Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Psalms 99-101
Three psalms or hymns of praise, is the scripture reading for today. Like all the psalms, these were songs sung by Levite singers and musicians in the Temple and cherished by Jews and Christians down through the centuries.
Some psalms commemorate special events in Israel’s history. Many of the psalms are deeply personal for their authors and reflect times of sorrow and joy, conviction and repentance, distress and thanksgiving. The majority of the psalms are, as the name of the book implies, written for the purpose of praising the LORD by focusing on His holy character and attributes.
Psalm 99 reminds the people, “The LORD [Jehovah] reigneth” (99:1), He is King and Sovereign of the earth. “The LORD…is high above all the people” (99:2) and His “name” [is] “great and terrible…for it is holy” (99:3). Psalm 99 concludes with an exhortation to “Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill [the setting of the Temple and sacrifices]; for the LORD our God is holy” (99:9).
Psalm 100 is perhaps one of the most beloved of the psalms and has inspired many great anthems, hymns and choruses of praise. For the sake of this brief devotional, I will take the liberty of adding my amplification of the text. As you read the following, join me and the throng of God’s people who are entering the outer courts of the Temple. Listen as the singers and musicians call the people to worship the LORD.
Psalm 100:1-5 – 1 Make a joyful noise [shout; sound an alarm; ] unto the LORD [Jehovah; Yahweh; Eternal God], all ye lands [earth; country; world].
2 Serve [work; labor; become servants] the LORD with gladness [joy; rejoicing; pleasure; delight]: come [enter; pass; come in] before his presence [face] with singing [joyful voice; triumph; shout for joy].
3 Know [perceive; understand] ye that the LORD he is God [mighty God]: it is he that hath made us [wrought; prepare; squeeze or mold], and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter [come] into his gates with thanksgiving [praise; offerings; i.e hymns of thanksgiving], and into his courts [towns; villages] with praise: be thankful [give thanks] unto him, and bless [praise] his name [i.e. Person – character; attributes].
5 For the LORD is good [better; best; pleasant; pleasing]; his mercy [lovingkindness; favor; steadfast love and grace] is everlasting [perpetual; always; eternal]; and his truth [faithfulness; ] endureth to all generations [ages].
While the focus of Psalm 100 is on the LORD’s attributes (He is mighty, good, merciful and faithful), Psalm 101 is filled with assertive statements of David’s vows and devotion to the LORD. The spiritual principles found in this chapter are as timely and applicable to our day as they were when David penned them 3,000 years ago.
Giving no room for ambiguity, David states his vows to the LORD in a series of emphatic, life guiding principles and convictions, many beginning with the words, “I will…”
Psalm 101:1-8 – 1 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
I close by inviting you to meditate on David’s vows and realize each of them should be true of you and me.
Vs. 1 – I will proclaim the LORD is merciful and just.
Vs. 2 – I will conduct myself in a godly manner and what I am in public I will be in the privacy of my home and before my family.
Vs. 3 – I will guard my eyes and thoughts from wickedness and will not look upon or allow the way of the wicked to shape my heart and thoughts.
Vs. 4 – I will not allow the wicked to be numbered among my friends nor employ any who are dishonest.
Vs. 5 – I will not fellowship with those who gossip or slander their neighbors nor tolerate the proud.
Vs. 6 – I will seek the fellowship and company of those who walk in righteousness.
Vs. 7 – I will not tolerate liars and deceivers.
Vs. 8 – I will not tolerate the wicked or give them a safe place in my life, family or home.
Friend, are those statements true of you? They should be and can be if you are willing, like David, to assert them in your soul and engrave them upon your heart. Write them down in your own words and place them in prominent places in your daily life.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith