Bible Reading and Commentary for the week April 18-23, 2016

Bible Reading and Commentary for the week
April 18-23, 2016
Monday, April 18, Psalm 81
vv. 10, 16 – Did God keep His promises? To show that He did, look at Israel’s prosperity under David and King Solomon. Had Israel re-mained faithful to the Lord, God would continually have fed them as He points out to us in verse 16. This wouldn’t have freed them from sickness, accidents and death. Those tribulations we need in prosper-ous times, not only to humble us, but also to remind us of what sinners we are and that alone in Jesus we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

Tuesday, April 19, Psalms 82, 83
Ps. 82:6 – When God calls us gods, we need to interpret this as sons of God. If we were actually gods, we wouldn’t die (v. 7). We, therefore, are mortals. Our hope as God’s sons is in Rom. 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
Ps. 83:6-8, 16, 18 – This Psalm is the conclusion for the series of Psalms that dealt with Israel’s (the Northern Kingdom’s) distress. Israel is surrounded by enemies and dependent on God for rescue. The lists of the enemies come in vv. 6-8. He prays that God will defeat the present and future enemies of Israel as decisively as He crushed the enemies of the past (v. 9). He also prays that God would bring about their conversion. That can be seen in vv. 16 & 18. That needs to be our prayer today, too, with those who oppose God’s Kingdom-work and our country’s enemies. Pray for their earthly defeat and their spiritual conversion.

Wednesday, April 20, Psalm 84
v. 6 – “Baca” means balsam trees. It also has the meaning of “weep.” The picture is of Christians passing through the dry, arid regions of life’s difficulties and finding joy, peace, happiness and strength in the green, verdant pastures that God provides in His precious, life-giving Word. Review Ps. 23.
vv. 10-12 – As Israel had its enemies, so we Christians also have enemies who daily oppose us. They are the devil, the world and our sinful flesh. Sometimes they can be frustrating. Where we are spiritually refreshed is in God’s house. That’s why the Psalmist wrote in v. 1, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty.” How blessed and beautiful it is to dwell in God’s security is brought out in vv. 10-11. Underline these verses.

Thursday, April 21, Psalms 85-86
Ps. 85:2-3 – Forgiveness of sins that results in peace and joy is what every Christian experiences who lives in daily repentance. Repentance means we are sorry for our sins and rest our faith in Jesus. Such Christians experience the blessings of verse 2.
Ps. 85:10-11 – This is a beautiful picture of life in God’s Kingdom. Someday we’ll experience it in its fullness in heaven. There we’ll walk in that world where there is no sin, sickness, misfortune or death. Only righteousness and peace will adorn each day.
Ps. 86:11, 15-17 – Here are 2 excellent, daily prayers. They are good for young people and adults. In v. 17, an example of how God answers prayer is the story of Joseph (Gen. 37-50). Think how God made his brothers ashamed and the wonderful comfort and mercy God showed Joseph in his captivity and final reunion with his father. He would have admitted, “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” (v. 15)

Friday, April 22, Psalms 87-88
Ps. 87:1-3 – The Lord laid the foundation of Zion when He sent us Jesus, His only-begotten Son. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.” (Eph. 2:19-20) “Zion” is the Holy Christian Church.
Ps. 88:13-14 – When we’re at the bottom of the barrel as the Psalmist experienced, the temptation is to turn from the Lord. Let’s however, do as the Psalmist did, and cry to God for help. He’ll hear us and help us. We have His sure promises. Think of Ps. 50:15, Matt. 28:20 and Rom. 8:28, 37-39.

Saturday, April 23, Psalm 89
v. 2 – God’s faithfulness and love have their roots in heaven and come from eternity. This is far different from our often shallow love and lack of faithfulness. Read Eph. 1:4-7.
v. 49 – If you study verses 20, 29, 35 and 36, you’ll see that the Psalmist is reminding God of the great promises He made Israel. It was that through David’s seed, His Son, Jesus Christ would someday establish David’s throne forever. This looked very bleak to the Psalmist when Israel was taken into Babylonian captivity. However, the Psalmist’s confidence in the Lord in v. 52 did not go unheard. About 1,000 years later God kept His promise and sent us His Son through the house and lineage of David. (Luke 1:26-33; 2:1-20)

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