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Psalm 10

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 10

One of the striking things about the Psalms is David is so honest with his emotions.  He often says things to God that we only think.  He speaks things to God that we are afraid to utter.  At the end of the day, God knows what we are thinking so we might as well just go ahead and say it.  That doesn’t mean we should be disrespectful or hateful or profane.  It does mean that there is a real place for honesty in our relationship with God.

As this Psalm opens, we find David asking, “Where are you God?”  David is once again in a difficult place.  And he feels that God has somehow abandoned him there.  God seems far away.  God seems to have hidden from David.

If you have been a Christ follower for any length of time, I suspect there has been at least one time, if not many times, that God has seemed far from you.  It may have been during some dark night of the soul.  It may have been during some time that others were attacking you.  It may have been during some time of great fear and uncertainty.  But we all have undoubtedly felt separated from God.

That is a particularly lonely feeling.  Although we may know the truth that God is right there, an ever present help in a time of trouble, sometimes our feelings override our knowing.  And we feel alone.  I think that’s where David is. 

As he looks around he sees what appear to be wicked, evil people gaining the upper hand.  They seem to be having their way taking advantage of others and mistreating them.  Worse yet, in verse 5, they seem to be prospering in the midst of their evil deeds.  And from David’s perspective, God is nowhere to be seen.

But it is just not David.  In verse 4, the wicked have become so arrogant they go so far as to question the existence of God.  In verse 11, the wicked convince themselves that even if there is a God, He can’t see what they are doing.  And in verse 13, there will be no accounting for their behavior.  In other words, they feel like they will never face judgment for their wickedness.

Finally in verse 12, David cries out for God to arise, for God to get up and to take control of the situation.  In verse 15, David even suggests that God should break the arm of the evildoer.  Commentators will tell you that this is reference to breaking their power.  But I have to tell you I am quite convinced David was thinking about physical arms not metaphorical ones.  I know it shouldn’t be funny but I almost have to laugh when I think about David trying to convince God to break someone’s arm.  Now that is an honest prayer.

Throughout this Psalm, you see David repeating his belief that God cares for and has a responsibility to the afflicted, the poor, the innocent, the helpless, and the fatherless.  God does indeed have a special place for these folks.  We see it throughout the Bible.  We see it particularly with the orphans (the fatherless) and the widows.  But God does truly care about how those who are incapable of caring for themselves are treated.  As Christ followers and as a church, we do Gospel work when we help those who cannot help themselves, when we provide for those who cannot provide for themselves, when we protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 9

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10

SCRIPTURE: Psalm 9

The overall purpose of this Psalm is it is a song of thanksgiving for vindication.  Overall we find David praising God for manifesting His righteousness in judging wicked nations and people and for being a true, eternal, and caring Judge in whom the afflicted may trust.  David truly does give us quite a contrast in the character of God in this Psalm.

As the Psalm opens David is praising God for all of His wonderful deeds.  The NIV translates this simply as “wonders”.  That is a very good translation.  The emphasis is not on the act but on the wonder, the extraordinary marvel, of what God did.  What God did was undoubtedly on David’s mind.  But how God did it or the very way that God did do something is really the focus.

The reason for David’s praise is found in verses 3-6.  David speaks of how his enemies were turned backed, rebuked, and destroyed.  This destruction was so complete that even the names of the nations that were involved in opposing and attacking David were blotted out.  It is not just that the nations were defeated.  It is as if their destruction was so complete that no one would even remember the names of these nations.  David saw all of this as vindication.  He saw all of this as proof that God was defending his cause which necessarily means David’s cause must have been a righteous one. 

In verse 7, David pulls back and takes a wider view.  He speaks of God’s forever throne which is evidence of God’s forever judgment in righteousness and justice.  No one escapes God’s righteous judgment.  And the only way anyone escapes annihilation during that judgment is through the righteousness of Jesus that is imputed or given to those who have trusted Him as Savior. 

From there David takes a very different view.  Instead of the 20,000 foot perspective, David gets very close and very personal.  He speaks of how God is a very personal God who cares for the oppressed.  In Him, those that are oppressed, those that are afflicted, can find refuge – a safe place in the protection of God.

 

Throughout the Bible we find evidence that God cares deeply for the oppressed and afflicted.  It is as if His sense of righteous judgment is offended when people take advantage of others.  We must always remember that even as Christ followers we are not better than anyone else.  We are better off but not better.  We should be different but not better.  Since we are not better there should never be a reason that we would be a part of any oppression or affliction.  Since we are different, we should always be ready to help those who are oppressed or afflicted.  When we do that we are doing Gospel work.  (See Matthew 25)

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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