If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Numbers 24, Psalms 66–67, Isaiah 14, 1 Peter 2. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Psalm 66-67.
Psalms 66-67 provide a fitting way to prepare for our worship together this morning. Both Psalms point to God and invite us to worship him. Verses 1-7 call us to worship God based on what he has done; as verse 3 put it: “Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!’” Then it recounts, generally, some of what God has done reminding us of his miraculous works in the past for his people (v. 6) and his present sovereign administration over the nations of humanity (v. 7). Verses 8-12 remind us of the Lord’s discipline; while we don’t usually think of God’s discipline as gracious, it is because God uses discipline to refine us morally in holiness and purge out sins from our lives. Verses 13-15 state the resolve the Psalmist to keep the vows he has made to worship the Lord in his temple. These vows were made when the Lord’s discipline was on him for, according to verse 14b they were made “… when I was in trouble.” The Psalmist then gives testimony to the grace of God in verses 16-20. Having promised his worship and obedience to God when he was under discipline, the Psalmist calls for all who “fear God” (v. 16a) to listen to his story of how the Lord heard his prayer and rescued him when he repented (v. 18). Maybe you’ve been experiencing some painful consequences of sin in your life. Has it ever occurred to you that this may be God’s loving discipline, preventing you from wasting your life in disobedience and calling you to turn to him in repentance. When we come before the Lord, turning from our sins and bringing him the worship he desires and deserves, we will find joy again in our worship.
Psalm 67 calls out to God for his blessings in the lives of his people. It opens (v. 1) with this call for blessing and closes with it as well (v. 7a). In between these two requests for blessing, the Psalmist expresses his desire for God’s worship and praise to infuse the nations of the earth (vv. 3-5). The lesson from this Psalm for us is that God’s blessings are not just for our enjoyment; rather, they are a source of revelation to those who do not know and worship God. When he asked for God’s blessings in verse 1, the Psalmist explained why he wanted them in verse 2: “so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” This refrain is echoed again in verse 7, “May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.” Whatever you are asking God for right now, has it occurred to you that your request could and should be tied to spreading the message of God’s greatness to others? When God answers our prayers, we have the opportunity to tell others that we looked to God when we were in need and that he answered our prayers in some particular way. This gives us an entry point for sharing with unbelievers the glory of God and calling them to worship him, by faith in Christ, along with us.
Meditate on these truths and let them prepare your hearts for our time of worship together this morning.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.