He Raises Up the Needy

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Reading the Word

Psalm 107:33–43 (ESV)

33 He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, 34 a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 35 He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 36 And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; 37 they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. 38 By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. 39 When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, 40 he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; 41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. 42 The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. 43 Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these final verse of Psalm 107 we read of how God deals with two contrasting groups of people. Those who are evil are punished for their ways. Those who are needy and oppressed find God ready to save.

God is a God of steadfast love. He stands ready to show his grace and mercy to those who call out to him. We see his love on display in its greatest way in the cross of Calvary. God sent his own Son into the world to suffer and die for our salvation and all who call out to Christ in faith will be saved. Consider God’s great love and grace towards us And let us respond in thanksgiving and praise.

**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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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!

Out of Darkness

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Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish devotional content on Sundays, but do include a Scripture reading. Please subscribe to this page so you ca follow along each day. We are currently reading through the Book of Psalms.

Reading the Word

Psalm 107:10–16 (ESV)

10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons, 11 for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High. 12 So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help. 13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart. 15 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 16 For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.

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!

They Had No Faith

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Reading the Word

Psalm 106:24–31 (ESV)

24 Then they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in his promise. 25 They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord. 26 Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness, 27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations, scattering them among the lands. 28 Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; 29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed. 31 And that was counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Even after all God did to bring the people out of Egypt, the people had no faith in his promises to them. They saw the plagues and miraculous events that made it possible for them to leave, but they quickly forgot and murmured against God. The events in view in these verses are those of the spy expedition in Numbers 13-14 and Balaam’s actions in Numbers 25.

As a result of their unbelief, God did not allow the entire generation that came out of Egypt to enter the Promised Land. They wandered the desert for forty years until they had all died and all that was left were their descendants. The Bible uses many words to speak of our belief (e.g. trust and faith) in him and his word. We are told that when we believe that Jesus is the Savior that we need to save us from our sin and trust in his sacrifice, that we find forgiveness and eternal life through him. If we do not believe, our sin condemns us and we will not enter the promised new heaven and new earth. Believe God’s word and trust in Jesus Christ today!

**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!

He Stood in the Breach

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Reading the Word

Psalm 106:19–23 (ESV)

19 They made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image. 20 They exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. 23 Therefore he said he would destroy them— had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verse recall when the Israelites fashioned an idol while Moses met with God at Mount Sinai. God’s anger was turned toward the people for their idolatry, but Moses “stood in the breach” on behalf of the people. The imagery is of a soldier who stands in the breach of a wall willing to sacrifice himself to stop a threat by sacrificing himself to the attacker. As a result of Moses’ intercession for the people, God turned away from his anger and the people were spared.

Scripture tells us that all people have sinned against God and are under his wrath. There is coming a day when God will judge mankind for their sin and all will be condemned. However, Jesus Christ has stood in the breach for all of people. He has given himself as a sacrifice to take the wrath that we deserve. All who trust in him will be saved from the coming judgment and given eternal life. Praise God for a Savior who serves his people by giving his life on our behalf!

**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!

He Brought His People Out with Joy

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I will be out of town for the next few days and will not be able to post devotional content. However, I have scheduled for a daily Scripture reading to publish each day I am away. Daily devotional thoughts will return on Monday, October 1. Thanks for reading!

If you have not already done so, subscribe to this page and join us each day as we read through the Book of Psalms in 2018.

Reading the Word

Psalm 105:43–45 (ESV)

43 So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. 44 And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples’ toil, 45 that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the Lord!

The Lord’s Protection

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Shaped by the Word is devoted to encouraging others to read the Bible every day. If you would like to read along with us, please subscribe to this page. We are reading through the Psalms in 2018. I only include a portion of Scripture on Sundays. All other days include a Scripture reading and a short devotional. Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Psalm 105:12–15 (ESV)

12 When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, 13 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 14 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”

Let This Be Recorded

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Reading the Word

Psalm 102:18–22 (ESV)

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord: 19 that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the Lord looked at the earth, 20 to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die, 21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord, and in Jerusalem his praise, 22 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

Understanding and Applying the Word

“Let this be recorded,” begins this passage. The psalmist desires for the acts of God to be written down so that later generations would know of his wonderful works and give him praise.

The Bible is the recording of the words and works of God. It is through the Scriptures that we hear of all that God has done in the past in saving his people. It is through the Scriptures that we learn of and come to know our Savior, Jesus Christ and the events of the cross. We are the later generations the psalmist speaks of. And it is through the Bible, the recording of God’s work, that we know him and are drawn to worship. Praise God for his word!

**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!

He Has Done Marvelous Things

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Reading the Word

Psalm 98:1–6 (ESV)

1 Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 2 The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm speaks of praising God for the deliverance he has given to his people, Israel. The psalm does not mention a specific event, but many believe it points to the events of the exodus when God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. The circumstances around that time period would certainly fit well with the words of this psalm, but there are also other moments in Israel’s history where God intervened in miraculous ways and “revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations” (v. 2).

As God’s redeemed people, we should all relate well to the joyous tone of these verses. They speak of the salvation we have through his wondrous work in our lives. It is no small miracle that a sinner, as we all are, could turn in repentance of their ways and call out to God to forgive. It is also no small thing that the Son of God gave his life as a payment for the sins of the repentant. Our salvation is an amazing testimony to the power of God and to his love for us. He has certainly done marvelous things and is worthy of our praise!

**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!