KG April 10-16

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April 10, Sunday

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Voluntary Submission — This psalm begins and ends with “Praise the LORD!” (Hebrew: hallelujah), serving as the sandwich bread that represents God’s faithfulness to Israel on each side of Israel’s persistent unfaithfulness (vs. 7-39).  God is worthy of praise because “he is good … his steadfast love endures forever” (v. 1); He displays many “mighty deeds” (v. 2); He “show[s] favor” to His people (v. 4).  His people continue to rebel, however, and don’t acknowledge Him until they find themselves in deep trouble.  It seems ironic that they didn’t want to submit to the rule of a loving God, and as a result, “Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power” (v. 42).  They would not voluntarily submit to God, so they were forced to submit to their enemies.  Which is worse?  That same decision faces us believers today: will we submit to God and His ways, or will we suffer the consequences of finding ourselves trapped in the bondage of sin?  Let us not be the rotten meat in God’s sandwich!

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April 11 Monday

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Say So! — “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (v. 2).  Say what?  There are several things suggested in this passage.  The first is to say that “he is good … his steadfast love endures forever” (v. 1).  To be redeemed is to be rescued from trouble at a cost.  Christians were rescued from sin’s bondage at the price of the blood of Jesus and we should be telling others about the goodness and loving forgiveness of God.  Say so!  This psalm gives four examples of people of Israel who were in desperate need, being driven from their homes by oppressing enemies.  You have read about only one of them today, but for all four times in the whole psalm, this identical statement is made: “Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress … Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!” (vv. 6, 8, 13, 15, 19, 21, 28, 31).  They prayed … God delivered … they thanked.  They expressed gratitude for answered prayer.  Thanking God is another “Say so!”  Do you remember to do that?  We easily remember to pray when we are in trouble, but we also need to remember to show our gratitude to God every time He answers our prayer.  “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…”  Oh yes, that points out another thing we should say: that we have been redeemed.  Tell others about it!

Redeemed How I Love to Proclaim It ~ YouTube

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April 12, Tuesday

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Blessed Favor — We can see several things about God in this short, but important, psalm.  First, He blesses those who consecrate themselves to Him (v. 1).  Committed followers are not convinced to follow the ways of unbelievers (“walks not … nor stands … nor sits”—v. 1).  God is looking for people to bless because of their obedience in right living: “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chron. 16:9).  Secondly, we see that God is the ultimate author of His rulebook for mankind, “the law of the LORD” (v. 2).  We benefit from it by gaining stability (“planted … does not wither”), fruitfulness (“yields its fruit”), and abundance (“prospers”) when we meditate on it (vv. 2-3).  This is part of what you do every day when you expose yourself to what He has presented in the Bible.  Thirdly, “the LORD knows the way of the righteous” (v. 6).  He has set out the path for us to walk by providing guidance from His Word; He benefits us as we follow His way; He knows where it ends—in victory and reward.  We are blessed in every way with God’s favor!

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April 13, Wednesday

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Dangerous but Good — This is a difficult psalm to interpret because it seems to be referring sometimes to King David and his ruling descendants and sometimes to the Messiah, Jesus.  Both are called “the son of God” in other places in Scripture but having different meanings.  How do we see God in this psalm?  First, there is His absolute sovereignty.  The Gentile nations plotted against Him “in vain” (v. 1).  That is not only a useless effort, it is laughable (v. 4).  It is like a dad stiff-arming his 4-year-old son who is trying to box him.  It is an enormous mismatch.  The world around us today is also trying to fight against God because they don’t like His rules.  Even Christians do that sometimes.  Secondly, we see from these examples that God has an absolute plan: “I have set my King on Zion … I will make the nations your heritage” (vv. 6, 8).  He will see that His plan is always accomplished.  Because He wills it, He will make it happen.  To resist it is foolish, which is why He said, “O kings, be wise…” (v. 10a).  The next thing He said to the kings suggests a third characteristic of God, that He is the absolute Judge: “…be warned, O rulers of the earth” (v. 10b).  God is to be served “with fear and … trembling” (v. 11).  Rulers, as well as their lowest subjects, should recognize that God will powerfully judge wrongdoing.  That reminds me of something in C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia.  When the children first heard about the Christ-figure lion, Aslan, they were tentative about how to understand him.  Susan asked Mr. Beaver, “Is he—quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”  Mr. Beaver responded, “Safe? … Who said anything about safe?  Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.”  God is good but He is Judge.  He is safe for some, which is the last thing this psalm tells us about God, that He is absolutely safe for “all who take refuge in him” (v. 12).  God is our safe resting place when we trust in Him and are willing to serve Him in obedience.  Why try to fight?!

Near to the Heart of God – YouTube

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April 14, Thursday

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The Blip of Suffering — This psalm is about a believer who feels alone, even deserted by God, in a severe time of need.  Four times in Matthew 27, parts of this psalm are quoted surrounding the time of Jesus’ crucifixion (Matt. 27:35, 39, 43, 46).  What do we need to remember in times like that?  First, remember who God is!  In his lonely suffering, the psalmist remembered, “Yet you are holy…” (Ps. 22:3).  God has not changed and is no different than when He seemed to be close to us.  He is holy and He is good.  Secondly, remember what He has done!  “In you our fathers trusted … and you delivered them” (v. 4).  Israel had a written history of God’s care for them and answers to prayer.  How has God answered your prayers in the past?  We should remember those experiences in order to boost our confidence that God is completely capable of rescuing us from our current trouble.  He is good and He is able.  Thirdly, remember that He is sovereign!  He is in control of history and is leading it for His good and wise purposes.  “For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations” (v. 28).  Our current crisis is only a blip in the huge plan of God.  Even Jesus felt deserted on the cross and quoted this psalm: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46; Ps. 22:1).  Jesus’ suffering was momentary; the Father’s plan was eternal.  God rules.  He is able and He is sovereign.  When you are suffering, remember who God is, what He has done, and that He is in control.

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April 15, Friday

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Provider and Protector — Two pictures of God are provided in this famous psalm of David.  The most obvious picture is that of God as Shepherd (vv. 1-4).  He provides (“green pastures”), guides (“He leads me…”), and protects us (“your rod and your staff, they comfort me”).  When we pray before meals, we are acknowledging His daily provision.  When we read our Bible and meditate on its content, we are being guided by Him.  He also protects us, many times without our knowing it.  Having to stop for a red traffic light when you are in a hurry may have been His way of avoiding an accident further down the road.  That is comforting.  The other picture is of God as Host (vv. 5-6).  You are His guest in “the house of the LORD” (v. 6) where He again shows that He is a provider: “You prepare a table before me” (v. 5).  He honors us with anointing oil and feeds us abundantly (“my cup overflows”).  His protection is also shown in this picture: it is “in the presence of my enemies” that He feeds us.  The enemies can do nothing to prevent it.  Perhaps they can only look on in fear of the divine Host.  Maybe they are captives who are observing a dinner that celebrates military victory.  Try to be aware today of evidence of God’s provision and protection for you.

Savior Like a Shepherd Lead Us – YouTube

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April 16, Saturday

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Creator of All — Since this is a psalm of David, it is very tempting to believe that it was written to be used when the ark of the covenant was brought into the city of Jerusalem.  The crowd of people accompanying the priests who carried the ark would cry out, “Lift up your heads, O gates!  And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” (v. 7).  Two times, the gatekeepers would challenge them with, “Who is this King of glory?” (vv. 8, 10), and the priests would respond with statements about Yahweh.  So, who is He?  First, He is “strong and mighty” (v. 8), which is shown in His creation of the earth and all that is in it (vv. 1-2).  Secondly, He is “The LORD of hosts” (v. 10; Yahweh Sabaoth), an expression used 233 times in the Bible (this is the first time we have seen it in our Knowing God readings).  The “hosts” are probably angelic beings created by God for His own purposes.  So, this psalm is declaring that God is not only the creator of the earth and all it contains, but also all of the heavens and what it contains.  This Creator is “the King of glory.”

King Of Glory – YouTube

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