In The Word
Read: Psalm 81-83
81 Sing for joy to God our strength;
Shout joyfully to the God of Jacob.
2 Raise a song, strike the tambourine,
The sweet sounding lyre with the harp.
3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
At the full moon, on our feast day.
4 For it is a statute for Israel,
An ordinance of the God of Jacob.
5 He established it as a testimony in Joseph
When he went throughout the land of Egypt.
I heard a language I did not know:
6 “I relieved his shoulder of the burden,
His hands were freed from the basket.
7 You called in trouble and I rescued you;
I answered you in the hiding place of thunder;
I put you to the test at the waters of Meribah. Selah
8 Hear, My people, and I will admonish you;
Israel, if you would listen to Me!
9 There shall be no strange god among you;
Nor shall you worship a foreign god.
10 I, the Lord, am your God,
Who brought you up from the land of Egypt;
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
11 “But My people did not listen to My voice,
And Israel did not obey Me.
12 So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart,
To walk by their own plans.
13 Oh that My people would listen to Me,
That Israel would walk in My ways!
14 I would quickly subdue their enemies
And turn My hand against their adversaries.
15 Those who hate the Lord would pretend to obey Him,
And their time of punishment would be forever.
16 But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”
82 God takes His position in His assembly;
He judges in the midst of the gods.
2 How long will you judge unjustly
And show partiality to the wicked? Selah
3 Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
4 Rescue the weak and needy;
Save them from the hand of the wicked.
5 They do not know nor do they understand;
They walk around in darkness;
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
And all of you are sons of the Most High.
7 Nevertheless you will die like men,
And fall like one of the princes.”
8 Arise, God, judge the earth!
For You possess all the nations.
83 God, do not remain quiet;
Do not be silent and, God, do not be still.
2 For behold, Your enemies make an uproar,
And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
3 They make shrewd plans against Your people,
And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let’s wipe them out as a nation,
So that the name of Israel will no longer be remembered.”
5 For they have conspired together with one mind;
They make a covenant against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined them;
They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah
9 Deal with them as with Midian,
As with Sisera and Jabin at the river of Kishon,
10 Who were destroyed at En-dor,
Who became like dung for the ground.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
And all their leaders like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 Who said, “Let’s possess for ourselves
The pastures of God.”
13 My God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like chaff before the wind.
14 Like fire that burns the forest,
And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your heavy gale,
And terrify them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with dishonor,
So that they will seek Your name, Lord.
17 May they be ashamed and dismayed forever,
And may they be humiliated and perish,
18 So that they will know that You alone, whose name is the Lord,
Are the Most High over all the earth.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The psalmist mourned that Jerusalem had been devastated and that dead bodies were lying in the open as food for scavengers. The Israelites recognized that their infidelity had invited the jealousy of God. They underwent the fierce fire of His discipline. The tragedy led Israel to be the laughingstock of neighboring nations. So the psalmist asked that God’s wrath be turned against the nations that had ravaged and mocked Israel. He pleaded to God for help, “For the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.” The psalmist promised that after the Lord delivered His people from bondage, they would praise Him and be forever grateful.
Have you found yourself in a difficult situation caused by your own sinful choices? If so, run to God and cry out for His mercy to save you. Even though God allowed the painful consequences as a form of discipline, He is the right one to save you. He loves you and wants to see you restored. It is not within your power to rescue yourself. Rather, it is God’s power and wisdom that will deliver you. While there will be some actions that you will need to take, let it be God that directs your steps. Your “wisdom” to try and solve the problem could actually make the situation worse.
Once you have been restored, praise God for His mercy and forgiveness. Then make a commitment to stay on the Ancient Path with God’s guidance.