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April 29, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: 2 Kings 23-25
Audio: 2 Kings 23-25

Psalm 119 (169-176)

Taw

169 Let my cry come before you, O Lord;
    give me understanding according to your word!
170 Let my plea come before you;
    deliver me according to your word.
171 My lips will pour forth praise,
    for you teach me your statutes.
172 My tongue will sing of your word,
    for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
    for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
    and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
    and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
    for I do not forget your commandments.


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 120

Back:  Psalm 119 (161-168)

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Psalm 119 (Taw)

    Today's section of Psalm 119 (Taw) is the final section of this psalm. We have learned a lot about God, the value of His Word, the psalmist's love and devotion to both, and hopefully, we have learned a lot about ourselves in the process.

    Here are some basic principles found in this last section of Psalm 119…

    1. God is ready and willing to hear from us. He desires for us to have a relationship with Him – which is why Jesus had to die in our place – so that we could.

    When the psalmist cries out to God, he begs God to give him understanding, according to His Word. Oh, that we too would cry out to God for this (Psalm 119:169).

    2. The psalmist not only knows understanding is found in the truths of God's Word, but so is his deliverance (Psalm 119:170).

    3. It's interesting that the psalmist not only cried out to God for understanding according to His Word, pleaded for deliverance according to it, but now speaks (sings) praises for God to teach him the statutes found in Scripture (Psalm 119:171).

    4. Now the psalmist's song is God's Word and emphasizes the rightness of God's commandments (Psalm 119:172). 

    5. Even with understanding and praise the psalmist knows he needs God to be ready to help him. The imagery here is of a father standing over his toddler as the little one's first steps of adventure begin (Psalm 119:173).

    6. Many times in Scripture, salvation was tied to a particular situation someone found themselves in. Beyond God saving us from anything temporal, we should long for our salvation from this body of sin and to be in fellowship with God forever (Psalm 119:174).

    7. The psalmist loves God's rules. He doesn't look at them as a burden, but rather, they are a blessing that guides his life away from ungodliness and to the path of righteousness (Psalm 119:175).

    8. The psalmist readily admits he has gone astray. He asks God to seek him as a shepherd looks after His sheep. This reflects his right understanding of who God is and the guiding purposes of God's commandments (Psalm 119:176).

    I pray that we would always readily admit we are not only prone to wander, but we go astray far more often than we may be aware of. We should remember that our Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd and His Spirit leads us and guides us away from ungodliness and onto the path of righteousness. 

    As we read His Word, reflect on the truths found in it, submit ourselves to the authority of it, and cry out to God for help in understanding it – all while asking Him to watch over us – we will find Him to be ready, willing and able to help us not go astray, and to walk in the way everlasting.


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "You Are The Potter" by Matthew Henry

    "We are the clay, and you our potter; we are the work of your hand. You took us out of the womb, and kept us safe when we were infants. We have depended on you from the womb, and have been held up by you.

    You are the God who has fed us all our lives until this day, and redeemed us from all evil. It is only by your mercy that we are not consumed, because your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)
     

  2. "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
        for I do not forget your commandments."

    So many scriptures came to mind when I read this verse, and I began thinking about sheep. I always see sheep in flocks, so how would one go astray? 

    Sheep do not by nature wander, but instead flock together for protection. And they need a shepherd they can rely on and trust, one who will lead them to green pastures and clean water, one who will protect them from predators, one who will tend to them when they are weak or ill. 

    But while sheep will follow a trusted shepherd, they will also follow one another! So if one sheep can be enticed to walk into a slaughterhouse by a greedy shepherd who does not love the sheep, the others will want to follow. 

    Sheep are also easily frightened, and can be scattered away from one another. But most will run in the same direction and stay together. This is why border collies are able to herd sheep. Whoever controls the dog, controls the sheep. 

    Knowing these things about sheep, it's no wonder God refers to us as sheep in both the Old and New Testaments. What a perfect way to illustrate our relationship with God — and with the under-shepherds God raises up to lead us!

    In Exodus, Moses himself was an under-shepherd. God raised him up and called on him to lead God's people through the desert. To do that, Moses had to listen to God's voice and obey God, lest he lead the people astray.

    We go astray — we wander, get lost, find ourselves separated from the true sheep — when we listen to and follow the voice of anyone who tells us anything contrary to God's word, or when we follow our temptations and are enticed away from obeying God.

    And if we go astray, we lead other sheep astray with us. What a scary thought.

    All the more reason to read and study and know God's word for ourselves — so we can test everything we hear or believe against what God says. 

    Yet even someone who knows God's word can be led astray. I was watching a series on Netflix last week about David Koresh, and it was scary how people who even knew God's word listened to and followed this false teacher, who twisted Scripture with such ease, and even believed his own lies. People living in the commune had varying degrees of struggling with what was going on. Some left the commune because they obeyed God, not man. Others stayed because they obeyed man (or their own desires for fellowship and friendship), not God. And then they led others to do the same.

    Just as the apostles did, we must always obey God above man. (Acts 5:28-29)

    The following Scriptures came to mind as I read this morning:

    "I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." Jesus, in John 10:14-15

    "…but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” Jesus, in John 10:26-30

    "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
    He leads me beside still waters.
    He restores my soul.
    He leads me in paths of righteousness
    for his name's sake."
    David, in Psalm 23:1-3

    If we are led astray, or wander away enticed by our own lusts and find ourselves lost, are we lost forever? Will God forget us or abandon us to remain lost? Not if we belong to Jesus!!! 

    "All we like sheep have gone astray;
        we have turned—every one—to his own way;
    and the Lord has laid on him
        the iniquity of us all."
    Isaiah 53:6

    "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." Jesus, in Luke 15:4-7

    ~::~

    "Confess that you have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek to return; beg of the good Shepherd to find you out; place yourself under his overseeing eye; fall down before him; confess your sins, and he will manifest his mercy sooner or later to your soul.

    "Some perish through self-righteousness, and some through unbelief or despair. God's people shall perish by none of these things. They shall never perish in self-righteousness, for God will strip them of all boasting in the flesh. They shall never perish in unbelief or despair, for God will give them faith and manifest his dear Son to their souls. Thus sooner or later the good Shepherd will bring every sheep unto himself, and make it manifest that he loved them and gave himself for them, that by virtue of his death and of his life, they might live for evermore." 

    Pastor JC Philpot, "The Straying Sheep and the Sin-Bearing Shepherd," 1867

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