Psalm 119: Many of us have scores of Bibles at our fingertips, bookstores galore, and many different websites that offering different versions of the Bible. But, the early Israelites learned through oral recitation using the memory aid tool: “abecedaries,” just like children today learn their A-B-C’s in a sing-song fashion. All 176 verses of this psalm remind us of the steadfast love of God and His Word and mention the Word of God in nearly each stanza.
Martin Luther memorized this entire psalm, and as a monk, he followed the pattern to recite long passages of scripture. He found Psalm 119 was easy to memorize because of its sing-song pattern. What a great challenge for us! Just as the psalmist said, those who are blessed are blameless and obedient to the law of the Lord. They choose to observe God’s rules and seek Him with their whole heart.
The psalmist knew the principle of 2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof correction, and training in righteousness.” Take time to walk through each stanza for your edification so that you might know who God is and what He does through the hearts and minds of those who taste and see that the Lord is good.
Deut 31 Moses presents to us an example of what to do when the hour draws near and you prepare to take your last breath. Draw those you love near to you and whisper words that will be words of confidence and challenge. Moses told the Israelites and Joshua in particular: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them (meaning those they find as they cross the Jordan). The Lord, your God, is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” [Deut 31:6]
Again, Moses called Joshua and repeated that last sentence to him privately. His last set of instructions was to “assemble the people so they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law.” [Deut 31:12] It was time. God commissioned Joshua to take Moses’ place, and again he said, “Be strong and courageous…I will be with you.” [Deut 31:23].
God will repeat these words as we close Deuteronomy and open Joshua. They are words of hope and deliverance from the enemies. God charged Joshua, and He charges us to do the same. There is no enemy too strong for God. He will do just as He said to Isaiah “your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it.” [Is 30:21]
Today we begin our walk through the book of Proverbs. Beloved, know this truth that will guide you step by step through life: “It All Begins with Fearing the Lord“
Every person has a life journey that ultimately leads to everlasting comfort and peace or eternal destruction. Proverbs is in the Holy Scriptures to help us understand the meaning of life through practical examples and also riddles.
Solomon will instruct us how to discern the fool and the wise man. Thus, Proverbs is a book to garner the unbeliever’s attention to see how he is wallowing in his foolishness and how to turn from his wicked ways to become wise. “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.”
The book of Proverbs will help us learn three things: wisdom, moral instruction (correction or discipline), and how to discern wise counsel. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding and acknowledge him in all your ways…”
As we walk through Proverbs, allow the Holy Spirit to train you practically to discern good and evil.
Thus today we choose [Prov 1:7] as our verse for today:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of discernment or knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
What verse jumped out at you as you read, and what verse are you meditating on for today?
Amos 7 to 9 In chapter 3 God asks Amos a question: Can two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? In reading scripture we find some personalities who walked with God such as Enoch, Moses and others. All had one thing in common: they understood God’s ways. Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him. Moses walked with God as friend to friend. Then there was Abraham. God asked to himself: should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Amos “saw” or beheld God making locusts to devour the crops and then a fire to consume the fields in the northern kingdom of Israel. As Amos watched, he pleaded with God: Sovereign Lord, forgive Israel! How can Jacob survive? And so as the conversation continued, the Sovereign Lord said: It will not happen.
What does this mean to us today? Just as these spoke to God on personal terms so can we. Jesus said: I no longer call you servants, instead I call you friends. A servant is told what to do and how but has no understanding of the why and does not question. In contrast, a friend converses and seeks to understand the motives and actions. Also, like the others who walked with God, Amos appealed to God for His mercy. God heard and relented of His decision.
Do you have that personal relationship with Him? Does he walk and talk with you? Are you His friend?
Ezekiel was told to pay attention, watch closely, and listen carefully and Jeremiah echoed those words! He reminded them that they were standing at the crossroads and must decide; God’s way or the world’s way. He also reminded them that the ways of their forefathers who chose the ‘good way’ or the ‘right way,’ they were now calling old fashioned. Like many even today the glitz and glamor outweigh the prudent and wise ways of God.
The nation was standing at the crossroads of life. They must consider their path—there is the narrow way that leads to God or the wide path that leads to destruction. A funny but true story of a prophet teaches that principle.
Balaam refused to listen to his donkey that had been empowered by God to speak. Balaam was both deaf and blind to the wisdom of the donkey until the angel opened his eyes when the donkey was in a narrow place with nowhere to turn. This story illustrates that if we fail to follow God’s way we may too find ourselves in a narrow place with nowhere to turn. Jeremiah is saying to his people and to us: Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it.
Smart advice: Don’t be stubborn like the prophet but choose God’s way. Remember the words of Proverbs: The one who wanders from the way of wisdom will end up in the company of the departed.
Genesis 1-3 Today as you surf the web or open your inbox you will be met with these words: A New Beginning, new deals to start the year and more. But, our God already gave us a new beginning and it began eons ago in eternity past when He planned and then completed His Work. Yet, although His work was completed ours lies ahead. That is why we must hunger and thirst for righteousness so we will receive the blessings of God.
Through His marvelous Word, we will be given wisdom to glean what is profitable for teaching us, reproving us, correcting us and instructing us in righteousness so that we may be dedicated to Him and be equipped for every good work.
Moses recorded the majesty of God’s creation, the birth of the man and woman and the entrance of the adversary who seeks whom he can devour. But, God also has a plan to thwart his work. He comes into our lives to redeem us through His Son and to place on us His robe of righteousness, His ring of authority and His shoes as evidence of being a part of His family. [Luke 15]
Pray that God open your eyes to see the marvelous infinite beauty He has created so we may say with the writer of Ecclesiastes: “God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time,”[Ecc 3:11] that we might worship Him because of His works.