The All-Powerful King

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Reading the Word

Psalm 114:1–8 (ESV)

1 When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 2 Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion. 3 The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back. 4 The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. 5 What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? 6 O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? 7 Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8 who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 114 recounts the exodus from Egypt by the Israelites. The details of the event are recalled in a manner that stresses the grand power of God. The sea looked and fled at the presence of God as the people crossed over the parted waters. The mountains skipped and the earth trembled as God descended at Sinai. And God brought water from the rock to supply his people.

God is the all-powerful King of creation. Everything bows before him. When he lead the people out of Egypt, there was nothing that could stand in their way, not even the seas and mountains. This is the same God who leads us into the world as his people. As we follow him, we go in the confidence of his power and authority. May we proclaim his greatness and grace to the nations.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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From the Rising of the Sun

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Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading. Please take a moment to subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms.

Reading the Word

Psalm 113:1–9 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! 2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! 3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! 5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, 8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. 9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!

 

He Is Not Afraid of Bad News

Psalm 1127 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 112:1–10 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! 2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. 5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. 6 For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. 7 He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. 9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. 10 The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The one who fears the Lord is blessed. This is in contrast to the wicked, who gnashes his teeth and perishes. The one who fears the Lord will have influential offspring, wealth and riches, and will be remembered.

But what about when things do not go so well? What about when the circumstances do not seem to be a blessing at all? The one who fears the Lord even finds hope in the midst of trouble. As verse 7 states, “He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.” Those who belong to Christ, who trust in him, know that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28). Even what may be considered “bad news” is used by God for the good of his people. We have no reason to be afraid because God is in control and we trust him with every detail.

What are you facing today that causes you to fear? Know that God is in control of your situation and he is using it for your good. Let your heart be firm and trust in the Lord!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

In the Congregation

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Reading the Word

Psalm 111:1–10 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. 2 Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. 3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. 5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. 6 He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. 7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; 8 they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 9 He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name! 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 111 is a call to praise. It is a call for the congregation of the people of God to give thanks for all he has done and it recounts some of those things.

Our praise is always in response to who God is and what he has done. When we gather as the people of God, we worship together and our worship should be focused on these two things. As we think of what he has done, we focus primarily on God’s grace through the giving of his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and on the promise of eternal life for all who will trust in Jesus’ work on the cross. However, let us not forget to recount the specific ways God has worked in our lives. Let us speak of his goodness and generosity to the congregation of God’s people so that we may join in thanksgiving and praise. We serve a great God!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Lord Says to My Lord

Philippians 29–11 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 110:1–7 (ESV)

A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” 2 The Lord sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! 3 Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. 4 The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” 5 The Lord is at your right hand; he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath. 6 He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth. 7 He will drink from the brook by the way; therefore he will lift up his head.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus quotes this psalm in Mark 12:36-37:

David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.” ’ David himself calls him Lord. So how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.

Jesus points out that David, the king of Israel, calls another one “my Lord.” How could David, the king of Israel, refer to another as his Lord? The answer is that there would be a descendant from David who would be greater than David. Of course, that descendant is Jesus himself, the divine King of Israel. The remainder of the psalm speaks of Jesus’ reign and judgment over the nations.

Jesus is the promised King (i.e. Messiah) of the line of David. However, Jesus is not just any king. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is God in the flesh. He is the divine ruler of all creation whose kingdom will never end. And he will judge the nations with righteousness and justice. In the end, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

He Stands at the Right Hand of the Needy

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Reading the Word

Psalm 109:30–31 (ESV)

30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. 31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm ends with words of confidence from David as he joins in praise to the Lord. David believes that God will be with him even though David’s enemy has falsely accused him. Peter quotes from verse 8 of this psalm when there is a need to replace Judas as one of the Twelve in Acts 1:20. In the betrayal of David in this psalm we see similarities to the betrayal of Jesus at the hands of Judas. And as David calls for punishment on his accuser, we see judgement fall on Judas (cf. Acts 1:18).

As we reflect on this psalm and David’s life, as well as the life of Jesus, we see the Father standing with his own. This does not mean that God always removes the trial or difficulties, but he stands at the right hand to guide, comfort, and strengthen. We can have confidence that we are never left alone to face our circumstances. The Lord is with us and he is for us.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Hope for the Poor And Needy

Psalm 10922 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 109:21–29 (ESV)

21 But you, O God my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me! 22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me. 23 I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat. 25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads. 26 Help me, O Lord my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! 27 Let them know that this is your hand; you, O Lord, have done it! 28 Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad! 29 May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we see David’s hope. His trust is in God, who he calls “God my Lord” in verse 21. The titles that he uses reflect on God’s sovereign rule over all. While David is “poor and needy” (a description of his weakness), God is in control and full of steadfast love towards David.

What are you going through? What is it that you are facing that makes you feel weak and powerless to overcome? David sought the Lord in prayer and trusted that the sovereign One would be faithful to him. You and I can rest in the truth that our God is in control and that he loves his people. Let us call out to him and trust him. We may be weak, but he is all-powerful.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

He Loved to Curse

Romans 1219 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 109:16–20 (ESV)

16 For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death. 17 He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! 18 He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones! 19 May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day! 20 May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, of those who speak evil against my life!

Understanding and Applying the Word

David continues to pray for God to take action against his enemy. In these verses, he calls for the enemy to have curses fall upon him. Why? Because David’s enemy is one who loved to curse others. It would be fitting for such to happen to him.

This psalm is hard for us to understand if we cannot accept that God is a just God and calls for us to long for justice as well. David’s prayer reflects that he longs for justice. He desires that the one who is evil will be repaid with evil. An important thing to note in this psalm is that David leaves justice in the hands of the all-knowing and perfectly just God. It is ultimately God who knows when and how to judge a person. It is also God who may choose to extend his grace. David calls for justice and leaves it in God’s hands. This is what we are called to do as well, as Paul states in Romans 12:19:

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Judgement of the Wicked

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Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include a Scripture reading for the day. We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms and would love to have you follow along. Be sure to subscribe to this page and join us each day!

Reading the Word

Psalm 109:6–15 (ESV)

6 Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! 8 May his days be few; may another take his office! 9 May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! 10 May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit! 11 May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil! 12 Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children! 13 May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation! 14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out! 15 Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!

1 Year Later

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A few days ago marked the one year anniversary of Shaped by the Word. I have enjoyed reading the Bible and writing down some of my thoughts over the last year and I am thankful that there are a few people who take the time to read my posts. The site has continued to grow steadily and I hope that it has helped to encourage daily Scripture reading for those who have subscribed.

To those of you who are regular readers, I would like to get your feedback. What do you like about the site? What would you suggest to improve it? Do you find the posts helpful? Do you wish they were longer? Do you wish they were shorter?

Comment on this post or send me an email through the “Contact” page with your thoughts. I would really like to know how to make this more beneficial for all of us. Thanks again for reading. I look forward to hearing from you!