Monday, January 24, Psalm 74
- 19 — The Psalmist compares the Christian to a dove and our enemies to the Leviathan (v. 14). Leviathan was one name for a sea monster. It was probably a reference to a country along the Nile River who at one time had oppressed Israel. Why are we Christians like doves? Our sinful flesh doesn’t make us dove-like. Who makes us dove-like is the Holy Spirit. “The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22) Living in Christ, nothing also can move the Christian from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Read Rom. 8:38, 39.
Tuesday, January 25, Psalms 75-76
Ps. 75:3 — A beautiful verse of hope and comfort. Our Almighty God is the one who holds things together in our lives and in this world. Think of Hymn 382, “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness.”
Ps. 75:10 — “Horn” means vigor or strength. Here’s another thing to be thankful for. The righteous, the Christian, will be lifted up through the strength of Christ. In what Jesus accomplished for us on Calvary’s cross, in freeing us from sin, death and hell, we’ll be exalted, lifted someday up to heaven.
Ps. 76:7 — The answer to the question in verse 7 is that of ourselves, no one can stand before God’s anger. The only way we can stand before God, unafraid and saved, is alone through Jesus Christ, God’s Son. “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” II Cor. 5:19.
Ps. 76:12 — This Psalm may have been written after God delivered Judah from King Sennacherib, II Kings 19:32-37. Another worldly leader who experienced God breaking his spirit in New Testament times was Herod (cf. Acts 12:21-23). In modern times we think of Hitler and Saddam Hussein. On Judgment Day all who rejected Jesus will stand in awesome fear as God sends them into eternal damnation.
- 8-11 – There are many examples of intervention by God on behalf of His body of believers in the Bible and throughout history. Luther himself and the Reformation movement experienced it. No powerful human forces at that time which opposed the Reformation were able to prevent its growth and success. Trusting in Jesus, we, too, need not fear because “the Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our Fortress.”(V. 11)
Wednesday, January 26, Psalm 77
- 11 — If God seems to have forgotten us, we, like the Psalmist, need to remember past examples of His mighty power to help. Read Ex. 14:21-31. Couple that with these sure, unfailing promises: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5) “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20) Because of that, we need not fear or worry.
Thursday, January 27, Psalm 78
Vv. 5-6 — Just as Israel was to pass down God’s Word to their children, so we today are to do the same thing. We do that at home through family devotions and at church through Sunday School, our worship services, and through our Christian Day School.
Vv. 17-29 — The Psalmist reveals throughout this Psalm God’s great goodness to Israel in spite of their ungratefulness. God brings that same mercy, peace and forgiveness to us daily. That should move us to live in gratefulness and in daily repentance.
Vv. 24-25 — Manna was called the bread of angels because it came down from heaven. Read Exodus 16.
Friday, January 28, Psalm 79
- 1 — Why did God permit Jerusalem to be reduced to rubble? They had for the most part, rejected Him. To bring them back in repentance, God permitted this heavy cross mentioned in v. 1. When we stray, God permits crosses also in our lives. As the writer in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 6 reminds us, “The Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” The purpose of God’s discipline is to strengthen our faith and draw us closer to Him.
Saturday, January 29, Psalm 80
- 1 — Cherubim were a rank of angels. We hear of them in Gen. 3:24, Ez. 10:3-5 and Heb. 9:5.
Vv. 3, 19 — Sometimes difficulties may make us feel God has abandoned us. Our prayer and plea is the same one as the Psalmist, “Make your face shine on us.” Read Num. 6:25. Will God do that? That certainly is found in Jesus comforting words, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28)
- 17 — The son of man is probably a reference to a faithful King such as King Hezekiah..