Through the Sea

Crossing of the Red Sea

I will be out of town for the next few days and will not be able to post devotional content. However, I have scheduled for a daily Scripture reading to publish each day I am away. Daily devotional thoughts will return on Monday, October 1. Thanks for reading!

If you have not already done so, subscribe to this page and join us each day as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 106:6–12 (ESV)

6 Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness. 7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea. 8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry, and he led them through the deep as through a desert. 10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe and redeemed them from the power of the enemy. 11 And the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left. 12 Then they believed his words; they sang his praise.

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The Mighty Deeds of the Lord

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I will be out of town for the next few days and will not be able to post devotional content. However, I have scheduled for a daily Scripture reading to publish each day I am away. Daily devotional thoughts will return on Monday, October 1. Thanks for reading!

If you have not already done so, subscribe to this page and join us each day as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 106:1–5 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord, or declare all his praise? 3 Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times! 4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them, 5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.

Even in Famine

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Reading the Word

Psalm 105:16–22 (ESV)

16 When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, 17 he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron; 19 until what he had said came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him. 20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free; 21 he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions, 22 to bind his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we see the providential hand of God at work. It is God who “summoned a famine” on the land. It is also God who “sent a man ahead of them” in order to save the people. This passage is about Joseph from the Old Testament book of Genesis. Joseph went to Egypt as a slave, but was eventually promoted to the second in command in all of the land behind only Pharaoh. It was Joseph who advised the plan of storing up food during the plentiful years so they would have reserves for the years of famine.

As we have been reading in this psalm, God is faithful to his promises. Even in the midst of what may seem like random trouble and misfortune (e.g. a famine), God is at work. We can easily mistake bad circumstances for God’s inactivity, but the story of Joseph and many others in Scripture, tell us differently. God is always active, even in the difficult times of life, and he is working out his plans and purposes. We can be certain that his promises will be fulfilled. So, whatever you are going through, know that God is at work for your good and his glory.

**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 Promise Keeper

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Reading the Word

Psalm 105:8–11 (ESV)

8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, 9 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, 10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, 11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

In the Book of Genesis, God promises to Abraham that he will turn him into a great nation and give him a land for the people (Genesis 12:1-3). This promise became known as the Abrahamic Covenant and the land became known as the Promised Land. Israel was the nation made up of the descendants of Abraham and the land of Canaan was the land of promise.

The New Testament makes it clear that the promise to Abraham was greater than just a political nation. The Promised Land would be fully realized when the true descendants of Abraham, those who share his faith, are gathered to be with the Lord in a new creation (cf. Hebrews 11:8-18 and Galatians 3:1-14). The story of the Bible shows that God keeps his promises and is working his plan to bring those promises to fulfillment. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ were essential to the keeping of God’s promises because it is through Christ that our sins are forgiven and that we enter into a covenant relationship with God. Let us praise God who makes and keeps promises. And let us praise our Lord, Jesus Christ, for securing those promises on our behalf.

**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!

These All Look to You

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Reading the Word

Psalm 104:25–29 (ESV)

25 Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. 26 There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. 27 These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Here we find that God cares for the creatures of the sea. He created them and he feeds the. He sustains their lives and he determines when their lives end.

All of creation, mankind included, relies on the benevolence of God. He provides for our every need. As we see God’s care for the creatures of the world, on both land and water, we should remind ourselves that he cares for us in the same way. He gives us the good things we need and so much more. Let us rejoice in his care. And when we come to the end of our days, let us remember that God is in control of that also. We can find great comfort knowing that we are always in his care, to the very end. And he has provided a Savior so that, even in death, we find his goodness and grace through the gift of eternal life.

**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 Works of God

Psalm 10419 [fullscreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 104:19–24 (ESV)

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. 20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. 22 When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. 23 Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. 24 O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The times and seasons are in the hands of God. He rules over the sun and moon. As part of the regular cycle of day and night, God has ordered them. Some of God’s wonderful creation was designed to do its work in the night and rest in the day. Mankind, on the other hand, rests at night and works in the day. God is the Creator and his creation has great variety and remains under his control.

“O Lord, how manifold are your works!” declares the psalmist. The variety and design that we see in creation tells us a great deal  about the One who did the creating. God’s creativity and power are beyond our comprehension! He is great and he is wonderful. Take a look around you and stand amazed at the work of 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!

Thank You, God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 104:14–18 (ESV)

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth 15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart. 16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

Understanding and Applying the Word

God is not only the Creator of all things, but the sustainer also. He gives grass for livestock, plants for mankind, water for the trees, trees for the birds, mountains for the goats, and rocks for the badgers. God is not a God who is distant and far, but a God who is intimately involved in his creation from day to day.

When we understand the truth that God gives us all that we have, we need to respond in thanksgiving. This is why Christians have made a habit of pausing before eating to offer prayers of thanksgiving to God. Meals are a natural time for such prayers because as we prepare to eat, we are reminded of the daily provision of our basic needs. Take the time to thank God for what he does every day for you. Find regular times to do this such as meal times. Let your thanks be known.

**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!

You Make Springs

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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 subscribe to this page or like our Facebook page to make sure you can read along with us every day. We are reading through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 104:10–13 (ESV)

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills; 11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches. 13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

An All-Powerful Creator

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Reading the Word

Psalm 104:5–9 (ESV)

5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. 6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight. 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them. 9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth.

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses speak of God creating the world we live in. Specifically, they reflect on the third day of creation when God separated the water from the dry land. We find in this psalm a reflection on the works of an all-powerful Creator who is fully responsible for the existence and governance of all things. God lays foundations, rebukes the waters, appoints the place for the mountains and valleys, and sets boundaries.

Scripture tells us that the world reveals the power and majesty of God because it is his handiwork (Romans 1:19-20). It is an amazing thing to behold the Rocky Mountains or watch the waves of the ocean beat against the sand. It is also amazing to stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon or look up at the stars on a clear night. When we do so, we see the awesome power and goodness of God on display. Mankind may try to run from these clear displays of God, but the harder we try to come up with other explanations, it becomes more and more clear that God is there, he is awesome, and he is good!

**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!

Clothed with Splendor and Majesty

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Reading the Word

Psalm 104:1–4 (ESV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm begins much the same as Psalm 103. It begins with the writer calling himself to worship (“Bless the Lord, O my soul!”). He then speaks to God directly and declares the Lord’s splendor and majesty. He is a great God who clothes himself in light and rides the clouds and the wind. His messengers (i.e. angels) are sent out as winds and fire (cf. Hebrews 1:7).

This is an amazing picture of God’s glory. He is far above all things, but he is also a God who is active in his creation. He is both transcendent and immanent. One of our most well-known hymns comes from this psalm: “O Worship the King” by Robert Grant.

O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

**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!