My Mouth Will Declare Your Praise

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Reading the Word

Psalm 51:14–19 (ESV)

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; 19 then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this psalm, David has shown a repentant heart and asked for God to forgive him. He makes his request not based on his merit. He knows he does not deserve forgiveness. He admits that he is a sinner and has been since the day he was born. No, he has no merit rely on. Instead, he asks God to forgive him based solely on God’s steadfast love (v. 1). God’s forgiveness always comes by grace and is based on God’s love for us, not what we have done to deserve it.

Now, at the end of this psalm, David says that God’s forgiveness will result in David’s praises. He will tell the world of all that God has done for him. What a wonderful and great God David has! He is a God who forgives! May we all give praise to God for his grace and for his love for sinners!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.” (Psalm 107:1–3, ESV)

**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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Walk the Talk

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Reading the Word

Psalm 50:16–23 (ESV)

16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? 17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. 18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers. 19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil, and your tongue frames deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son. 21 These things you have done, and I have been silent; you thought that I was one like yourself. But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. 22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! 23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 50 has much to say about insincere religion. In the previous verses, God chastises those who brought their sacrifices because they thought by doing so they put God in their debt. Not so! God does not need our sacrifices. He already owns everything. Our worship should be motivated by thanksgiving for all he has done for us.

In our verses for today, God speaks against those who would say all of the right religious things, but then live their lives in complete contrast to their words. God calls these people wicked. Those who truly belong to God do not only know the right teaching of God’s word, but they live according to it. Jesus echoes this sentiment in Matthew 7:21:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (ESV)

The psalm ends with a summary:

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!”

May our religion be pure and sincere. May the word of God not be just information that we can recite, but may it change us from the inside out so that we become more and more like our Savior.

**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 Cattle on a Thousand Hills

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Reading the Word

Psalm 50:7–15 (ESV)

7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God. 8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are continually before me. 9 I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds. 10 For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world and its fullness are mine. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, 15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses, God tells his people, Israel, that he will not accept their sacrifices. Why? Because the sacrifices were done with the wrong motives. They were done out of religious observance rather than out of thanksgiving. The people believed that by doing religious exercises they could in some way make God indebted to them. God reminds the people that he does not need their sacrifices. Everything is already his! Instead, they should offer their sacrifices in thanksgiving for what God has already done. This is true worship. Worship is always a response to who God is and what he has done.

This should cause us to ask why we do the things we do. Do we obey God because we think it will make him like us more and he will be more likely to do something for us? Do we go to church or give our money because we think it means God will answer our prayers? Our obedience and worship should not be motivated by getting God to act on our behalf. Our worship is a response to what he has done. For the believer, he has sent his Son who died for us so that we could have eternal life. This is why we worship.

**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!

Your Steadfast Love

Psalm 481 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 48:9–14 (ESV)

9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. 10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments! 12 Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, 13 consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation 14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Remembering all that God has done results in praise. When God’s people think about his steadfast love, the result is worship. The word translated as “steadfast love” is the Hebrew word hesed. It speaks of God’s covenant faithfulness to his people. God has lived up to his promises! As the people admire God’s temple and think on his faithfulness, they praise him!

Followers of God today have even greater reason to praise and rejoice in God’s steadfast love. This psalm was written prior to the cross and the people had not heard of God’s work there. We live in a post-resurrection world and have the full benefit of seeing God’s love displayed as his Son went to Calvary for our sins and then rose from the grave victorious over sin and death. He did this for us. Let us think on all the ways God has been faithful to keep his promises and let us join the praise of God’s people!

**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!

 

As We Have Heard, So We Have Seen

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Reading the Word

Psalm 48:1–8 (ESV)

1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. 3 Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress. 4 For behold, the kings assembled; they came on together. 5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight. 6 Trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in labor. 7 By the east wind you shattered the ships of Tarshish. 8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, which God will establish forever. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 48 fits in nicely with the themes of Psalms 46 and 47. In those two previous passages, we read words of praise and confidence in God as King. Here in Psalm 48, the focus is on the city of God, Jerusalem, where the King has placed his name. It is a grand city that causes the cities of the earth to tremble at its strength. God’s presence and the power he has displayed in the past are known to the people.

Verse 8 is the emphasis of the entire psalm. It reads, “As we have heard, so we have seen…” As the people of God had heard about all God had done in the past, they had experienced his greatness in their own lives. Believers today can say the same. We have heard through Scripture of God’s greatness and all that he has done, but we can also say that we have experienced his powerful work in our own lives. He is a great King and his presence brings praise and worship from his people as well as fear and trembling from the nations.

**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!

Sing Praises to Our King

Hands Lifted

Reading the Word

Psalm 47:4–9 (ESV)

4 He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah5 God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne. 9 The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Understanding and Applying the Word

In Israel, God was recognized as King. However, he was not only King of Israel, but King of the nations. When God made his covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12, it was with the promise that Abraham and his descendants would bring blessing to the world. God’s grace was not meant to be exclusive, but for all people.

When we come to the New Testament, Jesus is proclaimed to be the long-awaited Messiah. However, he is not a Messiah for only the people of Israel, but for all people. He calls people from all nations to follow him (Matthew 28:19-20). And the people of God will be made up of people from every tribe and language (Revelation 7:9).

Let us sing praises to the Lord, the King of all the earth!

**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!

Clap Your Hands, All Peoples

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Thank you for reading Shaped by the Word. This is a daily devotional committed to reading God’s word each day. In 2018, we are reading through the Book of Psalms together. Please subscribe to this page if you would like to follow along.

I do not publish devotional material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested reading for the day, which you will find below.

Reading the Word

Psalm 47:1–3 (ESV)

1 Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! 2 For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth. 3 He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.

Your Throne, O God, Is Forever

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Reading the Word

Psalm 45:1–9 (ESV)

1 My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. 2 You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. 3 Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! 4 In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! 5 Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. 6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; 7 you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; 8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; 9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 45 is a royal psalm. It speaks of the kingship in Israel and describes his beauty and righteousness. In Hebrews 1:8-9, this psalm is quoted and applied to Jesus Christ as the King who is God and whose throne is eternal (cf. Psalm 45:6).

The Old Testament points forward to the day when a promised King would come into the world to rule in righteousness. Scripture tells us that this King would be one who would be just and fair. He would be humble and would serve his people. In the New testament, we find that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of that promise. He came to serve his people by going to the cross to die for them. He then rose from the dead victorious over sin and death. He is the triumphant King! And we are promised that he will come again to reign over all of creation. Let us praise our King who is just and righteous, loving and full of grace. He is a great King!

 

A New Song in My Mouth

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Reading the Word

Psalm 40:1–5 (ESV)

1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! 5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Psalm 40 begins with the declaration “I waited patiently for the Lord.” This theme of waiting for God has been repeated in the last few psalms that we have read. It is important to understand that waiting does not mean sitting back and doing nothing. The waiting that is described is one of perseverance and expectancy. The psalmist is saying that he has been hanging in there trusting that God would act on his behalf.

As we continue to read, we learn that God has not let the psalmist down. God has acted and rescued. He has drawn him from the pit, placed him on the rock, and given him a new song of praise. Now, the psalmist wants to tell everyone about his great God!

Persevering faith is something we all need. This world is full of difficulty, pain, and sorrow. God has promised through his word that he will always be with us and that one day he will remove the pain and suffering from this world, but until then we wait patiently for the Lord to fulfill his promises. We wait expectantly, knowing that God’s promises will be fulfilled according to his timing. In that day, we will join with all of God’s people in singing a new song of praise to him!

**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!

O Lord, Who Is Like You?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 35:1–10 (ESV)

1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! 2 Take hold of shield and buckler and rise for my help! 3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers! Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!” 4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me! 5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away! 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them! 7 For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life. 8 Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it—to his destruction! 9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

Understanding and Applying the Word

Here, David calls out to God to defend him from those who would do him harm. He also says that his enemies are against him for no reason (v. 7). David is the target of others and he has done nothing wrong for this to be so.

We live in a world where innocent people suffer at the hands of others. It is the product of sin. When we see and hear of this type of injustice it should make us upset. We should desire justice to be done. Yet, at the same time, we know that ultimately justice will be done. God will call all people to account. No crime will go unpunished and no debt will be left unpaid. The injustices of this world will be made right. Praise God who defends those who suffer at the hands 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!