Deliver Me, O Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 140:1–13 (ESV)

1 Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men;
preserve me from violent men,
2 who plan evil things in their heart
and stir up wars continually.
3 They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s,
and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah

4 Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;
preserve me from violent men,
who have planned to trip up my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
and with cords they have spread a net;
beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah

6 I say to the LORD, You are my God;
give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!
7 O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked;
do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah

9 As for the head of those who surround me,
let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let burning coals fall upon them!
Let them be cast into fire,
into miry pits, no more to rise!
11 Let not the slanderer be established in the land;
let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!

12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and will execute justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
the upright shall dwell in your presence.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is attributed to David. In these verses, he calls out to God to save him from the wicked and evil men who want to destroy him. David knows that it is God who gives him strength for battle and protects him in the fight. In the second half of the psalm (vv. 9-13), David calls on the Lord to judge those who are evil.

Life in this world will include its share of troubles. Many of the troubles will be the result of conflict with other people. Some of the conflict may be our own fault. Perhaps we said something we should not have. A simple apology may go a long way to make things better. However, there will be times when another (others) desire our harm for no good reason. They attack because we belong to God or because our lives bear witness to truth that contradicts their choices in life.

When we face such evil, we can be encouraged because we are not the first. In fact, Jesus himself faced such opposition (John 15:18). We can also find comfort in knowing that God is in control. He provides strength and protection to his people. He does not leave us alone, but goes into battle with us. And we know that he will ultimately judge all evil and purge it from the world. We can trust in him and give thanks even in the face of difficulty.

**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.

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Longing for Your Salvation

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Reading the Word

Psalm 119:121–128 (ESV)

121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me. 123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. 124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! 126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. 127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The psalmist declares that his “eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.” He desires that God will come and judge the world with righteousness and justice. The psalmist is facing oppression from those who do not know the Lord or follow the Lord’s word. So, it is time for God to act and save his people.

In every age, the people of God have faced rejection and persecution on some level. Some face mocking and loss of family and friend relationships. Others may face public shaming or ostracism from the community. And some face harsh consequences including imprisonment or death. It is not easy to live out the word of God in our lives. For some, it is extremely difficult.

However, for the believer, we place our hope in the salvation that God has promised to those who trust in him. The Bible tells us that if we trust in the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ for our sins against God we will be saved. Through Christ, our sins are paid for. And for those who trust in the Lord, we receive the promise of an eternity with God in a new heaven and new earth where sin has received its final judgment and is no more. So, we too long for the salvation that God has promised and wait for him to act.

**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!

Those Who Hate God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 83:1–8 (ESV)

1 O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!” 5 For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant— 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is a plea for God to rescue the people of Israel from their enemies. Those enemies are spelled out in verses 6-8. One thing to note is the concern of the psalmist. He does not make his plea based on the innocence of Israel. He does not call out and ask God to protect the Israelites because they are being treated unjustly. His primary concern is that the enemy has declared war on God himself. Notice verse 2: “For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads.”

Throughout the ages, God’s people have suffered at the hands of others. The primary reason is not because of something that they had done. The primary reason has always been because the world is at war with God. It does not want him. We, as his people, are a constant reminder of the reality of God and the truth that God will one day bring all of mankind to judgment. Let us, as the people of God, remember that the word is at war with God and let us not be surprised when the world hates us. Let us be encouraged knowing that the war has already been won and that our God reigns!

**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 Know My Reproach

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Reading the Word

Psalm 69:19–21 (ESV)

19 You know my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to you. 20 Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.

Understanding and Applying the Word

When we read these words of David, we may at first find them discouraging. David speaks of the pain and suffering he was facing as well as the lack of anyone to give him comfort or support. However, notice how he begins verse 19: “You know my reproach.” David knew he was not truly alone. God knew what he was going through.

These words also remind us of our Savior as he hung on the cross at Calvary. He too was mocked and ridiculed. He was abandoned by his friends. And He was given sour wine to drink. God Himself felt the same things that David felt.

Jesus walked in our shoes. He has felt the pain of this world. He has been mocked and ridiculed. He has been lied to. He has been treated unfairly. He knows what it is like to be abandoned and alone. God knows our pain, not just from afar, but because He became man. He truly knows our reproach. Because of this truth, we can be assured of His love for us and we can go to Him in our times of trouble. Let us find encouragement in David’s words and in the cross of our 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!

For Your Sake

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Reading the Word

Psalm 69:7–12 (ESV)

7 For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach, that dishonor has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my mother’s sons. 9 For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. 10 When I wept and humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As David continues to call out to God he states that it his devotion to God that has caused him trouble. He has faced social rejection and even his family has turned on him. David is committed to God. He says that he is zealous for Him, but his zeal has been met with resistance from others.

We live in a world not unlike David’s. Those who desire to follow Christ with all of their hearts are often mocked and ridiculed as being ignorant and naive by unbelievers. We are not really surprised by this, but we are surprised that even among fellow believers, those who show too much zeal are often criticized as being too serious or being too religious.

As we live our lives for Christ, we must keep in mind the words He spoke to His disciples:

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18, ESV)

Let us seek God’s glory in all that we do even if the world turns against us for it!

**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!

Suffering for Your Sake, O God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 44:17–26 (ESV)

17 All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant. 18 Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way; 19 yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death. 20 If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, 21 would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. 22 Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. 23 Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever! 24 Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression? 25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground. 26 Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

Understanding and Applying the Word

We have been reading this psalm for a couple of days. In the previous verses we read the words of one crying out to God for help, but God has not done anything. Now we read that, even through all of the difficulties, the people have been faithful towards God (v. 17). They continue to live their lives for him.

Interestingly, we are told that the suffering that is taking place is “for your sake” (v.22). The people are suffering precisely because they are God’s people. This passage is quoted in Romans 8:36-39 by the apostle Paul who uses it to speak of his suffering for belonging to Christ and proclaiming the gospel.

The people of God in every age can expect rejection. In some places and times they can also expect severe persecution. Why? Because, as the people of God, they walk as witnesses to the truth to a world that has rejected the truth for a lie. When believers suffer for the sake of the truth of God’s word, they suffer for God’s sake. He may not come to our immediate rescue, but we can do the same thing that the writer of this psalm did. We can trust in the steadfast love of God (v.26). After all, he is the one who has redeemed us by sending his Son to die on a cross. He has shown us his love and we can trust him in every circumstance.

**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!