Insulting God

Reading the Word

Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker; he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 17:5, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

Caring for the poor, the less fortunate, and the vulnerable is mentioned in many places throughout Scripture. Unfortunately, we can often develop a mentality where we look down on those who are struggling and believe ourselves to be better. We jump to blame others for their circumstances and take credit for our own successes, not admitting that circumstances can be outside of our control. A person may be poor, not due to laziness, but due to a long chain of poverty that is hard to break. A person may struggle due to a physical or mental illness. And we may have reached success, not because of our hard work and greater abilities, but simply because we were graced with opportunities others did not have.

When we look down on others with hard hearts and the mindset that they got what they deserved, we insult God. Why is this the case? Because all people are created in the image of their Creator, even the poor and vulnerable. We must not think of ourselves as better, but we must look for ways to care for others and help them thrive as our God intended.

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May the Earth Praise You

planet earth

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Reading the Word

Psalm 148:7–14 (ESV)

7 Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!

9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!

11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!

13 Let them praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the LORD!

Understanding and Applying the Word

After calling on the heavens to praise the Lord in verses 1-6, Psalm 148 calls on the things of the earth to join in praise. Fish, fire, hail, mountains, hills, trees, livestock, insects, and birds are all called on to praise (vv. 8-10). And lastly, all of humanity, from kings to women and children, are included in the summons (vv. 11-12).

The Lord is the Almighty. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all things and is worthy of praise from his creation. There is nothing else in heaven or on earth deserving of our devotion. God alone is worthy. May our hearts grow in awe of the Lord as we look upon the wonder of all he has made. And may we join all of creation in declaring our Maker’s praise.

**Want to read the Bible every day? Be sure to subscribe to this page and follow along! We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms. In 2019, we will focus on the Life of Christ for our daily readings.

Let the Creation Praise!

person sky silhouette night

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Reading the Word

Psalm 148:1–6 (ESV)

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!

3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

5 Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalms breaks into two sections. We are looking at the first section in verses 1-6 where the “heavens” are called on to praise the Lord. The heavens include all created things in the realm of heaven where the angels are. The heavens also include the sun, moon, and stars. The second half of this psalm, which we will read tomorrow, calls on the things of the earth to also praise the Lord.

This psalm calls on all of creation to praise God. Of course, this call includes us. We have been given our existence and life by the great and loving Creator. Our very existence is precious and makes God worthy to receive our worship. Take a moment to go outside and observe all that God has made (the sun, the moon, the stars, the oceans, lakes, rivers, trees, grass, snow, mountains, animals, etc.). Then consider yourself and your family and neighbors and friends. God made it all. He is truly a great God. Let us praise him!

**Want to read the Bible every day? Be sure to subscribe to this page and follow along! We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms. In 2019, we will focus on the Life of Christ for our daily readings.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Psalm 13914 [widescreen]

I hope you enjoy reading the Bible each day with Shaped by the Word. I do not publish devotional material on Sundays, but I do include a Scripture reading. Please be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018. Wondering what we will be doing in 2019? We will be reading through the Life of Christ from the four Gospels.

Reading the Word

Psalm 139:13–24 (ESV)

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Your Word Is Firmly Fixed


Thanks for reading Shaped by the Word. This is a daily Bible-reading devotional. While I do not publish devotional material on Sundays, I do include a suggested Scripture reading.  Be sure to subscribe to this page or follow this page on Facebook so you can read along each day. We are reading through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 119:89–96 (ESV)

89 Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. 91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants. 92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. 94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. 95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies. 96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

You Have Made Me


Reading the Word

Psalm 119:73–80 (ESV)

73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments. 74 Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word. 75 I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. 76 Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. 77 Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. 78 Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts. 79 Let those who fear you turn to me, that they may know your testimonies. 80 May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I may not be put to shame!

Understanding and Applying the Word

When you use a product, how do you learn to use it to its full potential? You read the manual. The manual is written by the designers of the product and it makes sense that they would know best how to use it.

God has made and fashioned us (cf. verse 73). Therefore, we should pay careful attention to his word to us that tells us how to live. This is why the psalmist desires understanding of God’s word. He wants to put it into practice because it is what is best. And when we live according to God’s word, we become a witness to the world of God’s greatness (verse 74).

Do you want to live a full and meaningful life? You will not find it by chasing after the world’s ideas. You will only find it by living according to God’s word. This is what Jesus meant in Matthew 16:24-25:

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Are you ready to follow the instructions of the One who formed and fashioned you? Commit yourself to reading his word and ask him to teach you his ways. There is nothing more satisfying.

**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!