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Due to the pandemic and social distancing orders, we are not meeting at least through April. 

March 14, 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: Joshua 12-15
Audio: Joshua 12-15

Psalm 94 (ESV)

Lord, God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth;
    repay to the proud what they deserve!
Lord, how long shall the wicked,
    how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words;
    all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Lord,
    and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner,
    and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob does not perceive.”

Understand, O dullest of the people!
    Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
11     the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,
    that they are but a breath.

12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
    and whom you teach out of your law,
13 to give him rest from days of trouble,
    until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not forsake his people;
    he will not abandon his heritage;
15 for justice will return to the righteous,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who rises up for me against the wicked?
    Who stands up for me against evildoers?
17 If the Lord had not been my help,
    my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
    your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
19 When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.
20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
    those who frame injustice by statute?
21 They band together against the life of the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,
    and my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He will bring back on them their iniquity
    and wipe them out for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will wipe them out.


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 95

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
        and whom you teach out of your law (Psalm 94:12)

    Happiness in Discipline?

    When we think of discipline, happiness is not what would come to mind for most people. But in Psalm 94:12, we read, "Blessed is the man whom you discipline." In other words, there is happiness found in the discipline of the Lord. 

    The definition of discipline is the "painful consequences or other disadvantages upon someone for their disobedience as part of a process of improving someone’s character or actions." Not much happiness found in painful consequences being imposed on us . . . or is there for the believer?

    In an article from Ligonier Ministries, Joel Beeke writes, "The words disciple and discipline derive from one Latin root and carry the notion of order. Referring to treatment that corrects or punishes, discipline is instruction or knowledge given to a learner. Discipleship and discipline are inseparably connected; Jesus’ ministry exemplifies that. Christ did not hesitate to correct His disciples who often addressed Him as ‘Rabbi’ or ‘Teacher.’

    Hebrews 12:11 says, For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

    "All discipline seems painful rather than pleasant" – not some discipline but ALL discipline.

    When we read, "It only seems painful" – this isn’t to say there is never pain involved with discipline (as we will see when the writer of Hebrews references Proverbs 3:11-12 below).

    But discipline only “seems painful” compared to the pain of being undisciplined! 

    In what ways can discipline be pleasant and bring happiness and blessing to our lives? One way is found in Hebrews 12:11, "it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."

    So, while pain is often associated with discipline, we should view the discipline of the Lord as the means by which we receive the peaceful fruit of righteousness – and where we find true happiness and blessing when we are trained by it.

    Let’s look at the first two verses of Hebrews 12 and see how this related to the Lord Jesus:

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

    So as Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him (for us), Christians endure discipline for the joy set before us which is the "peaceful fruit of righteousness" which makes us more like Him!

    That is why the writer of Hebrews says in verses 3-7a – “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

    ‘My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
        nor be weary when reproved by him.
    6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
        and chastises every son whom he receives.’

    7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.”

    We are to consider (remember, reflect, think about) Jesus’s suffering so that we will not grow weary or fainthearted in the discipline related to our faith and relationship in Jesus Christ. The discipline we endure as disciples of Christ is part of God’s sanctifying work in us – conforming us to the image of Christ. 

    This process is directly related to our struggle against sin (Hebrews 12:4) which is why the writer of Hebrews references Proverbs 3:11-12.

     – Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord
     – Do not be weary when reproved by Him
     – The Lord disciplines those he loves
     – The Lord chastises every son whom He receives

    Regarding the Lord chastising every son, did you know "chastises" means to flog – to discipline as beating severely with a whip?

    Even the agony of being flogged by God only "seems painful" (which is temporary) compared to the happiness and blessing of being trained for the peaceful fruit of righteousness that is only found in Christ Jesus (for all eternity). Amen!


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "Am I Being Changed Into Christ's Image?" by Isaac Ambrose

    "Unless I am born again, I cannot enter heaven. Born again? What does that mean, Lord? Did that kind of thing ever really happen to me? Was I ever cast into the pangs of a new birth? And did those pangs of new birth continue until Christ Jesus was formed in me?

    Are old things done away, so that all things have become new?

    Is the old person, the old lusts, the old way of speaking, totally abandoned? Have they been left behind?

    Are my principles made new? My goals? My life? Amen. Show us how to love each other, even the family of God you so graciously lead."

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

  2. This psalm is so fitting for the time we are living in right now, with people so fearful of the coronavirus spreading through communities. At work this week, it was clear people were anxious for their loved ones with underlying health conditions — elderly relatives, children with asthma, spouses with health issues. Being at peace right now, while taking common sense precautions (God gave health regulations to the Jewish people) is clearly a mark of something different among the fearful. 

    "Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
        and whom you teach out of your law,
    to give him rest from days of trouble,
        until a pit is dug for the wicked.
    For the Lord will not forsake his people;
        he will not abandon his heritage;
    for justice will return to the righteous,
        and all the upright in heart will follow it."

    When 9/11 happened, people flocked to churches. When we are facing death, and uncertain of its arrival on our own doorsteps, we want hope. And the only hope we have in the face of death is the knowledge and confidence we have that we are reconciled to God through faith in Jesus Christ. 

    "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2

    I'm so grateful to God for this opportunity to be a voice crying in the wilderness. Today is the day of salvation! 

  3. I love Hebrews 12: 1 – 2, Michelle! "Running with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus" is something I remind myself of every day. 

    Whenever I feel like I can't push on (like yesterday morning!), I receive strength from God remembering this. I pray for His Will, wisdom, humility, and to have my strength renewed. I always ask Him to show me the way He wants me to go, because I have so much to learn, and it's His will I pray for. I trust Him. The peace that comes with that is indescribable, it passes all understand, just like He says. 

    There's nothing more comforting than knowing He is always there.  

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