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September 8-—Read Psalm 119:1–8

Have you ever thought about how amazing it is that the minister can preach an entire sermon on one verse?  Not only that, but if you heard the sermons of two different ministers on the same verse they would probably be very different!  Every time we open God’s word there are new truths to glean and new applications to be made.  Thankfully, we have our creeds that help explain the scriptures to us and the Psalter that helps us commit the words of the psalms to memory.  Besides, our spiritual leaders past and present have provided us with so many spiritually edifying books, commentaries, and magazine articles.  We could read for hours every day and never get through it all.

The point is that we all have so much to learn spiritually, no matter how much studying we have done.  David, a type of Christ, understood his need for spiritual growth.  In verse 7 he says, “I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.”  David still saw himself as a little child spiritually, just as we must.

Sing or pray Psalter #323.

 

September 9—Read Psalm 119:9–16

Technology is advancing exponentially.  Just think about how drastically the world has changed in the last century, or even the last decade.  Things like self-driven cars and drone package delivery seemed like extremely futuristic concepts ten years ago, but they are here now.  With these advances in technology come more opportunities to sin.  The internet is a wonderful tool that God has given us to spread the gospel, but it also throws temptation into the face of our tech-savvy teenagers, though others are affected as well.  Recently, I have grown aware of the numerous live webcam social media websites that exist out there, which encourage our young people to commune with the world, often very provocatively.

With all these temptations around, how will our young people not all be lost?  Psalm 119:9 provides us with the answer when it says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”  How do we withstand the growing temptations that are all around us in these dark days?  We read God’s word, discuss that word with one another, and pray to him who always provides for the needs of his people.

Sing or pray Psalter #61.

 

September 10—Read Psalm 119:17–24

I am often amazed by the almost complete loss of even religious behavior in our world today.  You go to a restaurant, and everyone just plows into their food the moment it’s placed in front of them.  You meet someone, and within seconds of greeting you they’re already spewing profanities out of their mouth.  You sit in the classroom and listen to the theory of evolutionism being taught as fact, without even a mention to the truth of creation.

These things are constant reminders to us that we are merely pilgrims on this earth.  David was one of the most influential and powerful men on earth, yet he also felt this way.  In verse 19 he says, “I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.”  When we experience the mockery and ridicule of the world, we are comforted by the truth that the same Jesus who died for us has ascended into heaven is preparing a place for us there, and will return to bring us home for all of eternity (John 14:3).

Sing or pray Psalter #336.

 

September 11—Read Psalm 119:25–32

I happened to run into a pretty interesting TED talk recently about lie spotting.  The speaker provided some very shocking data about the prevalence of lying in our society.  She said that according to studies, we are lied to 10–200 times per day, married couples lie to one another in one out of every ten interactions, and teenagers lie to their parents in one out of every five interactions.  Do you question that data?  I did, which only supports the fact that lying is all around us.

Psalm 119:29 says, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.”  David says that he has chosen the way of truth and asks God to keep him from lying.  The world loves its lies, even outright claiming that some lies are good.  As the speaker put it, we lie to match up our fantasies with the way we really are.  That is only true of those who are building up their treasures on this earth.  Those who are given the kingdom of heaven have no need for fantasies, for all things are given us through the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sing or pray Psalter #321

 

September 12—Read Psalm 119:33–40

On the way home from school a while back, the talk show host was talking about how Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump had misquoted scripture, stating that “money is the root of all evil.”  He was attempting to quote 1 Timothy 6:10, which reads, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  It’s not his money itself that Mr. Trump needs to worry about; it’s his love for and coveting of money that’s the problem.

We all have a sinful nature that is prone to covetousness.  This can be seen from a very early age, as toddlers grab toys from each other and cry when they don’t get what they want.  In Psalm 119:36 David asks of God, “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.”  David sees the vanity in coveting the things of this life, and he looks to God to deliver him from that temptation.

Sing or pray Psalter #325.

 

September 13—Read Psalm 119:41–48

What does it mean to be free?  The world is in bondage, and because of that they are on a constant search for freedom.  The world has fooled itself into thinking that the trick to gaining freedom is to reject all rules.  This trend is well-documented by the media, as the population shows its hatred for law enforcement and all those who have been placed in positions of authority.  In addition, the LGBT push is a rejection of the very laws of nature.  Everyone can plainly see that God created men and women different, and that marriage is naturally between one man and one woman.  In their effort to find freedom, the world only succeeds in falling deeper and deeper into bondage.

True freedom is the ability to walk according to God’s commandments.  Psalm 119:45 says, “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.”  Freedom is not doing whatever our sinful nature wants, but what God wants.  This is because in our new man, what God wants is our desire as well.

Sing or pray Psalter #334.

 

September 14—Read Psalm 119:49–56

Psalter #327, which is based on this section of Psalm 119, has been my favorite for as long as I can remember.  At first, it was the bouncy tune that drew my attention.  However, as time goes on, I grow more and more to appreciate the words as well.  The title is “Comfort in Affliction,” and that subject is already addressed in the first verse, where we sing that God’s word gives us comfort in all the trials of life.  In verse two, David speaks of the mockery a child of God will receive when he lives according to God’s commandments.  This, however, does not cause us to lose heart, because we know that God has saved us before the beginning of time and is preparing a place for us in heaven.  The fact that this life is merely a pilgrimage is addressed in verse three, as the psalmist is angered and sorrowed by the wickedness on this earth.  The song ends beautifully with God’s people singing of the perfect peace they experience when they meditate on God’s law.

Sing or pray Psalter #327.

 

September 15—Read Psalm 119:57–64

Last Sunday, we heard a sermon entitled “The Worship God Requires.”  In this sermon, the minister said he believed that if the Holy Spirit visited our churches he would commend us, but also say that he had somewhat against us.  We would be rebuked for becoming too familiar with God and not having the proper awe when we come to worship him.  This really hit home for me, as I thought sadly about all the times my mind had wandered while God himself was speaking to me.

David had this awe for his God.  Verse 62 says, “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.”  We all enjoy a good night’s sleep and see our need for that sleep.  Sleep refreshes us and prepares us for the work ahead.  David got that same kind of refreshment from praising God.  When we pray, let us ask God to make us contemplate the wonder of our personal salvation and praise him for it every day.

Sing or pray Psalter #320.

 

September 16—Read Psalm 119:65–72

Have you ever forgotten to pray before you started eating?  It’s just a small thing, right?  You just forgot; you didn’t do it on purpose.  But how could we ever forget?  How could we forget to thank the God from whom all blessings flow?  Sadly, it’s often because we begin to take these blessings for granted when things are going well in life.  We begin to stray from God and then he afflicts us (v. 67), reminding us that we rely completely on him and that our happiness must not be connected to our earthly situation.  Job is the ultimate example.  He was a very successful man with a large family, but God took it all away in a moment.  He had nothing left, nothing, that is, except his God.  And because he had God, he had everything.  When it pleases God to afflict us in this life, may we sing with the psalmist, “Affliction has been for my profit, that I to Thy statutes might hold.”

Sing or pray Psalter #329.

 

September 17—Read Psalm 119:73–80

In Psalm 119:79, David says, “Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.”  Matthew Henry explains that David is not trying to gain more followers here, but showing a desire to be loved by and associate with the people of God.  The writer goes on to say that some people connect this plea with David’s murder of Uriah.  After that event, the people of God in Israel were ashamed of their king.  The judgment of the people wore on David, and he prayed to experience once again the communion of the saints.  As a picture of our need for spiritual communion with him, God created man with an innate need for earthly communion.  Even worldly psychologists will talk about the importance of a stable family life for an individual’s health.  This is much truer in the church, where we are all part of one body, called to work together.  One member is nothing without the body.  The hand can do nothing without the muscles to flex it and the brain to command it.  As Psalm 133:1 says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Sing or pray Psalter #371.

 

September 18—Read Psalm 119:81–88

Psalm 119:83 reads, “For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.”  Matthew Henry explains that a leather bottle will get all dried out and cracked when it is left by the fire, rendering it useless.  David uses this as a metaphor for himself.  The trials of life had worn on him, and he saw that he was useless and had no power of himself.  He was the leader of God’s people, yet his own children were rejecting the truth and even seeking to murder him.  However, David did not forget God’s statutes, and he trusted that God would deliver him and use him for his purpose.  A cracked bottle might seem useless to man, but God, the creator of heaven and earth, is able to use even the stones around us to glorify his holy name (Luke 19:40).

Sing or pray Psalter #269.

 

September 19—Read Psalm 119:89–96

I know almost nothing about professional football, but I know that Johnny Manziel plays it.  I know this because nearly every time I look at the news I see another reporter gorging himself on the train wreck that is this young man’s life.  With headings like, “Manziel’s Friends Worried He Will Die from Substance Abuse,” it’s obvious that the media loves every bit of drama it can squeeze out of this guy.  They are likely going to report him right into the grave.

I thought of this when I read verse 95, which reads, “The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies.”  The wicked love destruction.  They are going to hell and want nothing more than to bring as many people down with them as possible.  It is only by trusting in God and considering his testimonies that we are not ensnared.

Sing or pray Psalter #331.

 

September 20—Read Psalm 119:97–104

I used to run a lot.  Often, before I set out for a long run, I’d pour some honey into my mouth.  The sugar in it gave me a nice, quick jolt of energy.  It’s hard to imagine something sweeter than honey.  Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  The word of God is sweeter even than honey.  Notice the exclamation points with which David punctuates this statement.  Spiritual food must be more precious to us than any of the earthly food that pictures it.  Also, just as honey provides energy for the race, so the scriptures give God’s people the strength they need to run the race and fight the battle of faith.  We all need the sweetness of God’s word.  May we never take it for granted!

Sing or pray Psalter #333.

 

September 21—Read Psalm 119:105–112

Children, have you ever heard someone say “I swear” that this or that happened?  Have you ever heard your parents say that you shouldn’t talk like that?  Why not?  Why is it such a big deal to use that word flippantly?

The answer has to do with what it means to swear.  When we swear, we are calling on God to bear witness of what we are saying and to judge us if we speak falsely.  An oath, then, must only be used in the most serious of situations, such as truth seeking in a church discipline case or in a court of law.  When we swear an oath without really thinking about it, we are bringing the judgment of God upon ourselves.

David understands all this and makes a proper oath in Psalm 119:106, where he says, “I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.”  David knows he is weak and sinful, but he leans on the cross and knows that the one who paid for his sins will give him the strength to perform this work.

Sing or pray Psalter #335.

 

September 22—Read Psalm 119:113–120

Psalm 119:118 says of those who reject God’s law that “their deceit is falsehood.”  Matthew Henry says that this phrase can be looked at from two different points of view.  First, these people try to deceive themselves by rejecting God’s law and following those of their own creation.  Second, they deceive others by making great outward shows of holiness.  The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were blatantly guilty of these things.  They had no problem rejecting the scriptures, even killing the Son of God, but they made sure they didn’t walk more than a certain number of steps on the Sabbath.  The Pharisees loved to make a big show out of their prayers, thanking God that they were better than everyone else.  The religion of Islam in our day is also all about an outward show of strict obedience, as are many of the false religions.  These religions create an easy way for man to feel holy and have others look at him as such, and we must realize that this appeals to our sinful nature and always be on guard against it.

Sing or pray Psalter #338.

 

September 23—Read Psalm 119:121–128

Moses is on the mount in communion with God when God tells him that the people of Israel have made themselves a golden calf in his absence.  God is ready to destroy them all, but Moses pleads their cause.  Infuriated, he hurries down the mountain, to find the people singing and dancing naked around a hunk of metal.  In righteous anger, Moses calls for all those who are on the Lord’s side to kill the people who had blasphemed the name of God.  This the Levites did, slaying three thousand of their own loved ones.

Psalm 119:126 says, “It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.”  I thought of the story of the golden calf in Exodus 32 when I read this verse.  Sin never goes unpunished.  We see that throughout history when the cup of iniquity was full.  The wicked see this when they enter hell after they die.  We will all see this at the end of the world, when Christ will return as judge.  Then, those that “have made void thy law” will call for the mountains to fall on them (Rev. 6:16), but there will be no escape.

Sing or pray Psalter #300.

 

September 24—Read Psalm 119:129–136

In Psalm 119:130 we read, “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”  Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”  Do you see the connection here?  The moment God spoke the word at the beginning of creation, there was light.  This was a picture to us of the fact that we who are so simple are given light and understanding through God’s word.  The truths of God are not complicated.  Worldly philosophers can spend their entire lives debating who we are and why we are here, but our small children can easily answer these questions.  That is because God has written his word in our hearts and given us light.  Without that light, there is no understanding and all is darkness.  To those who are in darkness, no amount of explaining can bring understanding.

Sing or pray Psalter #337.

 

September 25— Read Psalm 119:137–144

Psalm 119:143 says, “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.”  Two contrasting emotions are set forth in this verse: sorrow and joy.  Both are very present in the life of the Christian, and it can be difficult to find the proper balance between them.  On the one hand, we are to look at this life as a vale of tears, while on the other we are to be joyful in the work that God has given us.   We must not be like the child who mopes around the house because he didn’t get to go to the sleepover.  We long for heaven, but we enjoy our work on this earth because God is using us to glorify his name.  God has saved us, and we must use this life to show him our gratitude for that salvation.  Even in our suffering, we rejoice that “we are counted worthy to suffer shame for his name” (Acts 5:41).  We know that we belong to him (Lord’s Day 1), and will go to be with him soon.

Sing or pray Psalter #341.

 

September 26— Read Psalm 119:145–152

I think we all have a tendency to think that our lives are just a little bit busier than those of most others.  We talk about how little time we have and are skeptical when others do the same.  Maybe this isn’t a sin that you struggle with, but I know I do.  There are plenty of things to do in life and goals to accomplish, but the question is, what are we choosing to fill our time with?  The businessmen and women of the world are extremely busy, but it is all vanity.  Earthly work is not profitable in and of itself.  Only work that is done to the glory of God is worthwhile.  David understood this.  As the warring king of Israel, he was one of the busiest men on earth, yet he found time to pray.  Instead of only focusing on physical rest, David was interested in enjoying the heavenly rest.  He prayed to his God each night, trusting that he would supply him with the strength he needed.  Paul said it best when he commanded us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to, “Pray without ceasing.”

Sing or pray Psalter #339.

 

September 27—Read Psalm 119:153–160

You are driving home.  It’s been a long day and you’re tired.  You look in your rearview mirror and notice that the driver behind you is following extremely closely.  It’s obvious that he wants to pass you, but traffic is coming from the other direction and he can’t.  He starts honking his horn, but you are already going the speed limit, so you just try to ignore it.  The second oncoming traffic clears the lunatic behind you puts the pedal to the floor and roars on by, screaming curses as he passes.

Would this make you angry?  Why?  Would it be because the opposing driver had no right to get angry at you?  David would have been angry in such a situation, but for a different reason.  Psalm 119:158 says, “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.”  David’s persecutors bothered him, not because of the hurt they had caused him, but because they had blasphemed the name of God.  If we are offended when someone mocks us poor sinners, how much more should we be offended when someone mocks and blasphemes God himself?

Sing or pray Psalter #267.

 

September 28— Read Psalm 119:161–168

I’m standing up in front of my fifth and sixth graders teaching them about Hannibal crossing over the Alps in the dead of winter.  It’s exciting stuff.  I sure think so, but Frank apparently disagrees.  I say this because he’s fiddling with something under his desk instead of listening.  I’m not sure what it is, and I don’t want to interrupt myself unnecessarily, so I opt for a flyby maneuver.  Frank keeps throwing me furtive glances, but I keep talking and don’t look directly at him, so he begins feeling assured that I’m too into my lesson to notice.  Still talking, I make my way around behind him until I can see that he’s writing on his knee with a highlighter again.  I walk up, hold out my hand, and ask the class how many elephants they think Hannibal had.

Sometimes I’m amazed at how blind my students think I am, but then I realize that we are really all that way.  Psalm 119:168 says, “I have kept thy precepts and thy testimonies: for all my ways are before thee.”  God knows even the thoughts of our heart, yet sometimes we live as if we can keep things from him.

Sing or pray Psalter #343.

 

September 29—Read Psalm 119:169–176

This past school year, we read a book entitled “And now, Miguel” together in class.  Miguel lives in a family of shepherds.  During lambing season, all the sheep are branded with paint.  It is very important that the same number be placed on the ewe and her lamb, so that they can be kept together.  This is necessary, because the ewes will often let their lambs wander off and then be unable to find them again.  The ewe knows her lamb only by smell, but if there are a lot of other sheep around, that particular smell can be difficult to locate.  There was one point in the book where a ewe and her lamb were both looking right at each other and bawling, but there still wasn’t any recognition.

Sheep are used all throughout scripture as a picture of what we are like spiritually.  In Psalm 119:176 David says, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”  When we wander off into sin, we rely on our good shepherd to find us and bring us home once again.  Without him we would be lost.

Sing or pray Psalter #55.

 

September 30— Read Psalm 120

Psalm 120 is the first of the fifteen psalms called the “Songs of Degrees”.  These psalms are also known as the “Songs of Ascents”, “Songs of Steps”, “Pilgrim Songs”, etc.  There are many thoughts as to why these psalms are grouped together and titled this way.  Martin Luther believed that the Levites sang these psalms while standing on stairs or some other high place.  Others believe that the Levites sang them while climbing the 15 steps leading into the temple.  These psalms may have been sung by the Israelites when climbing up Mt. Moriah to the temple to celebrate the different feasts God required of them.  Furthermore, they might have been sung by the faithful Israelites when returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.

Regardless of whether these psalms were sung at these times or not, it is true that every one of these psalms is full of hope and joy.  Psalm 120 speaks of deliverance from the lying tongue.  Psalm 122 speaks of the joy of worshipping in God’s house with fellow saints.  Psalm 126 speaks of God’s delivering us from captivity.  What beautiful words for God’s people to sing on their way to God’s house.

Sing or pray Psalter #294.

 

October 1—Read Isaiah 38

When researching the fifteen psalms that are called the “Songs of Degrees”, I ran across an interesting idea for the author of ten of them.  While it is widely accepted that David wrote four of them and Solomon wrote the one in the middle (Psalm 127), the authors of the other ten are unknown.  The theory I ran across gives several reasons why King Hezekiah might have written them.

First of all, when Hezekiah prayed for healing, God granted him fifteen more years of life.  This explains the fifteen Songs of Degrees.  Furthermore, as a sign that this would happen, God moved the sun backwards ten degrees.  Hence the ten psalms that Hezekiah might have written.  The article went on to explain how the Hebrew word for degrees, ma-alah, is quite uncommon in the Old Testament, but is repeated surprisingly often in the accounts of 2 Kings and Isaiah concerning the healing of Hezekiah. Also, Isaiah 38:20 reads, “…we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.” Could it be that “my songs” refers to these ten Songs of Degrees?

Sing or pray Psalter #280.

 

October 2— Read Psalm 120

“Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue,” pleads the psalmist in Psalm 120:2.  His enemies are lying to him and about him.  To his face, they speak words of friendship and praise, but their promises are empty.  Behind his back, they plot against him.  They lie about him to others and spread evil rumors to his detriment.  He is being assaulted by the most dangerous and hurtful of enemies, the ones that spread their lies under the pretense of friendship.

The psalmist turns to the Lord as the only one who can bridle men’s tongues.  We have already seen in Psalm 119 how the psalmist desires his own tongue to be kept from lying.  Psalm 119:29 says, “Remove from me the way of lying…”  Now he asks God for judgement upon those lying about him.  God answers the psalmist with promises of judgment.  They will be punished with the “sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper” (Ps. 120:4).  They shall burn in the lake of fire.  Revelation 22:15 says, “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”

Sing or pray Psalter #253.

 

October 3— Read Psalm 121

Psalm 121 begins, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”  Some read this verse with a question in the beginning. “Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills for help?”  Shall I place my trust in earthly things?  The answer is clearly stated in verse two and in Jeremiah 3:23, which says, “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” Others read this verse that we must lift our eyes up above the hills, beyond earthly things, to God for help.  Still others read this verse with the question in the final half of the verse.  “I will lift up mine eyes…  From whence cometh my help?” In this case the Israelites are traveling to Jerusalem and see the hills as a source of threat or harm.  That the Israelites would be traveling to Jerusalem would fit with what we have learned about the Songs of Degrees, but there is another possible explanation.  The Israelites were traveling toward Mount Moriah, where the house of God rested.

Sing or pray Psalter #347.

 

October 4— Read Psalm 121

In Psalm 121 the psalmist comforts himself in God when he faces difficulties and dangers.  The God who made the heaven and the earth has promised “neither to slumber nor sleep.”  Furthermore, “he will not suffer thy foot to be moved…” says verse three.  God will not let us be tempted above what we are able.  He will keep us from falling.  Psalm 73:2, 23 says, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped… Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.” In addition, God has promised to be the “shade upon [our] right hand” (Ps. 121:5). He refreshes us like shade is refreshing on a hot summer day.  He keeps closer to us than our shadow and under his shadow we may sit with assurance.  Song of Solomon 2:3 says, “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons.  I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”

Sing or pray Psalter #344.

 

October 5— Read Psalm 122

There are many professing Christians who do not go to church.  They believe that they can worship God just as well by themselves and do not need the preaching or communion of the saints.

In this psalm David speaks of the joy of worshipping in church on Sunday with fellow believers.  “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord” (Ps.122:1). They went together, at the same time, to worship God, and it filled them with joy.  When we worship together, we can and must encourage each other and sharpen each other in the truth, “as iron sharpeneth iron” (Prov.27:17).  God also makes a place for us in his house when we go there with other saints.   Psalm 84:10 says, “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”  Though our place might be that of just a doorkeeper, we are filled with joy to be one with God’s saints.

Sing or pray Psalter #350.

 

October 6—Read Psalm 122

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” the psalmist says in Psalm 122:6.  We must pray for peace in the church.  The importance of peace within the church is seen in many Bible verses.  Psalm 34:14 says, “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Romans 14:17–19 says, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men.  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace…”

There are also verses showing the importance of praying for peace, for only God can give it to his church.  Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Isaiah 26:12 states, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.”

Finally, God is peace.  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (I Cor. 14:33).

Sing or pray Psalter #349.

 

October 7—Read Psalm 123

My students and I learned about our amazing eyes in class.  We learned that our eyes are the most active muscles in our bodies.  We learned that they flip everything we see upside down and then our brain has to flip it back the right way.  If our brain has to flip everything we see, it’s no wonder half of our brain is occupied with seeing.  Our eyes are so busy, and yet we must never forget that their most important job is to look to heaven where God reigns.

“Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens,” the psalmist cries as he turns his eyes to the heavens.  Although we know that God is everywhere and is not confined to the heavens, it is in the heavens that he manifests his glory, as king in his court.  From heaven, God beholds the events of the world and comes to the aid of his people.  In this psalm, the writer is looking for mercy from the scoffers and those who scorn him.  We also need God’s mercy from the scoffers in the world today.

Sing or pray Psalter #351.

 

October 8—Read Psalm 124

Even if we praised God with every breath in our bodies during every second of our lives, we could not praise him enough.  We owe him praise for many reasons.  One reason is that we were about to be destroyed.  Like a lamb snatched out of the very teeth of the lion, we have barely escaped ruin.  Like a little sparrow out the snare of the fowler, we have barely escaped the traps of our enemies.  At times, to us and others it may seem like we are trapped and beyond hope.  Isaac may have thought there was no escape for him as he lay tied to the altar and his father raised the knife.  However, just as God spoke out of the heavens and provided a lamb for the sacrifice, so God will break the snare of our enemies so that we can escape.  We must praise him, for “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8).  Only he can and has saved us.

Sing or pray Psalter #353.