Today’s verse from the Psalms.
Reading: Psalm 10
His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees” (NIV).*
Yesterday’s reading from Psalm 10 was an introduction to the man who has no room for God in his life. The psalmist states, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
Today’s reading continues to describe in disturbing detail, the thoughts, deeds and attitudes of the heart of such a person. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
Nature abhors a vacuum. All manner of things will rush in to fill an empty space. When God is removed from His rightful place as the Master of our life, selfishness and pride rise to the top. If Jesus isn’t the Lord of my life, then my selfish nature will rise to the occasion. However, when my selfish nature rules, all manner of sin follows. Worst of all self-deception follows. We deceive ourselves into believing a lie.
The psalmist states: He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees”
Of course, God does see. Our pride and ignorance are on full display before Him. Jesus has these words to say about this topic. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).
I have spoken more than a few empty words. How about you? The simple truth is I need a Lord and Master like Jesus to help me govern my life. I also need his love and forgiveness when I slip up.
Response: Lord Jesus, you are the Lord and Master of the universe. Even the wind and the waves obey you. I want to obey you too. Holy Spirit, blow into my life and fill me with your presence today. Amen.
Your Turn: What fills the vacuum in your life? Is it Jesus?
Reading: Psalm 110
Of David. A psalm.
The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
Your troops will be willing on your day of battle.
Arrayed in holy splendor,
your young men will come to you
like dew from the morning’s womb.
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at your right hand;
he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
He will drink from a brook along the way,
and so he will lift his head high (NIV).
Psalm 110 is perhaps the most messianic psalm in the entire psalter. Jesus made a direct reference to the opening line of this psalm in a discussion he had with the Pharisees in the temple courts during the week of his crucifixion. See Matthew 22:41-46 and Luke 20:41-44.
Jesus asks, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” In response the Pharisees answer, “The son of David.”
But Jesus refutes their answer by quoting from Psalm 110. His answer does not carry the same punch in the English language quote we see in Matthew, because we fail to see the distinction between the first ‘LORD’ and the second ‘Lord’. We see these words as synonymous, but in the original Hebrew they most certainly are not. The first LORD is Yahweh (Jehovah), but the second Lord is Adonai, the Messiah.
Speaking prophetically by the Spirit, David was referring to his Adonai—his Messiah. By quoting this scripture Jesus was affirming his designation by God as the Messiah that the Jewish nation had longed to see. The long wait was over. Jesus the Messiah was standing directly in front of Pharisees who were blind to his presence and his deity.
This Lord or Adonai is also the divinely designated priest who will present his own body as a sacrifice on the cross. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The writer of the Book of Hebrews has a great deal to say about the priesthood of Melchizedek. See Hebrews chapters 6-8. Jesus is our heaven-sent, born-in-a-stable prophet, priest and king.
Response: Father God, thank you for sending Jesus into the world to be my personal Messiah. Jesus, you suffered and died for me. Now extend your reign as conquering king over me and through me. Amen.
Your Turn: Have you bowed your knee before the Messiah King?
Reading: Psalm 90
A prayer of Moses the man of God.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new,
but by evening it is dry and withered (NIV).
In case you have not noticed, your life on this earth is temporal. It won’t last forever. In fact, there is very little on this earth that fits into the “lasts forever category.” My car fits well into this rusty, temporal category. My physical body will suffer a similar fate. My morning aches and pains remind me of this outcome. In this psalm Moses states the obvious when he makes this declaration: You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
James, the brother of our Lord, makes a similar observation: You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!” What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears (James 4:13-14, CEV).
Only God stands apart, above and beyond this temporal world. He is the ageless One, untouched by time. This assertion holds true. A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
The entire book of Ecclesiastes addresses the topic of the temporal nature of human life. Glenn Fobert has written an excellent book that explains the true meaning of that puzzling book: Everything Is Mist: Ecclesiastes on Life in a Puzzling and Troubled Temporary World
Life is not meaningless or vanity. According to Fobert, scholars have mistranslated the Hebrew word for mist in Ecclesiastes. Life is like a morning fog that lifts and it is gone. Where has it gone? It goes to the eternal One, the Creator of all life. How then should we live? Ecclesiastes gives us the answer. Simply live in full reverence and praise to your Maker.
Response: LORD God, I thank you for being the author of this wonderful thing called life. Today I want to live in humble thanksgiving and praise to you. Let my work, words and conduct honor you. Amen.
Your Turn: Is the Lord your dwelling place? Are you at home with Him?
Reading: Psalm 86
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead (NIV).
Today’s reading from Psalm 86 begins with this prophetic declaration. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
Psalm 86 is a prayer of David, but within this prayer David makes this prophetic statement about all nations worshipping the Lord. By the Spirit of God, David saw and declared what is to come. In the pantheistic world of his time, David saw that the God he served was not a local or national god. He saw that Yahweh, the LORD was, is and will be the Lord over all. How could David know that the God of Israel would come to be worshipped in every nation on the earth?
David grasped the big picture. Or a better explanation might be that the God of the big picture grasped David and revealed this truth to him. Through David’s line would come a Savior—a Savior named Jesus—a Jewish Savior for the whole world.
Why was David able to receive such a profound revelation? We are given a clue in the words of his prayer. Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
The answer may lie in David’s heart. He had an undivided heart. In other words he was wholehearted in his love for the Lord. He had a single-minded focus on God. He says just that in the next line of his prayer. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.
Are you wholehearted in your love and praise for the Lord?
Response: LORD God, unite my heart to praise your name. I don’t want to be distracted by the pursuits of this world. I set my affection on you. Thank you for loving me as your child. Amen.
Your Turn: What are some of the things that distract you from loving and fearing God?