No Evil Shall Befall You

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Reading the Word

Psalm 91:5–13 (ESV)

5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The words of these verses can be, and have been, misunderstood. If we do not read them carefully we may think that they teach us that nothing bad will ever happen to the people of God. This is how Satan tried to deceive Christ when he quoted verses 11-12 (cf. Matthew 4:5-6). This is how Satan has always tried to deceive mankind.

In the garden of Eden, Satan deceived the woman and the man by convincing them that God was not good. God was holding something good back from them (i.e. wisdom). The first man and woman fell for it and ate of the tree that was forbidden. Likewise, we are often tempted to believe that if God is good then nothing bad should ever happen to his good people. We might ask, “If God is good why do bad things happen to good or innocent people?” After all, the verses of this psalm teach that evil is reserved for the enemies of God, right?

Well, not really. As we will read tomorrow, in verse 15 God promises to be with his people in the time of trouble and to rescue them. These verses do not promise freedom from trouble, only that God will be with us in those times and will ultimately deliver us. For some, that might mean he will heal our sickness. For others, he may give us victory over our enemies. But for many, it will mean that our victory does not come in this life, but in the next. God promises us that he will give us the ultimate victory. We will be victorious over sin and death because of what he has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ. We will have eternal life and the joy of eternity with God as our Father. Nothing in this world can ever take that away!

**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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How Long, O Lord?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 89:46–52 (ESV)

46 How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my time is! For what vanity you have created all the children of man! 48 What man can live and never see death? Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah 49 Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David? 50 Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, 51 with which your enemies mock, O Lord, with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed. 52 Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

Understanding and Applying the Word

“How long, O Lord?” These are the words that the psalmist asks as we near the end of Psalm 89. The writer is wondering when God will fulfill his promises to his people. When will he provide a king from the line of David and defeat the enemies of Israel? It seems as though God has forgotten.

The way God chooses to fulfill his plans and purposes is not always evident to us. At times, we may be left wondering what God is doing or if he is doing anything at all. We may cry out with the psalmist, “How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?”

Notice that the author of Psalm 89 continued to put his hopes in God’s promises. He may not have understood how they would be fulfilled, but he waited for them. We know from the rest of Scripture that God did keep his promises by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. We have the benefit of knowing with greater clarity how God is working to redeem the world from sin, so let us continue to trust in him even when we do not always understand our circumstances or trials. Blessed be the Lord forever!

**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!

Have You Broken Your Promise?

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Reading the Word

Psalm 89:38–45 (ESV)

38 But now you have cast off and rejected; you are full of wrath against your anointed. 39 You have renounced the covenant with your servant; you have defiled his crown in the dust. 40 You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins. 41 All who pass by plunder him; he has become the scorn of his neighbors. 42 You have exalted the right hand of his foes; you have made all his enemies rejoice. 43 You have also turned back the edge of his sword, and you have not made him stand in battle. 44 You have made his splendor to cease and cast his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his youth; you have covered him with shame. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

After focusing on the promises and faithfulness of God in the previous verse, now the psalmist asks why God has renounced his covenant with David. These verses reflect the time when Israel was defeated and taken into exile. It seemed as though the throne of David had come to an end.

God had not forsaken his promise to David. However, the promise was to be fulfilled in an unexpected way. God’s promised King would descend from David, but his kingdom would not be geopolitical. Jesus, the eternal King, established a kingdom for people from every nation and tribe and language. All who trust in him are a part of this kingdom, whether Jew or Gentile (i.e. non-Jew). Even in the midst of what seemed like defeat, God’s plans and purposes for Israel, and the entire world, were being fulfilled. And God was once again showing his faithfulness to his promises.

**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 Forever Promise

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Reading the Word

Psalm 89:27–37 (ESV)

27 And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 My steadfast love I will keep for him forever, and my covenant will stand firm for him. 29 I will establish his offspring forever and his throne as the days of the heavens. 30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my rules, 31 if they violate my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes, 33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or be false to my faithfulness. 34 I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. 35 Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me. 37 Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses continue the theme of yesterday’s reading regarding God’s promise to David. In 2 Samuel 7, God promises David that his throne will remain forever. There will always be a descendant of David on the throne. Not only would David and his descendants reign over Israel, but over all of the nations (v. 27). When we get to verse 30 we read about how God will respond if David’s descendants do not seek God and do not keep his commandments. They will be punished, but God will not remove his grace nor the kingship from them. God then swears y his own character that he would not go back on his promise to David (v. 34).

At first glance, this may seem like an unrealized promise. After all, if someone was supposed to sit on David’s throne forever, where is he today? When we read the Bible and come into the New Testament, we are shown that Jesus Christ is the final fulfillment of this promise. Jesus is a descendant of David and is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 1:1-17; Colossians 1:15-20) whose kingdom will never cease. We are called to be a part of his kingdom by repenting of our sins, turning to Christ for forgiveness, and living in obedience to our King. Praise to God for keeping his promises!

**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 God Who Is Gracious

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Reading the Word

Psalm 89:19–26 (ESV)

19 Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one, and said: “I have granted help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. 20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, 21 so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. 23 I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. 24 My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 25 I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. 26 He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses recount how God chose David as king of Israel. The passage recalls the events of 1 Samuel 16. The emphasis that we see in these verses is that it was by God’s choosing that David was made king. And it was also by God’s hand that he was given success as king as he triumphed over his foes. God promised to give David success and he fulfilled his promise.

God is a God of steadfast love and faithfulness. He is committed to his people and he makes promises that he keeps. Why? Not because we deserve such faithfulness, but simply because God is gracious. As we live our lives, we should be encouraged by God’s unfailing loyalty and when he fulfills his promises to us, we should give him the glory because it is only through him that we have anything at all.

**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 Steadfast Love of the Lord

Lamentations 322–23 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 89:1–8 (ESV)

1 I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. 2 For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever; in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.” 3 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one; I have sworn to David my servant: 4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.’ ” Selah 5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord? Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord, 7 a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm begins speaking of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to his people. It speaks specifically of God’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 7:4-17 where God promises to establish David’s throne forever. This promise is what we refer to as the Davidic Covenant and is the promise of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would come and be the eternal King.

As we reflect on these words, it is important to see the connection to the rest of this psalm. In these opening verses, the writer praises God for keeping his promises. In the following verses, he asks God to save his people so that those promises can be fulfilled. As we face the challenges of life and as we seek God in prayer, we too need to remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness and steadfast love through the ages, both to us and those who came before us. By doing so, we give praise to God for all he has done and we are strengthened to face our circumstances knowing that God is 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!