KG June 19-25

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June 19, Sunday

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Reaching Out in Mercy — One verse stood out to me as I read this passage: “Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes” (v. 155).  Salvation is forfeited by those who refuse to place their attention on God’s Word.  I have two friends who like to think they are Christians, but they avoid reading the Bible, apparently having no interest in its message.  It is through God’s Word that we are exposed to and understand its message, and it is through that message that people find salvation and are strengthened in it.  The next verse connects this potential salvation to the attribute of God’s mercy: “Great is your mercy, O LORD; give me life according to your rules” (v. 156).  God uses His Word to reach out in mercy to those who need salvation.  Notice that “life” is the benefit resulting from God’s mercy.  You are benefiting from spending time in God’s Word every day whether you realize it or not.  The psalmist realized it and expressed it in many ways: “I do not forget your law” (v. 153); “…how I love your precepts!” (v. 159); “…my heart stands in awe of your words” (v. 161);“I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil” (v. 162); “…your law is my delight” (v. 174).  Let us also rejoice in this merciful God of the Bible!

How Gracious Are Thy Mercies Lord – YouTube

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June 20, Monday

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If … then — Three times in this passage, “if” is offered as a condition, and twice “then” follows as a consequence.  A father challenges his son: “…if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments…” (v. 1).  That is the step of listening willingly.  Most of us do this as we read God’s Word every day.  The second step is that of asking expectantly: “…if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding…” (v. 3).  What was heard in the first step was appreciated, and more is requested.  In this second step, we are no longer satisfied with just reading God’s Word when we have time, and then catching up at the end of the month when we have to report; instead, we are looking forward to spending time with God each day.  The third step is searching hungrily: “…if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures…” v. 4).  This is the step experienced by those who ask questions as they read and search for answers in a concordance or websites like www.biblehub.com (“Comments” section).  The progression involved in these steps moves from taste to desire, and from desire to pursuit.  After those conditions are met, the two “then” consequences follow from God: “…then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God” (v. 5).  You are discovering that the depth of God’s Word is unfathomable—limitless.  The second consequence begins the same way: “…then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path” (v. 9).  These are the attributes and ways of God.  Our search has resulted in knowing God better.

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God – YouTube

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June 21, Tuesday

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Responding With Guidance — There are three clear actions of God in this passage, and each one is in response to what His people do.  First, “he will make straight your paths” (v. 6).  God points us in the right direction to fulfill His purpose for us and to bring us joy and fulfilment.  He does that in response to our wholehearted trust in Him (v. 5) and our acknowledgement of Him in all our ways (v. 6).  He guides us because we trust in Him.  God’s second blessing comes in response to our giving back to Him: “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce” (v. 9).    When we put God first in our finances, He responds with His blessing: “your barns will be filled … your vats will be bursting” (v. 10).  Although God’s third response is negative, it is still used to guide us: “…the LORD reproves him whom he loves” (v. 12).  We are not to “despise … or be weary” (v. 11) of His discipline because it is done in love for our own good.  Through trust and correction, He guides us.

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah – YouTube

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June 22, Wednesday

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Tempting Sins — The “six … seven” expression is a literary device that is also used three times in Prov. 30.  Here, it emphasizes things that God hates, and all of them are actions of people, involving their eyes, tongue, hands, heart, feet, and breath.  The first sin listed that God hates is pride, “haughty eyes” that look down on other people.  It is somewhat related to the last sin: “one who sows discord among brothers.”  The first one looks down on people and the last one sets them against each other.  God hates disharmony in relationships.   A common way to sow discord is through gossip, i.e., publicly expressing something negative about another person that makes them look bad.  It doesn’t have to be a lie, by the way, which is the second listed sin (“a lying tongue”).  This also forms a pair with the sixth sin of being “a false witness.”  The “lying tongue” perhaps refers to the common distortion of truth, whereas “false witness” refers to lies being told under oath in a courtroom setting.  The first two are probably the closest to our temptations as Christians.  We know that pride and lying are wrong, but we fall into their traps all too often.  Pride can mostly involve our attitude, while lying is expressed in verbal action.  The middle three sins are likely further from our experience, that of shedding “innocent blood,” devising “wicked plans,” and making “haste to run to evil.”  The two sins on each side, however, are equally hated by God.  Say this often today as a personally reminding mantra: “God hates pride, lying, and discord.”

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross – YouTube

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June 23, Thursday

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What is Fear? — The expression, “the fear of the LORD,” is used 27 times in the Bible, but it doesn’t always have the same meaning.  In one sense, it can refer to being afraid.  An example of that happened during the reign of Jehoshaphat in Judah: “And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat” (2 Chron. 17:10).  This is a don’t-mess-with-Yahweh kind of fear.  A somewhat related “fear of the LORD” was expressed by Jehoshaphat when he instructed the judges of the land to make decisions with impartiality and integrity: “Now then, let the fear of the LORD be upon you.  Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the LORD our God, or partiality or taking bribes” (2 Chron. 19:7).  That is a Yahweh-is-watching-you kind of fear, still involving a sense of being afraid.  There is also a “fear of the LORD” that serves as a moral motivation, as we will see next week in Prov. 16:6: “…by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.”  This includes a dread-of-discipline kind of fear.  The most common meaning of this phrase in the Bible, however, is a fear that respects—an awesome respect.  It is the feeling of standing alone before your Creator, the One who made you and saved you.  Going along with this feeling of awesome respect is extreme gratitude, having a great appreciation for who God is and what He has done.  This is the kind of fear that is referred to in our reading for today: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Prov. 9:10).  This is where we start to become wise and begin to gain insight.

This hymn by Isaac Watts can be sung to the tune of “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee” or with the tune played at this link: That Man Is Blest – YouTube.

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June 24, Friday

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Promised Blessings — There are three statements about God in this passage, and each of them is followed by a benefit for us.  The first is this: “The blessing of the LORD makes rich” (v. 22).  Paul expressed a very similar idea to the Philippian Christians who had been supporting his ministry financially: “…my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).  God blesses us materially.  The second statement reminds us of yesterday’s reading: “The fear of the LORD prolongs life” (Prov. 10:27).  This “fear” is probably a combination of being morally motivated and having awesome respect.  The benefit here is long life, which is not only a loving reward from God, but may also be a result of our respectfully taking care of the body He has given us.  God blesses us physically.  The final statement about God is this: “The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless” (v. 29).  Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians about this spiritual benefit: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).  God blesses us protectively.  He is our stronghold, our hiding place.

You Are My Hiding Place – YouTube

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June 25, Saturday

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Fountain of Safety — This chapter of Proverbs presents two more statements about “the fear of the LORD.”  The first one adds the benefit of “strong confidence” that God will be a place of refuge, not only for us now, but also during the lives of our children.  That is long-term security.  Verse 27 shows that another benefit is having access to “a fountain of life.”  That might also be seen as referring to longevity, but it mostly speaks about supplying a quality of life.  Twice, Jeremiah called Yahweh, “the fountain of living water” (Jer. 2:13; 17:13).  God is the source of both our physical life and our spiritual life.  There is another benefit of fearing Yahweh in our passage: “…that one may turn away from the snares of death” (Prov. 14:27).  That is a different kind of security, not the refuge from current danger (v. 26), but safety from eternal damnation after being trapped in “the snares of death.”  God is both a safe refuge and a life-giving Savior.

Springs of Living Water – YouTube

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Published by abibleread

This website honors the Bible as the inspired Word of God through which God speaks to us as we read and study it.

2 thoughts on “KG June 19-25

  1. As a child I learned that “the fear of the Lord” was not fear as in being afraid of the Lord as I was afraid of heights. But I don’t think I replaced that word in my thoughts with anything other than “that doesn’t mean being afraid.” I need to replace “fear” in my thoughts and meditations with “awestruck wonder” or “reverence” or “deep respect” or “humble adoration.”

    Liked by 1 person

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