Noticing

32 The poor will see and be glad — you who seek God, may your hearts live!
33 The Lord hears the needy and does not despise his captive people. Psalm 69:32-33

This is certainly a different emotion for the poor than we’ve seen before. They are glad because of what we do in reverence to God. As we reach out to the poor, God smiles. Of course I can’t back that up from any verse, but the entire Bible echoes the sentiment. A lot can be determined about our character by how we treat the poor.

I don’t know everything there is to know about the Bible, not in the least. But if there is one thing that is apparent to me it’s this: God speaks about the poor quite often. He doesn’t address the political or social leanings of the poor, but instead talks about our response (or lack thereof) to the poor.

Often, though, we need to make an effort to minister to the poor. That ministry can be as simple as giving someone money for food or as complex as feeding an entire family in need. I don’t believe God is asking us to solve poverty, since Jesus Himself said we’d always have the poor among us.

Perhaps He’s just asking us to notice.

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Always On His Mind

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hooves. Psalm 69:30-31

It’s an interesting phenomenon that a few days after I hear a song, something triggers it inside me and I begin singing the song again (or usually just a small section of it). I can do that with songs I learned while I was growing up or songs I heard in church the previous Sunday. One of my late night hobbies is to find youtube videos of bands I grew up with to see where they’re at or even to hear an old song. Sure enough, three days later I’m humming the chorus to that song, seemingly unprovoked or unaware that I’m doing it.

I can’t prove this but perhaps God replays those songs we sing to Him throughout the day. He enjoys our praise and thanksgiving. It’s hard for us to comprehend why except that it’s in God’s character.

What songs have you been singing to Him lately?

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Reaching Out to Him

29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain — may your salvation, God, protect me. Psalm 69:29

Despite all of the suffering others caused David, he still turned to God. It was a testament to his enduring faith despite the circumstances he faced.

We all know what it’s like. We know what it means to feel like the whole world is against us. We may be 3000 years removed from David but we can feel the pain.

Similarly, we also know what it’s like to feel the protection and covering of God. There’s not a feeling quite like it, and it’s difficult to explain to others.

The Word of God today encourages us to keep reaching out to God. And quite frankly, we don’t have to be in dire situations to do it. He wants us to be desperate for Him. Then He will display his awesomeness.

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Non-Candidates for the Book of Life

22 May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap.
23 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.
24 Pour out your wrath on them; let your fierce anger overtake them.
25 May their place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
26 For they persecute those you wound and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
27 Charge them with crime upon crime; do not let them share in your salvation.
28 May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. Psalm 69:22-28

David continues his rant and complaint against his enemies. He’s fairly graphic about what should be done to them for their actions.

The last “wish” in this list adds finality. It’s the ultimate and most serious punishment, being “blotted out of the book of life.” Not surprisingly, I find it a very selfish wish. I say selfish because only God is the ultimate arbiter and judge in eternal matters. While we are certainly free to express our hatred and disgust at the way people have treated us – which is what I think David was doing here – it’s an entirely different matter to hope for eternal damnation for someone. Again, I fully knowledge that in this very sinful world, very bad people do very bad things to other people, and they will get their punishment. It’s just not healthy for us.

Who are you praying for that falls into this category? Is there anyone in your “sphere of influence” (whether past or present) that fits this bill? As difficult and as counterintuitive as it seems,

Continue to pray for that enemy of yours, the one who you probably shouldn’t despise but do.

Continue also to give God the hurt and bitterness from those past relationships that have not gone well. You will be glad you did.

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Truth of the Word of God

19 You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed; all my enemies are before you.
20 Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.
21 They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. Psalm 69:19-21

While verses 19-20 can be argued that it referred to Christ on the cross, verse 21 definitely was a prophecy about what the guards gave him to drink while He hung there.

Still, though, His followers for the most part failed Him and left Him alone. Most of His earthly friends had abandoned Him. He even felt abandoned by the Father. How lonely could that have been, going from perfect communion to isolation?

The point of today’s devotional is simple: three prophecies fulfilled in three verses thousands of years apart from when they were written. Another 230 prophecies were given about Jesus alone.

Fulfilled.

Each one represents a small miracle if there is such a thing.

Each one pounds a nail in the coffin of those who the Bible is a bunch of myths meant to perpetrate a lie.

Rejoice today that you can trust the Word of God.

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