He Stands at the Right Hand of the Needy

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Reading the Word

Psalm 109:30–31 (ESV)

30 With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. 31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm ends with words of confidence from David as he joins in praise to the Lord. David believes that God will be with him even though David’s enemy has falsely accused him. Peter quotes from verse 8 of this psalm when there is a need to replace Judas as one of the Twelve in Acts 1:20. In the betrayal of David in this psalm we see similarities to the betrayal of Jesus at the hands of Judas. And as David calls for punishment on his accuser, we see judgement fall on Judas (cf. Acts 1:18).

As we reflect on this psalm and David’s life, as well as the life of Jesus, we see the Father standing with his own. This does not mean that God always removes the trial or difficulties, but he stands at the right hand to guide, comfort, and strengthen. We can have confidence that we are never left alone to face our circumstances. The Lord is with us and he is for us.

**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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My Heart Is Steadfast

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Reading the Word

Psalm 108:1–4 (ESV)

1 My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! 2 Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 3 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 4 For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The psalmist declares that his heart is “steadfast”. The meaning of the term is to be fixed or firmly resolved. This is one who is intent on following the Lord and declaring his praise among the people regardless of the consequences!

O Lord, may our hearts be steadfast! May we stand among the people of our day and declare your praise no matter what. We know many men and women have done so throughout history. Many of those have suffered greatly for their devotion. Yet your name was honored through their lives and you have not forgotten them. Give us the courage to be steadfast and let your name be glorified in us.

**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 Storms of Life

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Reading the Word

Psalm 107:23–32 (ESV)

23 Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; 24 they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep. 25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. 26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; 27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. 28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 29 He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm calls for different groups to give thanks to God. In the verses for today, we read of those who have found themselves caught in the raging storms upon the sea. When their lives seemed to be at the end they cried out to God for help and he saved them.

It is often in the darkest times of our lives that we call out to God. In times of trouble, even those who are not concerned about God or the Bible will often pray and ask for God to save them from their troubles. In his grace, God often gives us the deliverance that we desire. However, how often do we stop to give thanks to God for such grace towards us? Often, as soon as the danger has passed, so has our focus on God. Let us not forget the things that God has done for us, but let us praise him in thanksgiving and tell of his goodness to everyone.

**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!

Fools, Sin, and Thanksgiving

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Reading the Word

Psalm 107:17–22 (ESV)

17 Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; 18 they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. 19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 20 He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Understanding and Applying the Word

The third group that God has delivered are described as “fools through their sinful ways”. Though they were foolish in their sin, when they cried out to God he delivered them. The right response is to praise God in thanksgiving.

When we consider our own lives, it is an amazing thing that God, who is holy, would save any of us. We are sinful. Scripture says that we have all fallen short and rightfully deserve condemnation and death for our sin. Yet, when we call out to God, he responds in grace and love. He gives us salvation through the atoning sacrifice of his Son, who died as a payment for our sins. God gives foolish sinners eternal life. If you have not done so, call out to him today. He will save. And then let us offer our thanksgiving!

**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 People Without a City

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Reading the Word

Psalm 107:1–9 (ESV)

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble 3 and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. 4 Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in; 5 hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. 6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 7 He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in. 8 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 9 For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm is a call to give thanks to God for his salvation. The psalm then tells of the salvation of different groups of people. Verses 4-9 tell us of the first group who are described as “wandering in the desert wastes” and having no city to dwell in. As a result, they are “hungry and thirsty” and their soul faints within them. The people cried to the Lord for help and he delivered them.

It is uncertain what the historical background is for this text. It possibly refers to the wanderings recorded in Numbers following the exodus from Egypt. It may also refer to the return of the exiles from Babylon after captivity. Regardless, it points us to the larger story of Scripture that tell us that God is gathering a people together who will live for eternity in a new heaven and new earth where there is a city for his people: the new Jerusalem (Revelation 21). We are currently living in the wilderness of this sinful world where we hunger and thirst for righteousness, but we are sure that a new world awaits and that our souls will be filled. Let the redeemed give thanks!

**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!

Make Known His Deeds

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Reading the Word

Psalm 105:1–7 (ESV)

1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! 3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! 4 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, 6 O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! 7 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Worship is the primary way we show thanks to God for all he has done. Worship is also how we bear witness to the world our love for God. As we live our lives in thanksgiving, we declare to the world that God is great, that he is good, and that he is worthy of our praise. So, let us give thanks to the Lord that his deeds may be known and so that those who seek he Lord may rejoice with us.

**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!

Bless the Lord, O My Soul

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Reading the Word

Psalm 104:30–35 (ESV)

30 When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. 31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works, 32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! 33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. 34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord. 35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm began by speaking of God’s sovereign rule over all of creation. It now ends in much the same way. In these last verses, we are told that the creation will continue on as long as the Lord sustains it. The psalmist will praise the Lord of creation and looks to a day when the wicked will be removed from the earth.

Our response to the created world around us should reflect that of the psalmist. We should praise God. His handiwork is on display for us. We should devote ourselves to pleasing the one who created us. We should worship God in all we do. Just as all of creation shows the glory of God, our lives should do the same. Let us live each day saying “Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the 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!

The Lord Has Established His Throne

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Reading the Word

Psalm 103:19–22 (ESV)

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 22 Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Understanding and Applying the Word

As we come to the end of this psalm, all of heaven is called on to join in the worship of the Lord. His throne is in heaven and his dominion is over all places and things.

Can you imagine all of creation, both heaven and earth, joining in worship of God because of his steadfast love and sovereign rule? Can you imagine the whole world joined together in singing and adoration before the throne of God, the Creator? This is what Psalm 103 calls for. He is a great God and worthy of praise from all of his creation. Let our souls rejoice in him and join the heavens and the earth in blessing his name!

**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!

Bless the Lord

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Reading the Word

Psalm 103:1–5 (ESV)

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The opening is a call to “bless” the Lord because of all he does. It is the Lord who forgives sin, heals us, redeems us, shows his love for us, and gives so many good things.

It may seem odd that we could “bless” the Lord. God alone can bless, right? The Hebrew word barak stands behind the English translation. It can mean “to praise, bless, or adore”. In the context of this psalm, it seems best to understand it as a call to praise and adore the Lord for all he does for us. Verse 2 is especially important to this psalm as it calls on us to “forget not all his benefits”. We need to remind ourselves of all of the good things God has done and continues to do. As the old song says, we should “count your blessings…and see what God has done.” And let us praise him for those things!

**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!

Know that the Lord, He Is God!

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Reading the Word

Psalm 100:1–5 (ESV)

1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 5 For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The heading for this psalm states that it is “a psalm for giving thanks.” All of the earth is called to gather before God and sing his praises because it is the Lord who is the Creator, who is our Shepherd, and because he is good.

The words of this psalm are well-known to many of us because they have been incorporated into so many songs through the years. It is a wonderful psalm to remind us of the core reasons we gather to worship with other believers. God is good. God is faithful. And God’s steadfast love is forever. No matter what we may be going through, when we remember these truths, our hearts are moved to worship and sing songs of joyous praise. Let us give thanks!

**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!