The Lord Reigns!

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Thank you for reading Shaped by the Word. This is a daily Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but I do include a suggested reading from Scripture. If you would like to follow along as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018, please be sure to subscribe to this page.

Reading the Word

Psalm 93:1–5 (ESV)

1 The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. 2 Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. 3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring. 4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty! 5 Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O Lord, forevermore.

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A Forever Promise

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Reading the Word

Psalm 89:27–37 (ESV)

27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens. 30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. 35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses continue the theme of yesterday’s reading regarding God’s promise to David. In 2 Samuel 7, God promises David that his throne will remain forever. There will always be a descendant of David on the throne. Not only would David and his descendants reign over Israel, but over all of the nations (v. 27). When we get to verse 30 we read about how God will respond if David’s descendants do not seek God and do not keep his commandments. They will be punished, but God will not remove his grace nor the kingship from them. God then swears y his own character that he would not go back on his promise to David (v. 34).

At first glance, this may seem like an unrealized promise. After all, if someone was supposed to sit on David’s throne forever, where is he today? When we read the Bible and come into the New Testament, we are shown that Jesus Christ is the final fulfillment of this promise. Jesus is a descendant of David and is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 1:1-17; Colossians 1:15-20) whose kingdom will never cease. We are called to be a part of his kingdom by repenting of our sins, turning to Christ for forgiveness, and living in obedience to our King. Praise to God for keeping his promises!

**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!

A Shepherd King

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Reading the Word

Psalm 78:65–72 (ESV)

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a strong man shouting because of wine. 66 And he put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 He rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim, 68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves. 69 He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever. 70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheepfolds; 71 from following the nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people, Israel his inheritance. 72 With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Against conventional understanding, God rejected the tribe of Ephraim and chose Judah. Ephraim is the tribe descended from Joseph and seemed to be the tribe of favor. However, God showed his sovereignty and his grace by choosing Judah instead. God chose David, a descendant of Judah and made him king over Israel.

While king, God promised David that he would have a descendant who would sit on the throne forever. In the New Testament, we learn that this descendant is Jesus Christ. God’s grace was not only with Judah in the days of David, but God would bring the Messiah, the King of kings, into the world to bring salvation and to forever shepherd the people of God. What a wonderful and gracious God who uses flawed people to fulfill his perfect plans for this world!

**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!

Who Can Stand?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 76:7–12 (ESV)

7 But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused? 8 From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still, 9 when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah 10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt. 11 Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared, 12 who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Who can stand before God when His anger is roused? The answer is “No one.” When God comes to judge the world, all will fear Him and recognize Him as the true King. In light of this, it is best that we turn to Him now.

Many deny that God could display wrath. Yet, the Bible is clear that one day God will pour out His wrath on unbelievers who have not turned to Christ for forgiveness. The cross is a picture of that wrath as the Father poured out His wrath on His Son, Jesus Christ, who stood in the place of all sinners who would place their trust in Him. For those who refuse to turn to Christ in repentance and faith, God’s wrath will fall on them. When that day comes, all will fear the Lord and know that He is the Judge and King.

**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 Ruler of Creation

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Reading the Word

Psalm 74:9–17 (ESV)

9 We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long. 10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them! 12 Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. 13 You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15 You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams. 16 Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun. 17 You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In verses 9-11, we read a lament. The people no longer see God’s work among them. There are no sign and there is no prophet to speak God’s word to the people. It is as if God has abandoned them.

In verses 12-17, the tone changes. It goes from one of lamentation to one of speaking of God’s greatness as the Sovereign One. These verses proclaim that God is the ancient King who is always at work to fulfill His plan of redemption. He is powerful over all of creation.

In these verses we see one who is troubled by his circumstances as he calls out to God. He even feels as though God has forgotten or is ignoring him. However, the psalmist reminds himself that God is the Sovereign King and that His purposes will be fulfilled. God has His reasons for the things that take place in our lives, even if we do not always know what those reasons are. We must simply trust in His redemptive plan knowing it is being worked out in all of God’s creation. Let us not lose heart, but let us remember who is King.

**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!

Filled with His Glory

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Reading the Word

Psalm 72:15–20 (ESV)

15 Long may he live; may gold of Sheba be given to him! May prayer be made for him continually, and blessings invoked for him all the day! 16 May there be abundance of grain in the land; on the tops of the mountains may it wave; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field! 17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! 18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! 20 The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses begin with a call for long life for the king and then requests that the people pray for the king. Also, there is a prayer for gold and an abundance of food and crops for the land. In verse 17 we see the nations recognizing this king’s reign and submitting to him, not out of subjection, but because they find their blessing in him.

As we have mentioned previously, this psalm does not describe any earthly king who has ever reigned, but the rule of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In Genesis, God promised Abraham that he would be blessed and that through his seed the nations would be blessed. It is through the Messiah, the descendant of Abraham, that the world finds its blessing. Jesus Christ came to remove the curse of the fall and restore the world to what it was intended to be. It is through Christ’s reign that we find life in abundance. May the whole earth be filled with 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!

From Sea to Sea

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Reading the Word

Psalm 72:8–14 (ESV)

8 May he have dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth! 9 May desert tribes bow down before him, and his enemies lick the dust! 10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands render him tribute; may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts! 11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him! 12 For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.

Understanding and Applying the Word

After opening this psalm with a prayer of blessing for a newly inaugurated king, verses 8-11 go on to speak of the realm of the king’s reign. “May he have dominion from sea to sea,” says the psalmist. This is the prayer that the king’s dominion will be universal and that his reign will be acknowledged by the nations.

In verses 12-14 we again read that this king will be a defender of the weak and oppressed and will see to it that they receive justice.

These verses do not describe any government or ruler from history, but point us to the kingdom of God and the one true King who will rule the nations in justice. It is God’s plan to bring all things in heaven and earth under the rule of Jesus Christ, the Son (cf. Ephesians 1:10). As believers, we look forward to the day when the world will be as it should be and all people will be treated equally and with justice. We work to that end even now as we wait for the righteous and just King who will reign over all.

**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 King of Justice

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Reading the Word

Psalm 72:1–7 (ESV)

1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! 2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice! 3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness! 4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor! 5 May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! 6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! 7 In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

Understanding and Applying the Word

Many scholars believe that this psalm is a prayer for the inauguration of a king. The prayer asks that the king would be one who ruled justly and championed the cause of the people, especially the oppressed of society. The prayer understands that when justice is practiced the nation flourishes in every way.

Throughout the history of the world, there have been societies that were better and worse at practicing justice. We can even see that this is still the case in our world today. One thing is certain though: there has never been a nation/government/ruler who ruled in perfect justice. In every time and place, people have been treated unfairly and been the subject of oppression. The Bible gives us hope that one day there will be a righteous King who will rule over the people with perfect justice (Isaiah 11:1-9). In that day the world will prosper under his rule and authority. Come, King Jesus!

**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!

Praise the Conquering King

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:32–35 (ESV)

32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. 34 Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. 35 Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What wonderful words of praise end this psalm! Sing praises to God!

Throughout Psalm 68 God is praised as the past, present, and future Savior of Israel. So, when we come to the end, it is little surprise that we are urged to join in worship. In the psalm, God is imaged as a warrior who goes out and defeats the enemy on behalf of His people. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is pictured as the one who defeats Satan at the cross for believers (Colossians 2:13-15).

Our Lord and Savior has gone before us as our conquering hero. Let us lift up our praises and tell of His goodness!

**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 Procession of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:24–31 (ESV)

24 Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary— 25 the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines: 26 “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” 27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. 28 Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us. 29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings shall bear gifts to you. 30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute; scatter the peoples who delight in war. 31 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we find the imagery of a king returning from victory on the battlefield. As he returns, he is joined in procession by singers, musicians, and young women playing tambourines. The crowds declare his praises and celebrate his victory over the enemies. In the celebration of this king, even other nations join in and pay homage.

In these verses we read of a victorious king, but this is not any king. This in the King of kings! As He conquers over His enemies the nations come and bring their gifts before Him recognizing His authority and reign. Scripture tells us that there is a day coming when every knee will bow and declare that Jesus is Lord. We see that the people of God are made up of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue as the crowd sings out to praise God for His goodness and His victory over sin and evil (Revelation 7:9-10). Let us praise Him even now as we wait for our King to come in glory and power.

**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!