It’s Not about Your Parents

Today’s reading is Psalm 42.

Did you catch the superscription of this psalm? “To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah.” Do you remember who Korah is?

In Numbers 16, along with Dathan, Abiram, and On, Korah led a rebellion against Moses. They accused Moses of exalting himself above everyone. The entire assembly, they claimed, were just as holy as Moses. He had no right to lead them. This rebellion ended as the Lord opened the earth and swallowed up the rebels and their families.

However, Numbers 26:11 drops this little bomb. At least some of Korah’s sons didn’t die. But surely the stain of this rebellion hung on them. You would think this would be the kind of reputation that would follow a family line for generations. How could anyone in this family ever be of any use to God or His kingdom?

However, in 1 Chronicles 6:31-37, David appointed descendants of Korah to be in charge of the service of song. If you read that passage closely, you discover Samuel was one of the descendants of Korah. According to 1 Chronicles 12:6, some Korahites were among David’s mighty men. In 1 Chronicles 26:1-19, we see that Korahites were gatekeepers at the tabernacle and then the temple. And in this psalms and several others, we learn that the descendants of Korah wrote part of the Bible.

The long and short of it is simply this. It doesn’t matter who your parents or grandparents or great-great-great-great-…-great-grandparents were. God can use you. Praise the Lord!

The question is not whether God will use you. The question is will you serve where you can? What are you doing today to serve the Lord?

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 42.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Are you surprised to learn all God used descendants of Korah to do? Why or why not?
  3. Are you surprised to see that Samuel is actually a descendant of Korah and that God used him so strongly? Why or why not?
  4. How does this give you comfort and encouragement in serving the Lord?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Don’t Be a Heel!

Today’s reading is Psalm 41.

Many claim David was talking about either Absalom or Ahithophel when he declares his close friend had lifted up his heel against him. Jesus claims he was talking about Judas (see John 13:18).

Of course, David is not so much prophesying about Jesus and Judas. Jesus is saying, “That thing that happened to David. It is happening to Me and more so.”

But do you know what Jesus did with that heel that was lifted up against Him? He washed it. That is amazing. Not only that. He then turned around and went to the cross for it.

Sadly, Judas did more than lift a heel to Jesus. He was a heel. He wouldn’t accept the forgiveness offered. He wouldn’t seek the grace that was paid for. Instead, in his guilt and worldly sorrow, he killed himself.

Don’t be a heel. Don’t strike out at Jesus. But if you do, don’t be a stubborn heel. Turn back to the Lord. Let Him forgive you. Let His sacrifice atone for you. He was raised up to repay you. But His repayment is forgiveness for those who confess and repent.

Can we help you soften your heel? Can we help you put your foot back down and instead reach out your hand to the Lord? Let us know in the comments section.

Next week’s reading is Psalm 42.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this conversation.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Would it be hard for you to wash the heel that was being lifted up against you?
  3. Have you ever lifted your heel up against Jesus? Think hard.
  4. How do we turn to Jesus today?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Who Is in Control?

Today’s reading is Psalm 41.

Underneath Psalm 41:8 is an interesting claim. The ESV says the friends claim a “deadly thing” has been poured out on David. The word for deadly is similar to the word “Belial.” It is the word that means “worthless” (1 Samuel 25:25) and can also mean “destruction” (Psalm 18:4). It contains an underlying idea that David’s sickness is actually caused by demonic or unclean spirits. This actually brings up an amazing point we find in the Psalms.

In the ancient Near East, we learn that when folks from other nations wrote psalms, poems, laments, they often attributed their sicknesses and troubles to evil spirits, jinn, demons just as David’s enemies here do. But take a look at to whom David attributes control over his illness. Once again, David believes his illness is theosomatic. That is, he believes it is God’s discipline for his own sins.

I know it gives us just a bit of trouble to place God as the ultimate power behind all the things we read about in the psalms. However, the great blessing of that realization is God is the one in control. He is sovereign. If God is the one who is ultimately behind all these, then God is the one we must turn to when we face them.

No, this doesn’t mean every sickness we face is God’s specific discipline for a specific sin. Further, it doesn’t mean God is simply striking people with sickness right and left. But it does remind us God is the one in control. God is the one who can provide the healing. God is the one who can provide the deliverance. David’s sickness was not under the control of Belial, therefore David wasn’t going to die.

Whatever we face, whether it is because of our sins or just because of time and chance, it isn’t under the control of the enemy. It is under the control of God. Turn to Him. He is the one who can deliver. He is the only one who can deliver. He will deliver.

Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 41.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this conversation.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Why are you glad that God is in control?
  3. Why is it hard to hang on to God when we are really sick or when enemies attack?
  4. What advice would you give to encourage others to hang on to God even when life is difficult and painful?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

My Enemies

Today’s reading is Psalm 41.

It hurts when you find out friends are actually enemies. To your face they say nice things, behind your back they spread secrets and lies. When you are around, they feign care about your life. In their hearts, they wish you were dead. When you are providing the meal, they eat your bread. When you are in your sickbed, they abandon you.

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? Hurts like crazy, doesn’t it? David knew what that was like.

Friends are great. We all need them. But always remember who your actual hope is. God is the best friend. When friends fail us, God never will. Even when our friends become enemies, though they hurt us, they will not shout in triumph over us.

God always wins. Therefore, when we are with God, we always win. Hang on to your truest friend no matter what.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 41.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this conversation.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. What benefits and blessings do your friends provide you?
  3. Why does it hurt so bad when friends betray us?
  4. What advice would you give to help us make God our best friend?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Lord, Be Gracious

Today’s reading is Psalm 41.

Based on David’s description of the Blessed Lord as the one who cares for and delivers the poor and needy, he describes the request he had made beginning in vs. 4: “O Lord, be gracious to me.” He comes back to the main request in vs. 10: “But you, O Lord, be gracious to me…”

In this first book of Psalms, David has requested the Lord be gracious to him eight times, not counting these two requests (see Psalm 4:1; 6:2; 9:13; 25:16; 26:11; 27:7; 30:8 [“merciful”]; 31:9).

It is so hard to accept this grace and mercy, isn’t it? When we can look back and see our sins, when we are convinced our troubles are the result of our sin, when others are reminding us of our sin, mercy and grace are hard to seek.

On top of that, mercy and grace are just difficult to seek. Most of us don’t want mercy and grace. Most of us just want God to be patient with us. “Hang on, Lord, I’ll prove I’m better than my sins.” “Just watch and see, Lord, I’ll show you I deserve Your favor.” It is hard to ask the Lord to just be gracious to us, to give us what we don’t deserve. We so desperately want to deserve it.

Of course, this recognition that we can’t earn God’s favor doesn’t mean there are no conditions. Even David says God will uphold him because of his integrity (vs. 12). In this psalm, as in 26:11, we have a sinner who has integrity. In other words, we are sinners who deserve judgment, but we can submit to the Lord’s righteousness. We are not totally depraved or utterly incapable. God does expect sinners to turn to Him in integrity. He does expect us to meet conditions without which He will not save us. The condition is not, of course, sinless perfection. It is not earning the favor. But neither can we expect to be saved by God if we decide to continue to walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the paths of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. We must walk in integrity. We must walk the Lord’s path. Yes, we will fall. But the Lord is gracious.

Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 41.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. What comfort do you get from the Lord’s grace and mercy?
  3. What struggles do you have with seeking the Lord’s grace and mercy?
  4. What do you think of the difference between earning grace and meeting conditions to receive grace?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

A Body for an Ear

Today’s reading is Psalm 40.

In case you wonder whether we are allowed to find Jesus in psalms where the psalmist proclaims his own sinfulness (as we’ve done in the past), the Hebrew writer finds Jesus in Psalm 40. In Hebrews 10:5-7, the author is talking about Jesus and applies this quote to Him:

Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’

However, you may have noticed a difference. Psalm 40 says, “You have given me an open ear.” Hebrews says, “A body you have prepared for me.” This is because the author of Hebrews is quoting from the Greek translation. Honestly, I’m not quite sure why the Greek translation turns receiving an “open ear” into a “body.” Frankly, trying to figure that out is above my pay grade.

Here’s what is fascinating. In Psalm 40, David’s point is God wants more than sacrifice from David. He wants submission. He wants obedience. He wants sincerity. That is, there is no room for “sin all you want as long as you offer the sacrifice.” Yes, David, sacrifice is available when you need it. But don’t let that be permission to sin. Put the Law in your heart and follow it. However, when the Hebrew author quotes it, he ends up at almost the opposite point. The whole point in Hebrews is that God does want a sacrifice. Jesus is that sacrifice. He is the offering once for all that God did want.

The point seems to be that God wanted a plan that would get rid of sacrifice and offering. Therefore, He prepared a body for the Son of David that would be the ultimate sacrifice. When the Son of David came to do the will of God that was recorded for Him in the scroll of the book, it was to be the ultimate sacrifice that made all other sacrifices unnecessary.

What an amazing King we have. How can we do anything but shout, “Great is the Lord!”

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Why are you thankful for Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice?
  3. How does this psalm make the point that we aren’t supposed to let sacrifice be a license to sin?
  4. How can you put God’s law in your heart and avoid sin?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

You Talkin’ to Me?

Today’s reading is Psalm 40.

“Behold, I have come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do your will, O God; your law is within my heart.”

What’s that about? Who is this talking about?

It seems most likely this is actually a reference back to the scroll of the Law and its reference to the king, the passage we read in Deuteronomy 17:14-20. Here, in the scroll of the Law book, God tells the king how to rule. He is not to trust in horses and chariots. He is not to multiply wives who will turn his heart away. Further, he is to write his own copy of the scroll of the book. He is to read it all the days of his life. He does this so his heart will not be lifted up above the people who are his brothers and sisters. He does this so he will obey the Lord, doing His will, not turning aside to the right or to the left.

David understood, God was talking to him. What does he proclaim? I delight to do your will! Your law is in my heart!

No doubt, God was talking to the king. No doubt, God was talking to David. Let us understand He was talking to us as well. Oh, I don’t mean we have to write our own copies of the Bible. Though, that might not hurt. But we must get His word in our heart. We must delight in His will. He is talking to us. He is talking to you.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 40.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Why was the king not to return to Egypt?
  3. Why would the king be tempted to let his heart be lifted up above his brothers and sisters?
  4. What benefit do we get from putting God’s word in our heart?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Well, Lord, Here I Am Again

Today’s reading is Psalm 40.

Why does this psalm go from the heights of thanksgiving to the depths of lament? Because David has gotten himself in a mess…again.

This psalm is David’s plea for God to deliver him from the results of his own sin (the last half of the psalm). Part of his basis for the plea is how he handled God’s earlier deliverances (the first half of the psalm). In the past, he waited patiently. In the past, he trusted in the Lord. In the past, he gave God the praise and the glory. In the past, he told the whole congregation about God’s faithfulness, steadfast love, and salvation. Because of all that, he asks God to deliver him…again.

There is, of course, nothing in this psalm that justifies sinning our way into trouble. However, have you ever been in that moment when you had to say, “Well, Lord, here I am again?” That is where David is in Psalm 40.

What is he allowed to do? He is allowed to go to God…again. He is allowed to pray…again. He is allowed to confess…again. He is allowed to repent…again. He is allowed to cry out for mercy…again. He is allowed to seek deliverance…again. Praise the Lord!

Are you there…again?

Turn to the Lord.

Let us know if we can help.

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 40.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. How comforting is it to you to see one of the Bible saints turn to God after getting in sinful messes multiple times?
  3. Ultimately, what has God done to deliver us from our sin?
  4. What advice do you have to help the others in your family stay out of those sinful messes?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Help Me, Yahweh! You’re My Only Hope!

Today’s reading is Psalm 39.

My life is fleeting. Money isn’t helpful. I’m actually just a sojourner. Then what is this life all about?

David asks the question this way, “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?” That is, “What hope do I have?” His answer? “My hope is in you.”

Honestly, this is were we find Jesus. What was David really waiting for? Jesus. Jesus removes transgressions. Jesus removes our scorn. God removed the stroke from us and placed it on Jesus.

Looking forward, David didn’t fully understand exactly what his hope was. Looking back through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, we do. What hope do we have in money, houses, cars, retirement accounts, gizmos, gadgets, etc.? What hope do we have in this life? What hope do we actually have in the future generations? What hope do we have? Yahweh is our only hope. Jesus is our only hope.

But what an amazing hope He is! Praise the Lord!

Next week’s reading is Psalm 40.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this conversation?

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Do you see Jesus in this psalm in any other ways than mentioned in the devo above?
  3. What other things do people put their hope in besides Yahweh and Jesus? What does that look like?
  4. What does putting our hope completely in Jesus look like in our daily lives?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?

Sojourners

Today’s reading is Psalm 39.

“For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.”

Certainly, this calls to mind the principles we’ve covered the past couple of days about the fleeting nature of this life and the ultimate emptiness of wealth. We are sojourners, temporary residents. This isn’t where we plan on spending eternity with God. We are looking forward to something more, something better. Laying up treasures in our sojourn would be like investing a bunch of money in the house we are renting knowing full well we are going to be buying a different house in the next couple of years.

However, there may be a bit more to this idea of sojourner than just recalling the above principles.

This statement is practically a quote from when David prayed at the collection to prepare for the temple. In 1 Chronicles 29:15, David prayed, “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth a like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” In context, this statement is a recognition that every bit of financial blessing they had was actually God’s anyway. They were giving to the building of the temple, but it wasn’t like they were actually giving. They were just conduits for God to provide for His own house. It was His stuff anyway.

But this statement is anchored in Leviticus 25:23. God said none of the Israelites actually owned the land. The land was His. The Israelites were strangers and sojourners on it. Therefore, they couldn’t sell the land in perpetuity as if they owned it. In other words, even the old homestead was a gift from God. They were living on what God had provided.

Finally, there is another aspect of this that fits very well into the context of the end of Psalm 39. In Deuteronomy 24:17-22, we see direction on how God expected Israel to treat sojourners. They were not allowed to pervert justice to the sojourner. Further, they were supposed to provide for the sojourner, even the poor sojourner. They were to care for the sojourner. In other words, David is, in a very real sense, asking God, “You remember how you told us to treat sojourners when they were in need and crying out? Treat me the same way.”

And we can be assured God did treat him with that kind of care. We can be assured He will treat us with the same kind of care. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 39.

PODCAST!!!

Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post.

Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family

  1. What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
  2. Which aspect of sojourners in the above devo is most comforting to you? Why?
  3. Why is it hard to remember that here on earth we are just sojourners?
  4. How do you think we can spend more time focused on our eternal home with God instead of focusing on our sojourning time here?
  5. What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?