He Is Their Help and Shield

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Reading the Word

Psalm 115:9–18 (ESV)

9 O Israel, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord! He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has remembered us; he will bless us; he will bless the house of Israel; he will bless the house of Aaron; 13 he will bless those who fear the Lord, both the small and the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, you and your children! 15 May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth! 16 The heavens are the Lord’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence. 18 But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What do you trust in? The psalmist calls on us to trust in the Lord. He is the one who is trustworthy. He is the one who can protect and save. And he is the one who blesses.

Who is better able to bless than the Creator? The heavens and the earth are his. So, who do we trust in? Let us trust in the Lord and praise his name!

**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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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!

Bless the Lord

Psalm 1031 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 103:1–5 (ESV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The opening is a call to “bless” the Lord because of all he does. It is the Lord who forgives sin, heals us, redeems us, shows his love for us, and gives so many good things.

It may seem odd that we could “bless” the Lord. God alone can bless, right? The Hebrew word barak stands behind the English translation. It can mean “to praise, bless, or adore”. In the context of this psalm, it seems best to understand it as a call to praise and adore the Lord for all he does for us. Verse 2 is especially important to this psalm as it calls on us to “forget not all his benefits”. We need to remind ourselves of all of the good things God has done and continues to do. As the old song says, we should “count your blessings…and see what God has done.” And let us praise him for those things!

**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!

Blessed Is the One

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Reading the Word

Psalm 94:11–15 (ESV)

11 the Lord—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath. 12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, 13 to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage; 15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In verse 10, we read about how God disciplines and teaches the nations. Here in these verses, we read about the one who is wise and responds in a more positive way to the Lord’s discipline and teaching. The one who learns from the word of God (i.e. the law) is blessed. He finds rest from days of trouble and does not suffer the same fate as the wicked, who await a pit dug for them (the grave).

The word of God is a wonderful thing. The wise person treasures it because of its immeasurable value. It not only tells us of all that God has done, especially through Jesus Christ, but it also tells us how we ought to live in this world. God’s word tells us how the Creator designed us and what brings greatest satisfaction and joy. The things we find in God’s word are often at odds with the ways of the world. We are wise to listen to him and learn from him.

**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!

May God Bless Us

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Reading the Word

Psalm 67:1–7 (ESV)

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah2 that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah5 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. 7 God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is a prayer for blessing. This is not surprising to us. We often pray for the same thing in our daily lives. What sets this psalm apart from our requests for blessing is the motivation this psalmist has for his request.

As the psalmist seeks God’s blessing he emphasizes that it is through such blessing that God’s way and His saving power would be known on the earth. As God’s people are blessed, the world would become aware of who God is and they too would turn to Him. The end result would be that all people would praise God!

What are our motives when we ask God to bless us? Are we asking simply to fulfill our desires or are we asking in order that God might be glorified through His blessings in our lives? May all that we receive from the hand of God result in our praise and the praise of others.

**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!