s surrounding Presence: “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the Firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. . . . .Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably wit reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:22-23; 27-29)
Scripture reading for July 3rd: Psalm 117-120
Key Scriptures: Psalm 118:22-26 “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us; O Lord, grant us success. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.”
The psalmist wrote this prophetic psalm to be used during Passover. As the Jews would leave the Passover meal, they would sing this last psalm in the “Great Hallel”. Jesus and His disciples very likely sang this psalm before they left the upper room or as they went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus Himself, was the Stone that became the cornerstone of the New Temple of living believers. The new day was a day of salvation and grace ushered in by Christ’s sacrifice! As they sang prophetically, Jesus Christ prepared His heart and body to be offered for all sinners who would believe!
Blessed is our Lord Jesus: “He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which as become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
Scripture reading for June 30th: Psalms 112-116
Key Scriptures: Psalm 116:15-17 “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the Lord!”
This psalm was written by someone who experience God answering prayer for from death or a desperate situation. The psalmist realized that God alone showed mercy and kept him from acting rashly or without faith during the trial, which he almost did. He vowed to offer a thank offering to God and to call on His Name. Trials, when properly handled, drive us closer to God and bring new understanding of His ways.
Continually give thanks: “Be joyful always; pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1st Thessalonians 5:16-18) ” . . . Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20)
Scripture reading for June 29th: Psalms 107-111
Key Scriptures: Psalm 110:2-4 “The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion; You will rule in the midst of Your enemies. Your troops will be willing on Your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn You will receive the dew of Your youth. The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.””
King David wrote the 110th psalm about a conversation he listened to described as “The Lord said to My Lord:” (Vs. 1) This was a prophetic psalm that is quoted seven times in the New Testament and by Jesus Himself in three of the Gospels. Jesus Christ, a son of David, and the Son of God would rule from Zion, even in the midst of His enemies. He would be declared the Son of God through resurrection from the dead. From the womb of the grave, at dawn of the third day, He received the dew of His youth! He was made a Priest forever–after the order of Melchizedek!
Rejoice in Jesus Christ: “How is it that they say the Christ is the Son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” (Luke 20:41-43)
Scripture reading for June 28th: Psalm 102-106
Key Scriptures: Psalm 105:43-45 “He brought out His people with rejoicing, His chosen ones with shouts of joy; He gave them the lands of the nations, and they fell heir to what others had toiled for–that they might keep His precepts and observe His laws. Praise the Lord.”
The psalmist has remembered the greet deeds of the Lord for His people when He delivered them from slavery and bondage in Egypt. This evokes praise and worship and causes him to seek the Lord and glory in every aspect of His provision for His people. Rejoicing and shouts of joy filled the people of God as they were blessed with God’s grace of deliverance and given the land of Israel as their inheritance! Even the memory caused shouts of joy!
Shouts of joy among God’s people: “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!” (Revelation 19:6-7)