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January 8, 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: Genesis 25-26
Audio: Genesis 25-26

Psalm 28 (ESV)

Of David.

To you, O Lord, I call;
    my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
    I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
    when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
    toward your most holy sanctuary.

Do not drag me off with the wicked,
    with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
    while evil is in their hearts.
Give to them according to their work
    and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
    render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
    or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.

Blessed be the Lord!
    For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
    in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
    and with my song I give thanks to him.

The Lord is the strength of his people;
    he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
    Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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 29

Back: Psalm 27

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
        when I cry to you for help (Psalm 28:2a)

    The Mercy and Help of the Lord

    In the midst of David's circumstances, he pleads to God for mercy and cries out to him for help. In a later psalm (Psalm 103:8-12) David says of the Lord:

    "The Lord is merciful and gracious,
        slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
    9 He will not always chide,
        nor will he keep his anger forever.
    10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
        nor repay us according to our iniquities.
    11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
        so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
    12 as far as the east is from the west,
        so far does he remove our transgressions from us."

    The Bible often warns of the wrath of God against sin. In our modern culture (even in many churches) sin is minimized, But in Scripture it's emphasized over and over again. It doesn't take center stage (a place reserved for God's revelation about Himself), but God has ensured we know what sin is and who we are – sinners who not only commit sin, but it's in our very nature to sin and rebel against God. 

    David often talks about these people (sinners) while contrasting himself as one who is devoted to God. While David was far from perfect, he grieved over his sin and lived a life of repentance and pursuit of God. 

    Have you ever pleaded to God for mercy?

    Do you ever cry out to Him for help?

    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "Coming to the High Priest" by William Bridge

    "Lord Jesus, our great high priest, surely you are faithful. Surely you will do the work of the high priest for my soul.

    I have sinned, and sinned greatly. But Lord, it is the work of our high priest to clear my debt. Now, Lord Jesus, I come to you as my high priest. Resolve this for me.

    I confess that my own conscience accuses me. Satan accuses me. Moses accuses me. But it is the work of our great high priest to remove all accusations brought against poor believers.

    So now Lord, I do come to you as my great high priest. Take away the accusations. When I look at what I do, there is so much deadness, so much hardness of heart, and so many distractions. I am afraid my best will never be enough."

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

  2. When I am suffering, depressed, anxious, or grieving, where do I turn? To God? Or to the gods of this world?

    David's worship of God in the midst of his please for help seem incongruent, but not to me. 

    Most people I have known over my lifetime — me included — have looked not to God but to alcohol, drugs, gaming, pornography, food, shopping/spending money, workaholism or relationships when they are suffering. I know there are many more besides the ones I've listed here, but those are the most well-known. And I have never seen any of those temporary "solutions" deliver, heal, or provide the hope, joy and peace we so desperately seek. Worse, they distract and numb us just enough to keep us from turning to God. And then they become our gods. 

    But the man or woman whose joy is found in the Lord will be like David, a man whose heart exalted God no matter what his circumstances. 

    Recently I was going through a very dark time and I briefly lost my way. I wasn't even asking God for help. When I shared it with Scott, he listened to me, had compassion for me, and counseled and prayed for me. And the Lord restored my joy. I'm still "suffering," but I'm also able to have joy in the midst of the difficulty, and am even seeing glimpses of God's purpose and plan during this time. 


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