Read Psalms 81
How sad! God, the Creator of the world, speaks; then He waits for His indifferent servants: I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. . . . But My people would not hearken to My voice. . . . they walked in their own counsels (Ps. 81:10-12). However, in times of trouble, the people quickly pray for protection. Our merciful Father forgives and the exiles return. The love of God is clearly expressed: No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly (84:11).
Oh, for more of the intense desire of the psalmist who declared: My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. . . . O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in Thee (Ps. 84:2,12). Sometimes the unbelieving world may question the Christian who rejects many of the "pleasures" of this world. But the servant of the Most High God has discovered that all the pleasures of this rich man's world soon fades away. The Christian follows His Word and enjoys the peace of God, which passeth all understanding (Phil. 4:7). Both David and the psalmist knew God would not permit them to miss out on or be deprived of His best and that He would direct each step of life's way. All of us can experience this confidence since God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
The Lord's guidance comes a step at a time. Our human nature desires guidance as far in advance as possible instead of being content to walk with God one step at a time. Some of our mistakes in decisionmaking come from wanting to see beyond the next turn in the road before we are willing to proceed, others from racing ahead on our own, as Saul did (I Sam. 13:5-14), without praying or waiting on the Lord's leading. Though our actions may seem good and right in our own eyes, God declares that to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams (15:22). Saul missed God's best by not obeying Him, and we need not follow in his steps.
The child of God is to trust Him as did Abraham, who went out, not knowing whither he went (Heb. 11:8), except that he was following the Guide who was leading him. Once we understand the loving care of God over each of His children, we need not allow fear to cause doubt and destroy our trust. This is the practical wisdom we should treasure in our hearts from Abraham, the "Father of the faithful" (Rom. 4). Do you doubt the Lord's step-by-step guidance of the future, as you continue reading all His Word? Then look back upon the years of your past. No child of God can do so without grateful praise and thanksgiving. P.T.L.
Thought for Today:
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the Name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright (Ps. 20:7-8).
By Jerusalem, from where the psalmist declared that all of the springs (sources) of joy and happiness flow (Ps. 87:7). Jesus is the Source of our joy as the angel announced at His birth (Luke 2:10). Jesus also declared: These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).
82:1 the gods, earthly rulers and judges; 82:4 rid, rescue; 82:5 foundations . . . out of course, administration of justice is ignored; 82:6 gods, My representatives; 83:2 lifted up the head, exalted themselves.
Pray for Assistant to the Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Terry Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Dave Camp (MI), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) • Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Gilbutese • Religious freedom • 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: The Word of God, confession, and prayer bring the believer into close communion with God (Neh. 9:2-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: