April 27, 2024

April 27, 2024

Daily Bible Reading

Psalm 81

1 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.

5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.

6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.

8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;

9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.

10 I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.

12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!

14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.

15 The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.

16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.

Psalm 88

1 O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:

2 Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry;

3 For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

4 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:

5 Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.

8 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

9 Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

10 Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.

11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?

12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

14 Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me?

15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up: while I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.

16 Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.

17 They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.

18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.

Psalm 92

1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:

2 To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

3 Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.

4 For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

5 O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

6 A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

7 When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

8 But thou, Lord, art most high for evermore.

9 For, lo, thine enemies, O Lord, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.

12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 93

1 The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.

2 Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves.

4 The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.

5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

Daily Devotion

Sing Praises! 

 Major Moments taken from The First 5 app 

  • Psalm 81: Called to jubilant worship (my focused text for this devotion)
  • Psalm 88: The psalmist cries an individual lament for suffering and loneliness 
  • Psalm 92: The psalmist offers a hymn of praise and celebrates the sabbath 
  • Psalm 93: The psalmist claims God as both King and judge. 

Psalm 81 begins with singing praises to God, OUR strength!
Psalm 81:6 NLT “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks.”

God wants to take the heavy load we carry onto himself if we will only listen. He wants to restore and renew us. I find myself not always remembering to praise when I should. For He is the only one able to lift our burdens and restore us. 

Thinking back to the examples in the book of Job, friends and even Job in his own mind, could not lift himself out of his situation nor could he restore himself, though they tried. It was God alone! 

To the contrary, Psalms‬ ‭81‬:‭8‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me!” 

The second part of psalm 81 gives an account of consequences when we do not listen or heed the warnings. It’s a call to put away foreign gods and idols, to remember what God has done before and will do again! 

“For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭81‬:‭10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I had pondered recently while heading home one night, how our infirmities and trials challenge us to draw us back to God more often than our triumphant victories. While mountaintop experiences are undoubtedly amazing, it truly is in the valley that we grow stronger.(I am aware that this is not a new concept, but just stay with me.) 

On a real mountain top, at high altitudes we have the tree line indicating the edge of the best place for growth. There is a limit to growth on a mountaintop. Anything past the tree line that does grow, has decreased oxygen and temperature with challenging conditions. An article on alpine plants at high altitudes states that trees cannot grow at high altitude, and that high altitude plants must adapt but their season of growth is drastically shorter and limited. 

In the valley, however, whether hilly country or flat, there will be water that runs from the mountain top into the valley allowing for deeper, more sustained growth. 

Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭4‬-‭5‬ ‭NLT‬‬ “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.” 

God protects us while we are in a valley. A literal valley also has protection in certain places from the elements. On a mountaintop, well it’s the top! We can sing on the mountain but it’s a wide open vulnerable space if we stay too long. ‭‭ Having a valley experience can get pretty intense but we should not fear because God is with us. The valley is a place where we can also sing praises to God! We most assuredly will learn something about our perseverance and how pressure can push us to grow! Reaching the mountain may be the result of a valley experience. The valley has provision and deep lush growth while the mountain top is a place to rejoice as we come out of the valley. 

While examining the mountaintops/valley metaphor, I think I’ve settled on understanding that the place between the mountain and the valley is the road. As we walk through our life experiencing the fullness of God and being human, we can find ourselves in the valley to which the road leads and then out of the valley onto the mountain top to which the road also leads. There are provisions in both the valley and on the mountain. I find it so fascinating to parallel this amazing earth with my relationship and walk with Jesus. We came from the dust. We will return to the dust unless raptured, but while we’re alive, we get to enjoy the dust formed into amazing landscape experiences in the physical and spiritual sense. He also made us for each other! We are the most magnificent of his creation, and while we are walking, let’s do it together! 

As you walk through this life be it the mountain, valley, or the steady road, set up those memorials!  Share them with friends! 
And Sing! Sing praises to God from whence you came, and for where you are in this moment and for where he is taking you! He loves us and wants that love reciprocated. He deserves it! 

All my life you have been faithful 
All my life you have been so so good 
With every breath that I am able 
I will sing of the goodness of God! 

Here is a YouTube link to the lyric only version of this song 

~Susan Jeffries