anxiety

Exodus 21, Job 39, Psalm 69

Today we’re reading Exodus 21, Job 39, and Psalm 69.

This devotional is about Psalm 69.

The Psalmist seems to have been in a desperate situation when he wrote this song. Verses 1-3 describe the problems in his life by comparing them to the feeling of drowning. What gave him this feeling?

  • Verse 4 indicates that one of his problems was unjust hatred and accusations from others
  • Verse 5 tells us that another of his problems is his own consciousness of his guilt before God.
  • Verses 6-12 say that his passion for God caused family (v. 8) and others (vv. 7, 10-12) to mock him.

Can you relate to these emotions? Do you ever feel overwhelmed like you are drowning? Have you ever suffered socially because you take your faith seriously? David turned to the Lord with all his fears, anxieties, and enemies (vv. 13-29). He asked for God’s help and was confident that he would receive it (vv. 32-36). Then, in anticipation of God’s answer to his prayers, he promised to give praise and glory to God.

I sure hope you don’t feel overwhelmed by problems in your life today. But someone reading this probably does and each of us will feel that way at various points in our lives. Don’t try to deal with your fears alone. Bring them before the Lord asking for his help and anticipating how you will thank and praise you when his help comes.

2 Samuel 20, 2 Corinthians 13, Ezekiel 27, Psalms 75–76

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: 2 Samuel 20, 2 Corinthians 13, Ezekiel 27, Psalms 75–76. 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 Ezekiel 27.

Tyre was an incredible place to live. It was situated on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. This made it a pleasant place with sandy beaches and expansive views of the sea (vv. 1-3). 

It’s location on the coast also made it a profitable place to be. Merchants would dock their ships there bringing goods from far away places. People—like the Israelites, for example—who were further inland would go to Tyre to buy what the ships brought; they would also go there to sell what they had to offer. It was a key marketplace for the nation of Israel and her neighbors (vv. 12-25).

Because there was so much interesting merchandise coming and going and so much money changing hands, Tyre was not only a naturally beautiful lakeshore, it was beautiful for human reasons as well. The very best building materials and the best craftsmen constructed an incredible city to live in and to visit (vv. 5-9). 

Imagine what it must have been like for the people of Israel to travel to Tyre. They would arrive loaded with wheat, honey, olive oil and balm (v. 17). After selling it all off, they had money in their pockets so maybe they strolled the beaches for a day or two and enjoyed the food and entertainment the city offered. 

All that Tyre had, however was taken away from them because of their wickedness (vv. 27-36). The prosperity they enjoyed could not protect them from the wrath of almighty God. It is an important lesson for us, too, given that we live in a prosperous nation. As Jesus told the Laodiceans: “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” When we have financial prosperity, many material things to enjoy, a beautiful home situated near a picturesque setting, it is easy to forget God. May God’s word of warning and judgment to them cause us to fear him instead of depending on prosperity.

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.

Leviticus 1, John 20, Proverbs 17, Philippians 4

If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Leviticus 1, John 20, Proverbs 17, Philippians 4. 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 Philippians 4.

Just a quick note before we get to Philippians 4: John 20:26b-28 contains one of the clearest expressions of the deity of Christ: “Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” If you’re ever talking with someone who has questions about whether Christ was God or something else, here’s an excellent passage to show them, right in the final chapter of John.

Now to Philippians 4: Given all the difficulties and stresses he faced during his ministry, it must have been incredibly encouraging to have the Philippians as his friends. While they had some interpersonal problems (cf. 2:3-4 with 4:2-3), they were loved deeply by the apostle and they returned that love, even sending Epaphroditus to help personally (2:25) as well as financial aid (4:10-18). There is so much joy in this letter that it is easy to forget that Paul was in prison when he wrote it (cf. 1:12, 17). This is the background out of which he wrote the chapter we read today. These are the circumstances he lived in when he wrote verses 6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Undoubtedly he was a man who had practiced these commands in his own life repeatedly; his command to the Philippians to deal with their fears this way rose out of his own experience as well as from the inspiration of the Spirit. In verses 8-9 he commands them to discipline their thoughts toward good and godly things instead of focusing on their problems, complaints or fears. While we have much less to fear than the martyrdom that ultimately took Paul’s life, his teaching reminds us that, no matter how little or much we fear, the Lord is waiting to hear our prayers and give us peace as we look to him.

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.