July 22 – OT Reading

Psalm 111-118

Psalm 111

The Lord Praised for His Goodness.

111 Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them. Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonders to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and compassionate. He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever. He has made known to His people the power of His works, In giving them the heritage of the nations.

The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure. They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness. He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name. 10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.

 

Psalm 112

Prosperity of the One Who Fears the Lord.

112 Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; The righteous will be remembered forever.

He will not fear evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is upheld, he will not fear, Until he looks with satisfaction on his adversaries. He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor.

10 The wicked will see it and be vexed, He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked will perish.

 

Psalm 113

The Lord Exalts the Humble.

113 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forever. From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold The things that are in heaven and in the earth? He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. He makes the barren woman abide in the house As a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 114

God’s Deliverance of Israel from Egypt.

114 When Israel went forth from Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion.

The sea looked and fled; The Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, The hills, like lambs. What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs?

Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, Before the God of Jacob, Who turned the rock into a pool of water, The flint into a fountain of water.

 

Psalm 115

Heathen Idols Contrasted with the Lord.

115 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where, now, is their God?” But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, The work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat. Those who make them will become like them, Everyone who trusts in them.

O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 10 O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. 12 The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. 13 He will bless those who fear the Lord, The small together with the great. 14 May the Lord give you increase, You and your children. 15 May you be blessed of the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.

16 The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, But the earth He has given to the sons of men. 17 The dead do not praise the Lord, Nor do any who go down into silence; 18 But as for us, we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 116

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.

116 I love the Lord, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live. The cords of death encompassed me And the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord: “O Lord, I beseech You, save my life!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate. The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me. Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. For You have rescued my soul from death, My eyes from tears, My feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the Lord In the land of the living. 10 I believed when I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” 11 I said in my alarm, “All men are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? 13 I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of the Lord. 14 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people. 15 Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His godly ones. 16 O Lord, surely I am Your servant, I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid, You have loosed my bonds. 17 To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of the Lord. 18 I shall pay my vows to the Lord, Oh may it be in the presence of all His people, 19 In the courts of the Lord’s house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 117

A Psalm of Praise.

117 Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

 

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Saving Goodness.

118 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let those who fear the Lord say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

From my distress I called upon the Lord; The Lord answered me and set me in a large place. The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes.

10 All nations surrounded me; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 12 They surrounded me like bees; They were extinguished as a fire of thorns; In the name of the Lord I will surely cut them off. 13 You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the Lord helped me. 14 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

15 The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. 16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. 17 I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the Lord. 18 The Lord has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; The righteous will enter through it. 21 I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation.

22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. 23 This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O Lord, do save, we beseech You; O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity! 26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord. 27 The Lord is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. 29 Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

July 18 – OT Reading

Psalm 131, 138-139, 143-145

Psalm 131

Childlike Trust in the Lord.

A Song of Ascents, of David.

131 O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me. Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord From this time forth and forever.

 

Psalm 138

Thanksgiving for the Lord’s Favor.

A Psalm of David.

138 I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul.

All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O Lord, When they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the Lord, For great is the glory of the Lord. For though the Lord is exalted, Yet He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me. The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

 

Psalm 139

God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed. 20 For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22 I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

 

Psalm 143

Prayer for Deliverance and Guidance.

A Psalm of David.

143 Hear my prayer, O Lord, Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! And do not enter into judgment with Your servant, For in Your sight no man living is righteous. For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead. Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; My heart is appalled within me.

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your doings; I muse on the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails; Do not hide Your face from me, Or I will become like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.

10 Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. 11 For the sake of Your name, O Lord, revive me. In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble. 12 And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies And destroy all those who afflict my soul, For I am Your servant.

 

Psalm 144

Prayer for Rescue and Prosperity.

A Psalm of David.

144 Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle; My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him? Man is like a mere breath; His days are like a passing shadow.

Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; Touch the mountains, that they may smoke. Flash forth lightning and scatter them; Send out Your arrows and confuse them. Stretch forth Your hand from on high; Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters, Out of the hand of aliens Whose mouths speak deceit, And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to You, O God; Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, 10 Who gives salvation to kings, Who rescues David His servant from the evil sword. 11 Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, Whose mouth speaks deceit And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

12 Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, And our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace; 13 Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce, And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; 14 Let our cattle bear Without mishap and without loss, Let there be no outcry in our streets! 15 How blessed are the people who are so situated; How blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

 

Psalm 145

The Lord Extolled for His Goodness.

A Psalm of Praise, of David.

145 I will extol You, my God, O King, And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works. 10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, And Your godly ones shall bless You. 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power; 12 To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.

14 The Lord sustains all who fall And raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time. 16 You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17 The Lord is righteous in all His ways And kind in all His deeds. 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

Why We Read the Psalms

 

Thoughts About What We’re Reading…

 

The Book of Psalms is not nearly as prized today as it was in the early church and generations ago.

Psalms were sung in the early church as people went about their daily tasks – Psalms were once the church’s Christian ballads.

There was a time when bishops would not ordain a man into the ministry unless he knew the Psalms from end to end, and could repeat each Psalm correctly.

Can you imagine? Today we struggle to memorize Psalm 1 or 23…  Let’s see how does that go – “The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want…”

Of all the books in the Old Testament, the Book of Psalms most vividly represents the faith of individuals in the Lord.

As we read through the Psalms we embrace the inspired responses of human hearts to God’s revelation of Himself in law, history, and prophecy.

Saints of all ages have appropriated this collection of prayers and praises in their public worship and private meditations.

Many psalms address God directly with their poetic expressions of petition and praise. They reveal all the religious feelings of the faithful—fears, doubts, and tragedies, as well as triumphs, joys, and hopes.

The psalmists frequently drew on their experiences for examples of people’s needs and God’s goodness and mercy.

Singing of past deliverances in easily remembered poetry provided support and comfort for believers in their hours of trial, as well as warning them against unbelief and disobedience.

The Psalms, combined with their display of personal religious feelings, make them the most powerful and complete expression of the worship of ancient Israel.

Set in the form of lyric poetry, they became unforgettable. They have often been called the love songs of the people of God.

As we come to the close of the Psalms in our reading in the next couple of weeks, my prayer for you is take the time to dwell in them, embrace them, feed upon them.

We have bunched the Psalms together in this reading plan to support a chronological reading but you are welcome to pick one and memorize it or get into the habit of reading a psalm a day.

I close with following thought – “The book of Psalms has been a royal banquet to me, and in feasting upon its contents I have seemed to eat angels’ food. It is no wonder that the old writers should call it – the school of patience, the soul’s soliloquies, the little Bible, the anatomy of conscience, the rose garden, the pearl island, and the like. It is the paradise of devotion, the Holy Land of poesy, the heart of scripture, the map of experience and the tongue of saints.” – Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David, Preface to Volume 3.

Until next time… Keep reading!

Jim

Some excerpts in this blog were taken directly from the Bible Knowledge Commentary.

July 16 – OT Reading

Psalm 108-110

 

Psalm 108

God Praised and Supplicated to Give Victory.

A Song, a Psalm of David.

108 My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing, I will sing praises, even with my soul. Awake, harp and lyre; I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your lovingkindness is great above the heavens, And Your truth reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth. That Your beloved may be delivered, Save with Your right hand, and answer me!

God has spoken in His holiness: “I will exult, I will portion out Shechem And measure out the valley of Succoth. “Gilead is Mine, Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the helmet of My head; Judah is My scepter. “Moab is My washbowl; Over Edom I shall throw My shoe; Over Philistia I will shout aloud.”

10 Who will bring me into the besieged city? Who will lead me to Edom? 11 Have not You Yourself, O God, rejected us? And will You not go forth with our armies, O God? 12 Oh give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain. 13 Through God we will do valiantly, And it is He who shall tread down our adversaries.

 

Psalm 109

Vengeance Invoked upon Adversaries.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

109 O God of my praise, Do not be silent! For they have opened the wicked and deceitful mouth against me; They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause. In return for my love they act as my accusers; But I am in prayer. Thus they have repaid me evil for good And hatred for my love.

Appoint a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, And let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; Let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. 11 Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, Nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; In a following generation let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, And do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before the Lord continually, That He may cut off their memory from the earth; 16 Because he did not remember to show lovingkindness, But persecuted the afflicted and needy man, And the despondent in heart, to put them to death. 17 He also loved cursing, so it came to him; And he did not delight in blessing, so it was far from him. 18 But he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment, And it entered into his body like water And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be to him as a garment with which he covers himself, And for a belt with which he constantly girds himself. 20 Let this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord, And of those who speak evil against my soul.

21 But You, O God, the Lord, deal kindly with me for Your name’s sake; Because Your lovingkindness is good, deliver me; 22 For I am afflicted and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust. 24 My knees are weak from fasting, And my flesh has grown lean, without fatness. 25 I also have become a reproach to them; When they see me, they wag their head.

26 Help me, O Lord my God; Save me according to Your lovingkindness. 27 And let them know that this is Your hand; You, Lord, have done it. 28 Let them curse, but You bless; When they arise, they shall be ashamed, But Your servant shall be glad. 29 Let my accusers be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe.

30 With my mouth I will give thanks abundantly to the Lord; And in the midst of many I will praise Him. 31 For He stands at the right hand of the needy, To save him from those who judge his soul.

 

Psalm 110

The Lord Gives Dominion to the King.

A Psalm of David.

110 The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
Your youth are to You as the dew.

The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
He will judge among the nations,
He will fill them with corpses,
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

July 15 – OT Reading

Psalm 95, 97-99, 2 Samuel 24

Psalm 95

Praise to the Lord, and Warning against Unbelief.

95 O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for it was He who made it, And His hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us worship and bow down, Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, “When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work. 10 “For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. 11 “Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.”

 

Psalm 97

The Lord’s Power and Dominion.

97 The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; Let the many islands be glad. Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes before Him And burns up His adversaries round about. His lightnings lit up the world; The earth saw and trembled. The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples have seen His glory.

Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, Who boast themselves of idols; Worship Him, all you gods. Zion heard this and was glad, And the daughters of Judah have rejoiced Because of Your judgments, O Lord. For You are the Lord Most High over all the earth; You are exalted far above all gods.

10 Hate evil, you who love the Lord, Who preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown like seed for the righteous And gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, And give thanks to His holy name.

 

Psalm 98

A Call to Praise the Lord for His Righteousness.

A Psalm.

98 O sing to the Lord a new song, For He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. The Lord has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, With the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar and all it contains, The world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, Let the mountains sing together for joy Before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness And the peoples with equity.

 

Psalm 99

Praise to the Lord for His Fidelity to Israel.

99 The Lord reigns, let the peoples tremble; He is enthroned above the cherubim, let the earth shake! The Lord is great in Zion, And He is exalted above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name; Holy is He. The strength of the King loves justice; You have established equity; You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. Exalt the Lord our God And worship at His footstool; Holy is He.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name; They called upon the Lord and He answered them. He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud; They kept His testimonies And the statute that He gave them. O Lord our God, You answered them; You were a forgiving God to them, And yet an avenger of their evil deeds. Exalt the Lord our God And worship at His holy hill, For holy is the Lord our God.

 

2 Samuel 24

The Census Taken

24 Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” The king said to Joab the commander of the army who was with him, “Go about now through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, and register the people, that I may know the number of the people.” But Joab said to the king, “Now may the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see; but why does my lord the king delight in this thing?” Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab and against the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to register the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city that is in the middle of the valley of Gad and toward Jazer. Then they came to Gilead and to the land of Tahtim-hodshi, and they came to Dan-jaan and around to Sidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the Hivites and of the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. So when they had gone about through the whole land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the number of the registration of the people to the king; and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” 11 When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the Lord says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’” 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” 14 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the Lord for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

Pestilence Sent

15 So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. 16 When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

David Builds an Altar

18 So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the Lord had commanded. 20 Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. 21 Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be held back from the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the Lord was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

July 11 – OT Reading

Psalm 5, 38, 41-42

Psalm 5

Prayer for Protection from the Wicked.

For the choir director; for flute accompaniment. A Psalm of David.

5 Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit. But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight before me. There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue. 10 Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices let them fall! In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out, For they are rebellious against You.

11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, Let them ever sing for joy; And may You shelter them, That those who love Your name may exult in You. 12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

 

Psalm 38

Prayer of a Suffering Penitent.

A Psalm of David, for a memorial.

38 O Lord, rebuke me not in Your wrath, And chasten me not in Your burning anger. For Your arrows have sunk deep into me, And Your hand has pressed down on me. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation; There is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities are gone over my head; As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me. My wounds grow foul and fester Because of my folly. I am bent over and greatly bowed down; I go mourning all day long. For my loins are filled with burning, And there is no soundness in my flesh. I am benumbed and badly crushed; I groan because of the agitation of my heart.

Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You. 10 My heart throbs, my strength fails me; And the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me. 11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off. 12 Those who seek my life lay snares for me; And those who seek to injure me have threatened destruction, And they devise treachery all day long.

13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear; And I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth. 14 Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, And in whose mouth are no arguments. 15 For I hope in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, “May they not rejoice over me, Who, when my foot slips, would magnify themselves against me.” 17 For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin. 19 But my enemies are vigorous and strong, And many are those who hate me wrongfully. 20 And those who repay evil for good, They oppose me, because I follow what is good. 21 Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me! 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

 

Psalm 41

The Psalmist in Sickness Complains of Enemies and False Friends.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

41 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble. The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health.

As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.” My enemies speak evil against me, “When will he die, and his name perish?” And when he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood; His heart gathers wickedness to itself; When he goes outside, he tells it. All who hate me whisper together against me; Against me they devise my hurt, saying, “A wicked thing is poured out upon him, That when he lies down, he will not rise up again.” Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.

10 But You, O Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up, That I may repay them. 11 By this I know that You are pleased with me, Because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. 12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And You set me in Your presence forever.

13 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, From everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

 

Psalm 42

BOOK 2

Thirsting for God in Trouble and Exile.

For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

42 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, With the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival.

Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence. O my God, my soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries revile me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

July 9 – OT Reading

Psalm 26/40/58/61-62/64

Psalm 26

Protestation of Integrity and Prayer for Protection.

A Psalm of David.

26 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, And I will not sit with the wicked. I shall wash my hands in innocence, And I will go about Your altar, O Lord, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders.

O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells. Do not take my soul away along with sinners, Nor my life with men of bloodshed, 10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me, and be gracious to me. 12 My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.

 

Psalm 40

God Sustains His Servant.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

40 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the Lord.

How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood. Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.

Sacrifice and meal offering You have not desired; My ears You have opened; Burnt offering and sin offering You have not required. Then I said, “Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”

I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great congregation; Behold, I will not restrain my lips, O Lord, You know. 10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.

11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. 12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see; They are more numerous than the hairs of my head, And my heart has failed me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; Make haste, O Lord, to help me. 14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together Who seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt. 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame Who say to me, “Aha, aha!” 16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, “The Lord be magnified!” 17 Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me. You are my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God.

 

Psalm 58

Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked.

For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David.

58 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O gods? Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men? No, in heart you work unrighteousness; On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands. The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth. They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear, So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, Or a skillful caster of spells.

O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; Break out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord. Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts. Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, Like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun. Before your pots can feel the fire of thorns He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike.

10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11 And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!”

 

Psalm 61

Confidence in God’s Protection.

For the choir director; on a stringed instrument. A Psalm of David.

61 Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

For You have heard my vows, O God; You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name. You will prolong the king’s life; His years will be as many generations. He will abide before God forever; Appoint lovingkindness and truth that they may preserve him. So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may pay my vows day by day.

 

Psalm 62

God Alone a Refuge from Treachery and Oppression.

For the choir director; according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62 My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.

How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath. 10 Do not trust in oppression And do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.

11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; 12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.

 

Psalm 64

Prayer for Deliverance from Secret Enemies.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

64 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; Preserve my life from dread of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity, Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow, To shoot from concealment at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear. They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, “Who can see them?” They devise injustices, saying, “We are ready with a well-conceived plot”; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.

But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded. So they will make him stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who see them will shake the head. Then all men will fear, And they will declare the work of God, And will consider what He has done. 10 The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him; And all the upright in heart will glory.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)