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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bailout! (Psalm 24:1, 5))

"If the LORD had not been on our side--let Israel say--if the LORD had not been on our side . . . the raging waters would have swept us away."

This is the era of the bailout. Government has stepped in to bail out banks, car companies, homeowners, and just about every imaginable entity going through trouble. The constant refrain from every one of these groups is that they are in trouble and they need help from government.

David, however, was the government in his day, and he discovered a powerful lesson about the help that any man could give. David discovered that there is only One who can bail humans out of their troubles--God. Today's reading abounds with this truth.

Psalm 124 begins with the acknowledgement that the LORD was on Israel's side, and without Him they would have been defeated by foes and swept away by waters. David declares, "Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Psalm 108 begins with a song of praise to the greatness of God's love--a love expressed by faithfulness to God's people and deliverance for God's people. Both this psalm and Psalm 60 declare the very same truth, "Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless. With God we will gain the victory, and He will trample down our enemies" (108:12-13; 60:11-12).

Psalm 20 illustrates this truth concretely when David declares, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God" (20:7). 

Here is the key--you either trust in government--its military might, its financial stability, its integrity and power--or you trust in the LORD. Ultimately, this government will fail; all nations one day will turn their power over to one who rebels against God and hates His people. God's people need to learn now not to trust in anything but God. Real faith means that God is my ultimate and only hope.

Questions from Today's Chronological Bible Reading: Psalm 124; 108; 60; 2 Samuel 8:9-14; 1 Chronicles 18:9-13; Psalm 44; 20; 2 Samuel 23:18-19
  • Psalm 124 is called a "song of ascents"? What does that mean?
  • Psalm 124, 108, and 60 recount the same theme, yet they have different emphases. How are they alike, and in what ways do they differ?
  • Psalm 44 deals with a military defeat; what lessons does David learn and express in the psalm from defeat?
  • Find on a map the kingdoms David defeats; note the extent of his kingdom.
  • What does David do with hard-won treasure as well as that given by Tou?
  • How did Abishai become famous, and how did he die?
Turning Truth into Prayer:
As you end this day's reading, purpose in your heart to transfer your trust from the temporal things--government, police, position, and possessions, to name a few--and begin to trust in the eternal God. He alone brings true peace. Memorize Ps. 20:7 and make it a prayer to the God of your life--"LORD, some trust in chariots and some in horses, but I will trust in the name of the LORD my God."