Praise Awaits You

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Reading: Psalm 65
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.
(Verses 1-8)
Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;     
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,     
to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,     
you forgave our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,     
of your holy temple.
You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,     
God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth     
and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,     
having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,     
the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;     
where morning dawns, where evening fades,     
you call forth songs of joy (NIV).*

Along Policeman Creek, Canmore, Alberta — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
There is a joyful exuberance found in Psalm 65. In some ways this psalm reminds me of a Broadway musical in that there’s an eagerness—a readiness—to burst into song. It could happen at any moment. The opening line expresses this joyous exuberance well: Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion!

What about you and me? Is there an eagerness and enthusiasm to praise God as we walk through our day? Is there a song in our hearts just aching for the moment of release? Is your heart filled with gratitude to God? If you can answer, “Yes!” then you have captured the spirit of Psalm 65.

David penned this psalm and it reflects an attitude of gratitude that is present in many of David’s psalms. David provides several reasons for his jubilant praise. First of all, our God answers prayer. He hears when we call out to Him. Over many years, on countless occasions, God has answered my prayers, sometimes in miraculous ways. Like David of old, I can’t help but be grateful.

Secondly, David was thankful for the forgiveness of his sins. There is no better feeling than knowing you have been washed clean from the inside out by the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God. And now you are accepted—welcomed with open arms into God’s family. Oh, hallelujah! I’ve been redeemed.

Finally, all of God’s creation declares his glory. Mountains, prairie, sea and sky shout out His praise! 

Response: LORD God, I thank you for hearing my prayers, for forgiving my many sins, and surrounding me with the beauty of your creation. I praise the name of Jesus. Amen.

Your Turn: What blessing from God are you most thankful for?

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Some good news: The first volume of 365 Days through the Psalms by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in November, 2020, by Elk Lake Publishing. Two additional volumes will follow in 2021 to complete the three volume set of devotions from the Psalms.

They Sharpen Their Tongues Like Swords

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Reading: Psalm 64
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
    from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.

They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?”
They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.

The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him;
   all the upright in heart will glory in him!
(NIV)*

vote sign

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Reflection
Unless you are living in an alternate universe, you are likely aware that America is in the midst of an election campaign. In the context of an election, the words of this psalm have a peculiar resonance. Politicians’ tongues have been sharpened like swords. Cruel words have been aimed at opponents like deadly arrows. The airwaves are saturated with lies, propaganda and half-truths coming from all sides.   

Rest easy, dear reader, I’m not about to take sides in a political debate. But Psalm 64 contains some important truths that we would be wise to heed.

First, our tongues have deadly power. The poison of vipers is in the tongue. (See Psalm 140:3.) Many young people have taken their own lives because of the taunting of others. Social media has only worsened the situation, since one can now mount an attack from a distance. The venom that is often spewed in website comment boxes is beyond disgusting. The cruelty and depravity of the human heart are on full display. As the psalmist, David says, Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.”

So then guard the thoughts of your heart and mind. Take care what you put into print. It can have a profound effect for good or evil. Cruel words can be as deadly as a missile strike. The LORD is our refuge from cruel taunts, but He also is our judge, when we launch a verbal or written attack.

Response: LORD God, help me to use wisdom and discretion in all I say, write or post. You are the judge of every idle word. Holy Spirit, guard my heart and my mind. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you been the victim of social media attacks? How did you respond?

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Some good news: The first volume of 365 Days through the Psalms by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in November, 2020, by Elk Lake Publishing. Two additional volumes will follow in 2021 to complete the three volume set of devotions from the Psalms.


Praise Be to God!

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I will praise the LORD!

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  (Psalm 68:32-35, NIV)*

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
    sing praise to the Lord,
to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
    who thunders with mighty voice.
Proclaim the power of God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    whose power is in the heavens.
You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
    the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!*

The Procession of my God and King

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I will praise the LORD!

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  (Psalm 68:24-27, NIV)*

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the young women playing the timbrels. Praise God in the great congregation; praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel. There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them, there the great throng of Judah’s princes, and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.*

Through the Watches of the Night

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Today’s quote from “365 Days through the Psalms.”365 Psalm 63

The first volume of 365 Days through the Psalms by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in November, 2020, by Elk Lake Publishing. Two additional volumes will follow in 2021 to complete the three volume set of devotions from the Psalms.

Finding Rest

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Reading: Psalm 63
(Verses 6-11)
On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
they will go down to the depths of the earth.
They will be given over to the sword
and become food for jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God will glory in him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced
(NIV).*

woman sitting on chair while leaning on laptop

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Reflection
Where do your thoughts turn when you are at rest? Where our mind goes in idle moments, tells us a lot about ourselves. Are you off in the realm of sports, politics or family events? Does your mind graze on pornography or steamy romance novels? Are you plotting your plans for the week or the weekend?

My mind—your mind—is a busy place. And if it’s not occupied with things at hand, it will invent thoughts, opinions and worries to keep self-engaged.

Where did David’s mind go when he was at rest? Here in Psalm 63 we find the answer. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.

Rather than worry about the schemes being hatched by his enemies, King David’s mind was focused on the LORD. We may mistakenly believe that being king meant dwelling in a worry-free secure zone. Nothing could be further from the truth. Kings in Old Testament times were frequently assassinated. Rebellions and backroom treachery were common. Metaphorically, the king walked about with a bullseye target on his back.

But are today’s followers of the Lord Jesus any different? The true and faithful follower of Jesus is engaged in spiritual warfare. The sons and daughters of the King are target practice for the demons of hell. Temptation comes in a variety of ways. Sometimes it wears a pretty dress. At other times it offers a fast buck or a thrilling escape. Or does temptation simply dazzle and distract us into soul deadening spiritual apathy?

Now here is a thought to consider: Turn your mind to the Lord Jesus through the watches of the night, because you can rest assured he’s watching you.

Response: LORD Jesus, I want my mind to find rest in you. I know that my sins are forgiven and your love for me was proven on the cross. You lived for me; you died for me. You love me. Oh, what joy that thought brings! Amen.

Your Turn: Where does your mind go when you are at rest? Does the Holy Spirit come to change your thoughts?

* New International Version, Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

Some good news: The first volume of 365 Days through the Psalms by award-winning author David Kitz will be published in November, 2020, by Elk Lake Publishing. Two additional volumes will follow in 2021 to complete the three volume set of devotions from the Psalms.