I Went to the Sanctuary of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 73:15–20 (ESV)

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. 16 But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17 until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. 18 Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19 How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

Understanding and Applying the Word

It is easy to become discouraged. When we look around and begin to compare our lives to the lives of others, we can easily find things that we wish were different. We see where those who have no regard for holiness or for God seem to prosper while we and others who are committed to Him struggle in life. It can be disheartening.

The psalmist in Psalm 73 has written about his discouragement in the opening verses, but something changes his perspective when we get to verse 17. When he enters the sanctuary of God his eyes were opened. Through gathering with the people of God and worshipping, he was reminded who God was, what God had done, and what God would do in the future. It is through worship that God’s people not only glorify God, but that God’s people are encouraged to live in the world and trust in Him. Let us not fail to gather with the people of God for worship. We need 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!

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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!

All Things for Good

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Reading the Word

Psalm 71:19–24 (ESV)

19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you? 20 You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. 21 You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. 22 I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. 24 And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Understand and Applying the Word

Verse 19 begins by speaking of God’s righteousness, which “reaches the high heavens.” When we speak of God’s righteousness, we mean that God does what is right. This is interesting given the words of verse 20 where the psalmist writes that God has made him see “many troubles and calamities.” The difficulties the psalmist has been facing are from the hand of the sovereign God.

So, how can God be righteous if He is responsible for the troubles? Because God uses those difficulties to make us better. As Romans 8:28 says, “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” We can have confidence knowing that God has a plan to work in our lives and bring us to maturity in Christ. For that reason, we can join the psalmist in praise of the righteousness 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!

Our Inheritance

2 Peter 313 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 69:34–36 (ESV)

34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves in them. 35 For God will save Zion and build up the cities of Judah, and people shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the offspring of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Understanding and Applying the Word

When we come to the end of this psalm, David calls on all of creation to sing praises to God. Why? Because God’s salvation belongs to all who love His name.

The offspring of God, those who love His name, will inherit the earth. They will dwell in it. Jesus tells us that the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). Paul tells us that all of creation waits for its redemption (Romans 8:18-25). Peter says that the hope of Christians is in a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13). And in Revelation 21:1-4, we get a glimpse of the eternal state as God dwells with His people in a new heaven and a new earth where there is no mourning or crying or pain anymore. Sin and evil have been judged and are no more.

God’s salvation is cosmic. One day He will remove sin from His good creation and restore things to the way they should be. Let us praise Him as we look forward to that day!

**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!

I Will Praise the Name of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 69:29–33 (ESV)

29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let your salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.

Understanding and Applying the Word

David’s focus shifts from being troubled to one of praise. We see the transition in verse 29. As he trusts in the salvation of God, he breaks out into praise of God.

In these verses, David says, “I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.” His point is that God is more interested in praise that Issues forth from the heart than he is in our physical sacrifices. What good are “horns and hoofs” to God? Compare Psalm 50:12-15 to see God’s thoughts on this.

Trusting in God does more than bring us through difficulty. It results in worship. Not just the physical act of worship, but praise that issues forth from the heart. When we know the word of God and trust in it, that God will fulfill the promises he has made, we can not only face every circumstance, but we can sing out praises to God knowing that he is the source of our salvation.

**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!

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!

Considering Our Prayers

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Reading the Word

Psalm 66:17–20 (ESV)

17 I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. 19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses conclude Psalm 66. Here we read that the psalmist called out to God. This is a way of saying that the psalmist prayed for God’s help. This is no surprise, especially given the verses that we have been reading in the rest of the psalm. But notice what accompanies the psalmist’s petitions: praise and repentance.

Praise and repentance should always be a part of our prayer lives. When we come before the holy God of creation, He is deserving of praise and it is through our praise that we are reminded of the privilege of prayer as it produces humility in our hearts. Also, when we confess our sin with a sincere desire to turn from it, our focus shifts from ourselves to God’s grace and His overflowing love. When we come before God in this manner, we can be sure that God does not reject our prayer, but that He hears and He answers according to His will.

**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!

Come and Hear

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Reading the Word

Psalm 66:13–16 (ESV)

13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will perform my vows to you, 14 that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble. 15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, the psalmist promises to publicly worship and praise God for all that He has done. He will tell others of what God has done for him.

Worship is always a response. It is a response to our understanding of who God is and our knowledge of what He has done. As such, our worship is a witness and testimony to others of what God has done. We worship and we tell others why we worship, We proclaim God’s praises because He is worthy of praise and then we tell others why He is worthy. And our worship is centered on the salvation we have in Jesus Christ, who died in order to give us life.

Let us worship the Lord for all He has done and let us tell the world of His greatness!

**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!