The Lord is my Shepherd! Psalm 23 is another psalm credited to David. It is not known when it was written. It would be fitting during times of prosperity or times of adversity. It would be fitting for any of us to repeat at any time in our own lives.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Today’s reading: Psalms 21-23
Monoah is probably not a name you easily recognize, but what about his son, Samson? We know the story of how strong Samson was and that he lost his strength when his hair was cut off. Did any of you other guys ever want to let your hair grow long to see if it made you stronger? Well before Samson became this strong man, his mother was approached by an angel who said “Behold, you are barren and have not borne children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.” (Judges 13:3) When she told her husband Monoah what had happened, he did what we all should do: “Then Manoah prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.’” (Judges 13:8) We cannot expect God to send us an angel, but He will answer our prayers for guidance. That guidance will come with study of His word and living a life in service to Him.
Today’s reading: Judges 12-16
In Genesis chapter 28 we read of Jacob’s dream of the ladder going into Heaven and God’s promise to him. Just one chapter prior to this, Jacob, with the help of his mother had deceived his father Isaac. What has changed? What was the purpose of God giving Jacob this dream? In the dream He promises Jacob that thru him, “all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen 28:14) The dream had to be humbling to Jacob. It was more than a dream like we would have today. Jacob knew this was truly God speaking to him. “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’” (Genesis 28:16) This is another instance of God working thru imperfect men. Like Jacob, none of us will ever be perfect, but if we stay close to Him and His word we can glorify His name in the way that we live.
Today’s reading: Genesis 28-31
The Pharisees wanted to test Jesus and asked Him what was the greatest commandment. His answer included the first and second: …“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40) If we do have love for God and man, our actions will follow.
Today’s reading: Matthew 20-22
We do not always agree with things done by our government, but as Christians we are commanded to follow the laws of the land. The only exception would be when those laws are contrary to God’s word. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)
Today’s reading: Romans 13-14
Isaiah 34-35 is a prophecy of the wrath of God on the nations that were against His people. We know the ending: “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10) We may not be fighting these types of physical battles, but we can still be the “ransomed of the Lord” and enjoy this same protection and promise from our Heavenly Father if we follow Him.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 34-39
Job’s response to his friends gets pretty harsh. He was not happy that they were accusing him of receiving these things for punishment for some wrong he had done. The questions he asks put back on them accusation of their possible wrongdoing. “Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?” (Job 13:9) We all know nothing can be hidden from God, but He wants us to confess our sins to Him. (1 John 1:9)
Today’s reading: Job 13-14
Psalm 18 is a song of victory after David had conquered his enemies. The same song is also found in 2nd Samuel 22 with some variations. David had accomplished much and could have easily gotten arrogant and taken full credit for everything. But no matter how great the things he had done, David always knew where the credit was due. In the first three verses he shares his love for the Lord, he calls Him the rock and deliverer and exclaims that He is worthy to be praised.
David also had confidence that God was always with him. “For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.” (Psalms 18:29) David made his share of mistakes and we will too, but like David we can have that same confidence in our Heavenly Father today if we follow His word.
Today’s reading: Psalms 18-20
Gideon was about to lead his army to fight the Midianites. God wanted fewer men to go to fight so He could show His power. What method did he use to decide who would go fight? The first way was just to ask who was scared and let those people go home. The number of men left was still too many so He then narrowed them down by how they drank water. “So he brought the people down to the water. And the LORD said to Gideon, “Every one who laps the water with his tongue, as a dog laps, you shall set by himself. Likewise, every one who kneels down to drink.” (Judges 7:5) If you had been asked to choose 300 men to go to battle how would you have done it? I doubt any one of us would have used this method. We do not always understand exactly the reason He does things, but just like in this battle we see that His ways work out for the best every time. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1Co 1:25)
Today’s reading: Day 45 – Judges 7-11
Abraham was a man known for his faith. Another man who showed great faith was Abraham’s servant who was trusted to find a wife for Isaac. He went on his way to find a wife, but when he got close, he prayed. His prayer was for God’s guidance. He knew this was a big responsibility that was placed on him. He did not not just sit at home and pray waiting for God to drop a solution into his lap. He went to work while also asking God for guidance. We should pray with the same trust that God will guide us. We know there will be no miraculous sign, but if we are striving toward righteous goals He will be there to lead us on the right path.
Today’s reading: Genesis 24-27