Friday, December 7, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Psalms 19-21 and 2 Thessalonians 1

Psalm 19 – “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world” (19:1-3).

The great sun is compared with both a “bridegroom” and “an eager athlete.” And then these famous words:

“The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart” (19:7-8). “The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb” (19:9-10).

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (19:12-14).

Psalm 20 – “In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry. May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm. May be send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem” (20:1-2).

“Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God” (20:7).

David also prays that he will have victories because of the Lord’s great power.

Psalm 21 – David is supposed to have written this psalm, but he refers to himself in the third person. I guess he is a king.

“How the king rejoices in your strength, O Lord! He shouts with joy because you give him victory. For you have given him his heart’s desire; you have withheld nothing he requested” (21:1-2).

“[Y]ou have clothed him with splendor and majesty, You have endowed him with eternal blessings and given him the joy of your presence” (21:5-6). The king “trusts in the Lord. The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling” (21:7).

All those who “hate” the Lord will suffer terribly. “The Lord will consume them in his anger; fire will devour them. You will wipe their children from the face of the earth; they will never have descendants” (21:9-10).

His feelings of being favored by God make him believe that he will be able to destroy all his enemies. He sounds a little too ruthless in this confidence. 

2 Thessalonians 1 – Paul praises the church in Thessalonika more and tells them God will reward them for the suffering they are going through.

He reminds them again of the retribution that will come for those who oppress them. “It will be their punishment to be lost eternally, excluded from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength on that day when he comes to be glorified among his saints. . . “(1:9).

So, he says, he will “keep on praying for [them], asking our God to enable [them] to live a life worthy of his call. May he give [them] the power to accomplish all the good things [their] faith prompts [them] to do” (1:11).

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