chronological day 140 :)

Working our way out of the psalms – but not forever!  We’ll come back to finish the rest later.  For now, Solomon is coming into his reign. Please read Psalm 83, 1 Chronicles 29:23-25, 2 Chronicles 1:1, 1 Kings 2:13-46, 1 Kings 3:1-4, 2 Chronicles 1:2-6, 1 Kings 3:5-15, 2 Chronicles 1:7-13.  What stands out to you today? 

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Wow – Solomon establishes himself in a mighty way.  Remember Joab? Click back to day 111 for a reminder. He was instrumental to David in uniting the two kingdoms, but I wondered when he murdered those men (remember – some people were upset, some people were not upset, David let him live). I even thought that maybe it was different because it was wartime.

Remember when Adonijah rose up against Solomon? Click back to day 125 for a reminder. I loved Solomon’s merciful response – if Adonijah did the right thing, Solomon would let him live. (If it were me, I would have laid low after that).  Of course, we are familiar with Solomon’s prayer for wisdom:

 “ ‘And now here I am: God, my God, you have made me, your servant, ruler of the kingdom in place of David my father. I’m too young for this, a mere child! I don’t know the ropes, hardly know the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of this job. And here I am, set down in the middle of the people you’ve chosen, a great people—far too many to ever count. Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people?’

God, the Master, was delighted with Solomon’s response. And God said to him, “Because you have asked for this and haven’t grasped after a long life, or riches, or the doom of your enemies, but you have asked for the ability to lead and govern well, I’ll give you what you’ve asked for—I’m giving you a wise and mature heart’ ” (1 Kings 3:7-8 MSG)

God does give wisdom liberally when we ask for it!

chronological day 139 :)

Let’s read Psalm 79, 80, 81 and 82 today.  Do you have a favorite Psalm?  Have we read it together yet? Let me know!  

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Asaph and David both pray for God to show Himself strong and destroy His enemies, but….

“Give groaning prisoners a hearing;
    pardon those on death row from their doom—you can do it!
Give our jeering neighbors what they’ve got coming to them;
    let their God-taunts boomerang and knock them flat” (Psalm 79:11-12 MSG)

…. but, when God loses patience, it’s completely over.  His hand will not always protect the earth. 

I keep thinking about Jesus’ admonishment to pray for our enemies – I think part of that prayer must include praying that God stays His hand of protection long enough for them (and for ALL people) to come to salvation (or at least have an opportunity to come to salvation).

“Then we, Your people, the ones You love and care for,
    will thank You over and over and over.
We’ll tell everyone we meet
    how wonderful You are, how praiseworthy You are!” (Psalm 79:12-13 MSG)

Let’s not wait for God to “knock them flat” – let’s tell everyone we meet how wonderful He is right now!

“God come back and smile Your blessing smile – That will be our salvation” (Psalm 80:3 MSG).

chronological day 138 :)

More Psalm from Asaph.  Let’s read Psalm 75, 76, 77, and 78 today.  I like the Asaph psalms -you can tell he was trained by David.  

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I love Psalm 78, where he goes through the history of the children of Israel – and then records God’s response to Israel’s repeated rebellion:

“and God? Compassionate!  Forgave the sin! Didn’t destroy! Over and over He reigned in His anger!” (78:38 MSG)

Over and over and over again, God forgave.  Rebellion after rebellion, and God restored. Even today, His character toward us never changes: He is kind and He is patient and He always wants us to come back, no matter what has happened. God is so good to us!

 

chronological day 137 :)

Today, we are going to read Psalm 50, 73, and 74.   These are not David’s – these are Asaph’s psalms, same time period.

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Asaph was a name we read a while back in 1 Chronicles 15 – he was one of David’s assigned worshippers.

“David ordered the heads of the Levites to assign their relatives to sing in the choir, accompanied by a well-equipped marching band, and fill the air with joyful sound…. The members of the choir and marching band were: Heman, Asaph, and Ethan with bronze cymbals….” (1 Chronicles 15:16,19 MSG)

Can you imagine learning to worship from David?  Can you imagine being on King David’s worsip team?  Okay, so the opportunity to join David’s worship has passed 🙂 but we can still learn how to worship from him!  What a treasure trove we have in the psalms!

“No doubt about it – God is good!” Psalm 73:1 MSG

chronological day 136 :)

Continuing in the Psalms!  Here we go – please read: Psalm 144, 145, 88, and 89.

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“I lift you high in praise, my God, O my King!
    and I’ll bless Your name into eternity.

I’ll bless You every day,
    and keep it up from now to eternity.

God is magnificent; He can never be praised enough.
    There are no boundaries to His greatness.

Generation after generation stands in awe of Your work;
    each one tells stories of Your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:1-4 MSG)

 

It’s funny – after spending so much time with David, you can hear the difference between a David psalm and another psalm, can’t you?  We certainly know David’s voice by now!  I love the thought that God knows my voice – and more importantly, that He lets me know His!

chronological day 135 :)

Today, we’ll read Psalm 131, 133, 138, 139, 140, 141 and 143.  We’re getting it done!  Can you believe we are 135 days in?  You’re doing GREAT, and this discipline of daily reading is so valuable!

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David’s communication with the Lord was so powerful – and I imagine it was continual.  Psalm 139 is so loved and familiar.  I love Psalm 133:

“How wonderful, how beautiful,
    when brothers and sisters get along!
It’s like costly anointing oil
    flowing down head and beard,
Flowing down Aaron’s beard,
    flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon
    flowing down the slopes of Zion.
Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing,
    ordains eternal life” (Psalm 133 MSG)

The NKJV states verse 1 this way: “How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity” and ends this way: “there the Lord commands His blessing: life forevermore.”  Where does the Lord command His blessing?  Where there is UNITY. Oh, friend, pray for unity everywhere you go.  As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14).

Every event, every emotion spoken aloud to the God of his LIFE. Lord, help me be the same!

chronological day 134 :)

Continuing with David’s Psalms today! 🙂  Let’s read Psalm 103, 108, 109, 110, 122 and 124 today.  Does anything seem to resonate in your heart today?  I would love to hear about it!

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Happy collection of psalms (mostly!).  I want to highlight everything!

“O my soul, bless God.
    From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
    don’t forget a single blessing!

He forgives your sins—every one.
    He heals your diseases—every one.
    He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
    He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
    He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
    He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.

 God makes everything come out right” (Psalm 103:1-6 MSG)

 

Psalm 103 is a definite favorite for me!  I love how David encourages himself (and by extension you and me) to remember every blessing – don’t forget a single one – and then lists a few.  I can continue this list – can you start here and write your own psalm of blessings?

chronological day 133 :)

We’re reading Psalm 68, 69, 70, 86, and 101 today.  For those of you who like to know where we are, we’ve got about another week of these undated David Psalms before we are back to some more histories. You are doing great!

133

I skirted around this the other day, but I guess I’ll come out and say it: I don’t like it when David writes/prays about wanting God to destroy his enemies.  I do pray for protection, but I don’t like to pray specifics about how the Lord should exact revenge (or decide for Him that revenge is even necessary!)… That’s the Lord’s business, not mine.  Of course, no one is trying to kill me or overthrow my government, I’m not hiding in caves, I’m not on the run…. Maybe I have a wrong perspective on this!

The behavior of others shouldn’t affect me, the consequences of others’ actions isn’t my business, I just want to focus on my growth.  I do love the honesty that David has with the Lord – what’s the point is hiding your feelings from the Lord? He already knows –  and He loves us anyway!

“When the righteous see God in action
    they’ll laugh, they’ll sing,
        they’ll laugh and sing for joy.
Sing hymns to God;
    all heaven, sing out;
        clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
Enjoy God,
    cheer when you see Him!” (Psalm 68:3 MSG)

chronological day 132 :)

Please read Psalm 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, and 67 this morning. Have you considered reading these in a translation that is unfamiliar to you?  For me, it gives me a new perspective at times.  For this year, I’m using the Message – what translation do you like to read?

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I’ve never read the Psalms in the Message translation before – this is a new one to me.  I love how I’m hearing them in a new way!  Listen to this:

“You’ve always given me breathing room,
    a place to get away from it all,
A lifetime pass to your safe-house,
    an open invitation as your guest.
You’ve always taken me seriously, God,
    made me welcome among those who know and love you” (Psalm 61:3-5 MSG)

Do you ever “change it up” and read a new translation?  Don’t let the Word become common!

chronological day 131 :)

Psalms again!  Is this fun or is this tough? We’re reading Psalm 39, 40, 41, 53, 55, and 58 today.  What are you thinking?

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To be honest, it’s hard for me sometimes to read David’s prayers. Some are beautiful and personal and I’m encouraged that he expresses words that I feel myself. But other times…. When he prays for his enemies to be destroyed or for ruin to come to them, I’m uncomfortable. Maybe I’m uncomfortable because I recognize the same evil inclination in my own heart.  Maybe I’m uncomfortable because it’s so far from what I think Jesus desires for us. Maybe I’m uncomfortable because I can relate and I have to admit that I’ve had these negative feelings toward people who have done me harm as well.

I have to remind myself that David (in addition to being a man’s after God’s own heart) was a man.  He was a warrior.  This is the same guy who sent Bathsheba’s husband the front lines or wanted to murder Nabal’s husband for not sharing a meal.  He had much bigger concerns and much bigger threats to his life than I do, for sure! David’s humanity makes it easier to relate to him, and it is definitely an encouragement to be honest with the Lord!

In any case, I do believe that what happens to my “enemies” is God’s business, not mine, and I want to leave that up to Him. Letting myself dwell on the negative or wish destruction allows bitterness to grow in my heart and that’s not healthy.