Bible Reading Notes—Step 6: Week 38

Sunday – Psalm 67

This Psalm appeals for God to be gracious and for God’s ways to be known in the Earth. Of all His ways, none is greater and more necessary than God’s plan of salvation – His plan to save man from their sin. It is this that leads to joy and praise among the nations. Twice there is a refrain, like a song chorus, for the people of the nations to praise God. This means that God’s plan for saving was not just for Israel, it was for everyone. The blessing will be focused on the land, which usually means the land of Israel. The first words are actually part of the priestly blessing in Numbers 6 verse 24-26. God’s plan to save and bless His people have been consistent from the beginning, just like the blessing from the priests.

Monday – Psalm 72

This Psalm describes a wonderful kingdom ruled by a wonderful King. This King administers true justice. So just is this reign, that the King defends the cause of the poor and saves them from oppression. He brings in an age of righteousness and plenty. Many kings visit and honour him with gifts and recognition. In fact, all nations will be blessed through this king. The words from verse 17 are a direct quotation from God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 verse 3. This king is the means by which the promise to Abraham will be fulfilled. The borders of the kingdom described in the Psalm are those promised to Abraham in Genesis 15 verse 18. Not only does this Psalm describe the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, it also describes the fulfilment of God’s promise to David (2 Samuel 7 verse 12-16). The promise to David was to have a King of Israel that would reign for ever. So in Psalm 72, we read that the king reigns as long as the sun. God will bring about the fulfilment of this Psalm and both promises at a unknown time in the future. The angel Gabriel tells us that the King is none other than Jesus (Luke 1 verses 32-33). Now we can re-read the Psalm and understand the picture clearly – it is Christ reigning in righteousness and justice and receiving honour from the kings of the nations! As a result of the reign of Jesus, the land is bountiful and all nations are blessed. What a wonderful Psalm!

Tuesday – Psalm 88

The words of this Psalm describe a person in greatest danger. He is full of trouble and like one who is on the point of death, seemingly with no way out. It is the petition of one who has no hope. He is constantly crying. Nor is this a recent situation; the writer has been in such desperate straits from a young age. The person understands that his life has been overruled by God. Even though his friends have abandoned him, it is God who has brought him down to this point. So he appeals to God for help. He argues that the dead are not able to praise God, neither are they able to teach others about God’s greatness. So that is why he should carry on living. The Psalm ends without any end to the suffering of the writer and no solution. He continues to sing his appeal to God. We must conclude that God wants His people to keep trusting and singing and appealing in their distress. Never should His people stop taking their concerns to God. Those who empathise with this situation will particularly understand these words when they are read or sung.

Wednesday – Psalm 90

If we are wise, we will consider the shortness of our life. We may live 70 years, or 80 years, but it soon ends. Compared to the everlasting God, we are like grass that only lives a day. But 1000 years is like a day to God. We will come and go, but God remains. God punishes man for man’s own sins, so that man quickly dies. Moses, the writer, lived to 120 years of age, and watched many of his peers turn back to dust. He appeals for the time when, one morning, God will have compassion. On this day, there will be gladness, joy and unfailing love. It remains for the singer to use his brief time on this earth wisely, so that God will bless him with this joyful morning.

Thursday – Psalm 91

Those who trust in God are greatly blessed. God hears those who truly follow Him. He saves them from disease, from trouble, from harm, from evil circumstance, from dangerous animals and from evil people. These people put their trust in God so much so that it can be said that they live with God. God is their refuge in every trouble. He is their fortress. They will be saved. They will not die, but will have long life. The best example of such trust is Jesus. Some of these words were in Jesus’s mind when tempted in the wilderness (verse 11-12). We know that Jesus was delivered from every evil – even death. God did satisfy him with long life and salvation, and Jesus is alive for evermore.

Friday – Psalm 95

God has designed our salvation, and for this He deserves our praise and thanks. He is so great and yet cares for us like a shepherd cares for his flock. This does not mean that the salvation of God’s people is always assured. The Psalm directs us to think of the example of the wilderness journey after the people of Israel left Egypt in the Exodus. The behaviour of the people of Israel was not as God wanted. As a result, these disobedient people were not allowed to enter into the Promised Land. Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 quotes extensively from this example and explains that unbelief is a reason for not being able to have God’s future rest. We have been warned!

Saturday – Psalm 96

We are invited to sing a new song about God’s greatness. God has planned to save man (from sin and death) and so God deserves all praise. We should sing of His splendour, His majesty, His strength, His glory and His deeds. God certainly deserves all the accolades and offerings that we can give Him. We should communicate His greatness among the nations and let them know that God reigns. Because God is in control of the earth, He will judge the nations and peoples with truth and righteousness. Praise God!