1 Kings 2:1-9; 2 Samuel 23:1-7; 1 Kings 2:10-12; 1 Chronicles 29:26-30; Psalm 4-6; Psalm 8-9; Psalm 11
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Dramatic readings in First Kings today! David's final instructions to Solomon include some strong words about how Joab & Shimei should die. And later in today's readings, these words come to fruition. An image is below for David giving his final instructions to Solomon in today's readings:
In 1 Kings 2:10 in today's readings, we read this simple verse that concludes our readings of David's life (for now... we'll read more about David later in the Bible this year) - "Then David died and was buried in the City of David."
Psalm 4 is a wonderful Davidic Psalm. Verse 7 stood out to me today" "You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and wine." Do you believe that God's Spirit can give you greater joy than any amount of money or material goods or even human love can give? Will you seek a deeper relationship with God this year and ask God for this holy joy?
I love Psalm 5 verse 3: "Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly." This is a great reminder to pray in the mornings - before we start the hustle and bustle of the day. I know that many of you are reading the One Year Bible readings in the morning, which I think is a great way to start your day! I do see a huge positive difference in my day if I do pray to God in the morning and pray specifically about the upcoming day - and pray for others that I will interact with that day as well. Praise God for the morning!
Actually, while I'm talking about the morning here, let me go off on a tangent if you don't mind... :) I honestly have lived much of my life as a "night owl." I went to bed late and woke up late. And I had all kinds of good "reasons" of why I was a night owl. But, I will be honest here - I don't think being a night owl was good for me. I honestly believe there is so much wisdom in the old adage of "early to bed, early to rise, helps make a person healthy, wealthy and wise." I personally think that being a night owl was a lack of discipline on my part. I don't mean to say all this to make you other night owls out there feel guilty... :) But, I do want to encourage you, in that if you think you are stuck being a night owl the rest of your life, I don't think it is true. I believe you can make the transition to being a morning person. I am an example of someone who has transitioned from being a late-night person to an early-to-bed person. (well, yes, I'm still a bit in the transition phase sometimes it seems...) And I am here to tell you, mornings rock! Early mornings are so beautiful and peaceful! They really are an amazing time of the day to connect with God... Praise God for the morning!
As I read Psalm 6, it seems very penitential to me - like David was making a confession of sins and praying for forgiveness from God. As you read through these verses, have you ever felt like this? I have. And it ain't fun. But, it's part of the healing process. I do think we need to allow ourselves to get fully broken before God before we get fully healed. We can't mask over or hide from God what's really going on - we have got to put it all out there on the table before God, for him to be able to truly fix it. However - there is great encouragement and confidence from David in this Psalm in verse 9: "The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer." The Lord will hear your plea! The Lord will answer your prayer! Please plea and pray to him if you need to. He will listen and answer.
Today we read Psalm 8! Verses 3 & 4 I love: "When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers-- the moon and the stars you have set in place-- what are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us?" What I love about this verse is that before I had faith in Jesus, and even God, I used to always look toward the night sky and just be amazed by the stars! I would always think to myself - there is no way that this all just happened by chance. There's gotta be something bigger going on making all of this happen. The night sky was evangelizing me!! :) What a beautiful thing. Have you ever had the experience of nature, God’s creation, evangelizing you? When you are out in nature, do you offer up praise and thanks to God for His amazingly beautiful creation?
Psalm 9 verse 9 stood out at me today: "The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble." When we are in trouble, do we run to God for shelter? Or do we look elsewhere? Where will we ultimately find true peace and rest from the storms of life? Do you believe that the Bible is a haven for you in the midst of the storms of life?
Psalm 9 verse 18 is so true and powerful: "For the needy will not be forgotten forever; the hopes of the poor will not always be crushed." This is a great reminder that God's heart is for the poor in this world! If God's heart is for the poor - should our heart be for the poor too? How is your heart for the poor these days? How do you remember the poor and their hopes?
Today we read Psalm 11, which is one that you might miss the full meaning of if you didn't know some of the commentary behind this Psalm. Basically in this Psalm King David is expressing his unshakable trust in God to other people around him who are very scared of enemy attacks. Knowing this - check out verse 1: "I trust in the LORD for protection. So why do you say to me, "Fly to the mountains for safety!" Like David, do we really trust in God for our protection? Or do we sometimes rely on others or our own cunning - or, our own fear - for protection? Are there times when we are faced with a challenging situation that we feel like running away from it? “Fleeing to the mountains” for safety? When, instead, should we simply trust in God for our protection and move forward in spite of the fear within us? Is there an area of your life where you need to turn over more trust in God for ultimate protection? Will you flee to God only instead of fleeing to the mountains?
Worship Video: Psalm 5:3 in today's readings reminded me of the wonderful worship song "A New Hallelujah" by Michael W. Smith. Here's a great live version of the song featuring the African Children's Choir from Uganda!
Have you ever sung "A New Hallelujah" to God? Click here and sing!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. " Psalm 9:1 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you give thanks to God with all of your heart and tell of His wonderful deeds each and every day.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
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