3dd2e-one2byear2bbibleTODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Ezekiel 39:1–40:27
James 2:18–3:18
Psalm 118:1-18
Proverbs 28:2

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Psalm 118:5-9 (ESV) “Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Our Verses for Today are included in the larger context of Psalms 113-118. These Psalms were called “Praise” (in the Hebrew language, “Hallel”).

The significance of these Psalms is that according to Jewish tradition, they were sung at some of the major Jewish annual celebrations, including the Passover. In fact, it appears that Psalms 113-114 were chanted before the feast of Passover and Psalms 115-118 were chanted after drinking the last cup of the celebration.

So, it is quite possible that Jesus led His disciples in chanting the words of our Verses for Today as he was in the Upper Room the night He was betrayed and the day before He was crucified.

That helps to understand how the words of our Verses for Today are to be understood. Ordinarily, we might read them and feel like we are immune to trouble if we find our rest in God. After all, it says: “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Yet, we see from Jesus’ example and the stories of Jesus’ apostles that resting in God’s care does not make us immune to trouble. Instead, it gives us the opportunity to have the courage and strength to go through the trouble because we know that what is happening to us can only get to us after going through God’s hands first.

When we read the first two chapters of the book of Job, we see this principle illustrated so clearly. Job was a man who was righteous and followed the ways of the Lord. Yet, his life fell apart overnight. When we read the first two chapters, we come to see clearly what Job did not know. He see that his troubles had to pass through God’s hands first before it got to him.

So when we rest in the Lord and determine not to be afraid of others or circumstances, we need to realize that troubles will still come our way. But we can have courage and strength to go through them because we know that our loving Father had to approve of them before they got to us. Further, He will only send our way the things that He intends to make us more like our Savior, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

We’re going to have troubles in this world, friend. But, take heart. If you are a child of God, they have a very good purpose. And you have more than sufficient reason to go through them victoriously with your Father.

I will end with the New Living Translation’s rendering of our Verses for Today:

“5 In my distress I prayed to the LORD,
and the LORD answered me and set me free.
6 The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear.
What can mere people do to me?
7 Yes, the LORD is for me; he will help me.
I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in people.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.”
(Psalms 118:5–9 – NLT)