How Long, O Lord?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 13:1–6 (ESV)

1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The Bible tells us that God hears and answers prayer. Yet sometimes it can feel like he is either not listening or not acting. That is how David felt in this psalm. He felt forgotten. He felt like God was hiding from him. And it brought great sorrow to David.

Even so, David trusted in the steadfast love of God. This speaks of God’s covenant promises to his people to be with them and be their God. David trusted that God would not let him down, even if at times it seemed as if God was far off. God had dealt bountifully with him in the past and he was sure God would bring him salvation in the future.

May we have the faith of David as we go through life. We all face times when God seems distant and we are desperate for him to act. Look back at the ways he has been faithful in the past and then know that he will be with us in the future.

**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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The Lord Is King Forever

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Reading the Word

Psalm 10:12–18 (ESV)

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; forget not the afflicted. 13 Why does the wicked renounce God and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”? 14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. 15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none. 16 The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. 17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear 18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In the first half of this psalm, which we looked at yesterday, the writer wonders why God has not acted on behalf of those who are being trampled by the wicked. In this second part, the writer trusts in God to bring justice. God will surely act on behalf of the weak and the wicked will answer for their evil.

As believers, we are called to walk by faith. This means that we believe God’s promises and trust in their fulfillment, even if at times it may not seem like those promises will be fulfilled. Among the promises that God has made is that sin will be judged. Evil will not go unpunished. Justice will have the final say and it will be justice from the hand of the all-knowing and all-powerful King of kings. For a time it may seem as though the wicked prosper and are winning, but in the end the wicked will perish and those who trust in the Lord will be lifted up.

**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!

Why, O Lord?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 10:1–11 (ESV)

1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? 2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. 3 For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. 4 In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” 5 His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of his sight; as for all his foes, he puffs at them. 6 He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.” 7 His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity. 8 He sits in ambush in the villages; in hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; 9 he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket; he lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net. 10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might. 11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

Sometimes it seems as if God is absent. The wicked seem to get away with their ungodliness and they take advantage of the vulnerable. They seek after their hearts desires and crush others to get what they want. They tell themselves that God does not exist or that he is unaware of their acts.

In this psalm, the writer calls out, “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?” We live in a world where sin and evil are still a very present reality. Sometimes we too may wonder where God is in the midst of our struggles. We too can call out to God to intervene and to protect the vulnerable and to bring justice. But let us know that God is aware of every detail and all will answer for their sin. God will judge the wicked and those who trust in his promises will be saved.

**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!

Let the Nations Be Judged

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Shaped by the Word is a daily weekday devotional. I do not publish devotional comments on the weekend, but I do publish daily reading suggestions. Please take a moment to follow along and share by using the links and buttons below this post.

Reading the Word

Psalm 9:13–20 (ESV)

13 Be gracious to me, O Lord! See my affliction from those who hate me, O you who lift me up from the gates of death, 14 that I may recount all your praises, that in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in your salvation. 15 The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. 16 The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah 17 The wicked shall return to Sheol, all the nations that forget God. 18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten, and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever. 19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail; let the nations be judged before you! 20 Put them in fear, O Lord! Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah

Arise, O Lord

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Psalm 7:6–11 (ESV)

6 Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. 7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. 8 The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. 9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous— you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! 10 My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11 God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In the opening verses of this psalm, David declares his innocence before his enemies and his trust in the Lord as his refuge. Now, in these verses, he calls for God’s judgment on mankind. He calls for God’s judgment not only on others, but on himself, confident that he will be found righteous and a man of integrity while his enemies will come to an end.

One day all of mankind will stand before the great Judge and give an account. Scripture tells us that we are all sinners and fall short and stand condemned as a result. However, God in his grace has provided a solution to our sin. He has given his only Son as a sacrifice for sin and those who trust in Jesus the Son will be saved. Through Jesus our sins are forgiven. Those who stand before God in their sin and trust in their own righteousness instead of the grace of God will find eternal condemnation. Run to Christ today. He stands ready to forgive!

**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 Cry of the Innocent

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Psalm 7:1–5 (ESV)

1 O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, 2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver. 3 O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this psalm, David proclaims his trust in God to provide refuge for him. David is being falsely accused and pursued by his enemies. In verses 3-5 he declares his innocence with an oath.

How often have you been accused of something that you did not do? Have you ever been the target of false stories or half truths that others are discussing behind your back? This psalm reminds us that God knows the truth and that we can find refuge in him because he is the one who we ultimately must answer to for our lives. May we seek to honor him in all things regardless of what others may say about 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!

How Long, Lord?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 6:1–10 (ESV)

1 O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. 2 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. 3 My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord—how long? 4 Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. 5 For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? 6 I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7 My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. 8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. 9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In this psalm, David calls out for God to deliver him from his enemies. In fact, David has been calling out to God, but has yet to see God move. This is why he asks “how long?” How long until God will answer his prayers? David describes his situation as one that has brought tears and weeping. He is greatly troubled and desperately needs God’s intervention. Then as we read verses 8-10, the psalm changes from one of desperation to one of confidence. David is sure that God has heard his prayers and that he will act on his behalf. David’s enemies would answer to God for their actions.

How often have you prayed and waited? How did you respond to the delay? The Bible teaches us that God does hear our prayers and that he does answer them. However, he may choose to answer them in ways that we do not expect or in his own timing. Even in prayer, we learn to allow God to be God and to trust his response and his timing. He is a God of steadfast love towards his people and he will never fail 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!

Give Ear to My Words

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Shaped by the Word is a daily weekday devotional. I do not publish devotional comments on the weekend, but I do publish daily reading suggestions. Please take a moment to follow along and share by using the links and buttons below this post.

Reading the Word

Psalm 5:1–6 (ESV)

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. 2 Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. 4 For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6 You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

In Peace I Lie Down and Sleep

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Reading the Word

Psalm 4:1–8 (ESV)

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Understanding and Applying the Word

David begins this psalm with a prayer to God. He then goes on to appeal to men to turn from their ways and to seek after God. The word that is used for “men” in verse 2 is one that refers to men of high rank. David’s concern is that they would turn to God for their fulfillment. He then calls on these men to live their lives in obedience. As the psalm comes to a close, David once again calls out to God to bless the people and reflects upon the blessings he has already received. Because of God’s presence, David can lie down in safety.

What is it that you seek to fulfill your life? Is it wealth? Is it a spouse? Children? A rewarding career? What is it that you seek above all other things? If it is anything other than God it is an idol and a lie. It cannot fulfill you. Only with God can we find joy and contentment in all circumstances. And only in God can we lie down at night and rest peacefully knowing our lives are secure.

**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!