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January 16, 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!

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

Text: Genesis 46-47
Audio: Genesis 46-47

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Psalm 36 (ESV)

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the Lord.

Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;
there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.

10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.


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 37

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. He plots trouble while on his bed;
        he sets himself in a way that is not good;
        he does not reject evil (Psalm 36:4). 

    Rejecting Evil

    When we think of the word "evil," we may be prone to think of heinous and detestable things that only the fringe of society participate in. But the question is, how does the Bible define evil?

    In The Classic Bible Dictionary by Sovereign Grace Publishing (Volume IX), [Evil] "in its various forms . . . may be rendered 'malignant, noxious, and worthless' and 'to destroy, to perish, and to break in pieces.' In short, every Biblical usage expresses a lack or negative connotation. The Greek equivalents are similarity negative, though there is a subtle distinction between (kakis) and (poneros), the former indicating a passive perishing within its own corrupting and the latter being an active agent of corruption others. Another word, (phaulos), emphasizes 'worthlessness' or 'good-for-nothingness.' In the OT the abuse and injury which Israel encountered periodically was often referred to as evil (Genesis 19:19; 47:9; Psalm 90:15), and it was recognized as Divine chastening (Deuteronomy 31:17; Jeremiah 26:19; Amos 9:4) and for the ultimate benefit of the nation. In the NT the punishments which afflicted Israel were also conceived of as evil (Matthew 6:34; Ephesians 5:16), but the essential nature of metaphysical evil and its damaging effects in the life-situation is often in view."

    The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary says evil is, "Substantively and descriptively that which is offensive, perverted, or harmful; in the Bible indicative of both natural evil, such as physical disasters, and moral evil, such as deeds against God or one’s neighbor."

    Eerdmans offers the following insight regarding the Apostle Paul's treatment of the subject of evil (as it is quite extensive) and that of James and Peter:

    "Contrasting those who obey the truth and those who do not, Paul proclaims that the 'natural man,' the inventor of evil (Rom. 1:30), will suffer tribulation (2:8–9). Those who have accepted Christ, on the other hand, are exhorted to'put to death' their tendencies toward evil (Col. 1:21; 3:5), to hate evil and to do good (Rom. 12:9) rather than continue practicing evil in the hope that it may produce some good (3:8). They are admonished never to repay evil with evil (12:17) but rather with good (v. 21; cf. 16:19; 1 Cor. 14:20). Having personally wrestled with the incongruity of wishing to do good and instead committing evil (Rom. 7:19, 21), Paul drew strength from Old Testament examples (1 Cor. 14:20) as he preached to other believers with similar experiences.

    "James and Peter make similar observations about mankind’s struggle to cope with moral evil. James notes that God is neither tempted by evil nor tempts people (Jas. 1:13) and that people are unable to control their tongues because of a 'restless evil' (3:8; cf. v. 6 'a world of evil,' so NIV; RSV 'an unrighteous world'). Peter warns believers not to use their freedom to commit evil (1 Pet. 2:16), certainly not to repay evil with evil (3:9); rather he encourages them to bless those who wrong them (3:10–12, quoting Ps. 34:12–16)."

    In the opening four verses of today's Psalm (Psalm 36:1-4), David writes:

    "Transgression speaks to the wicked
        deep in his heart;
    there is no fear of God
        before his eyes.
    2 For he flatters himself in his own eyes
        that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
    3 The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
        he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
    4 He plots trouble while on his bed;
        he sets himself in a way that is not good;
        he does not reject evil."

    Although everyone has the tendency to do evil (because we are sinful in our nature), those of us who are born again reject evil and set ourselves in the way that is good. That doesn't mean we are perfect in our quest to be perfect, but the mark of a genuine Christians is that we reject evil and do what is good as a way of life. This is the work God begins in us the moment we are saved – and He "will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). 

    1 Thessalonians 4:1-8 says, "Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you."

    Does your sin trouble you in your soul?

    Is your life marked by rejecting evil and doing what is good?

    May we never flatter ourselves in our own eyes but in humility walk with Christ. 


    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "Breathing in Grace" by Philip Doddridge

    "Ever-blessed fountain of natural and spiritual life! I thank you that I live, and that I may live a faith-filled life.

    I bless you that you breathe into me your own living breath.

    Though I was once dead in my sins, now I have become a living soul, in a sense that is unique to your own children.

    But I do not just want to live. I want to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

    So I beg you to form my mind in the image of faith. Do not let me misunderstand grace, measuring my growth in grace by a natural yardstick.

    Let me experience your love even more, with unreserved resignation to your wise and holy will, and a greater care for others.

    Strengthen my soul as you help me grow in patience, in humility and zeal, and in a heavenly attitude. Give me a concern to be accepted by you (2 Corinthians 5:9).

    Whether I live or die, let everything I do be for your glory."

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

  2. I'm a broken record: "Wow! What a great reading for me today!" 

    Yesterday I experienced frustration and anger at a family member, because since I've been laid up with a bad back, she hasn't been around to help out much. I spoke my mind to her, and I meant what I said, but we hate fighting with each other, so after I cooled down I offered a truce. 

    Just because I've changed so much since being saved, doesn't mean everyone around me has. It can be really difficult to deal daily with people who haven't had their eyes opened, and whose actions affect you in a negative way. 

    I'm praying for patience, humility, and understanding, and for the ability to continue to do good,even when others are not.  

    1. Thank you for sharing, Brynne. I’m sorry you’re still struggling with back issues but I know the Lord is teaching you a lot through it.

      I’m praying for God’s sustaining grace to you and for the eyes and hears of your loved one to be opened and eternal life be granted to her for the sake and glory of Jesus Christ.

  3. "Transgression speaks to the wicked
        deep in his heart;
    there is no fear of God
        before his eyes.
    For he flatters himself in his own eyes
        that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
    The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
        he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
    He plots trouble while on his bed;
        he sets himself in a way that is not good;
        he does not reject evil."

    Wow…

    As I head into work this morning, I am so glad I read this first so I am reminded beforehand of the state so many people are in. They "set themselves in a way that is not good." I'm thinking of how differently I began my day, by setting myself in a way that honors God.

    This morning as I sat up in bed and before my feet even hit the floor, I thanked God for this day to serve Him as a missionary and as His ambassador. And as I got up and started putting my running shoes on, I prayed for my day, that I will be salt and light at the office.

    Then I worked out on the treadmill, was instantly thankful for my health. I watched a Ted Talk on insulin resistance, and thought about how God has provided everything we need for our physical health — remembering the garden of Eden, and then the permission to eat meat after the flood — but how man has perverted God's provision for greed, drunkenness and getting high, and then how we put those perverted "foods" and substances in our bodies and brains. So I went and packed a "God made it, and it is good" lunch and snacks for myself. 

    And now I'm reading God's word, and being reminded that I am different from the world — I have been set apart, purchased with the blood of my Savior. I will not be surprised when people hate me or mock me or my faith, because they hated Jesus first. And I will remember that while GOD is the one who set my feet upon a rock and made my steps secure, I am responsible for the direction I am walking in today, and for where my eyes are fixed, and for remembering who it is I live for as I head out into the world.

    "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2 

    "My son, be attentive to my words;
        incline your ear to my sayings.
    Let them not escape from your sight;
        keep them within your heart.
    For they are life to those who find them,
        and healing to all their flesh.
    Keep your heart with all vigilance,
        for from it flow the springs of life.
    Put away from you crooked speech,
        and put devious talk far from you.
    Let your eyes look directly forward,
        and your gaze be straight before you.
    Ponder the path of your feet;
        then all your ways will be sure.

    Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
        turn your foot away from evil."
    Proverbs 4:20-27

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