Week of May 21st: Psalm 68-72
Here’s the weekly outline:
5 minutes a day -If you’re not currently reading the Bible, start with 5 minutes a day. This reading plan will take you through all 260 chapters of the New Testament, one chapter per day. The gospels are read throughout the year to keep the story of Jesus fresh all year.
5 days a week -Determine a time and location to spend 5 minutes a day for 5 days a week. It is best to have a consistent time and a quiet place where you can regularly meet with the Lord.
5 ways to dig deeper -We must pause in our reading to dig into the Bible. Below are 5 different ways to dig deeper each day. These exercises will encourage meditation. We recommend trying a single idea for a week to find what works best for you. Remember to keep a pen and paper ready to capture God’s insights.
Underline or highlight key words or phrases in the Bible passage. Use a pen or highlighter to mark new discoveries from the text. Periodically, review your markings to see what God is teaching you.
Put it into your own words. Read the passage or verse slowly, then rewrite each phrase or sentence using your own words.
Ask and answer some questions. Questions unlock new discoveries and meanings. Ask questions about the passage using these words: Who, What, Why, When, Where, or How. Jot down some thoughts on how you would answer these questions.
Capture the Big Idea. God’s Word communicates big ideas. Periodically ask, “What’s the big idea in this sentence, paragraph, or chapter?”
Personalize the meaning. When God speaks to us through the Scriptures, we must respond. A helpful habit is personalizing the Bible through application. Ask: “How could my life be different today as I respond to what I’m reading?”
For the choir director: A song. A psalm of David.
1 Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies. Let those who hate God run for their lives. 2 Blow them away like smoke. Melt them like wax in a fire. Let the wicked perish in the presence of God. 3 But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy. 4 Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.[a] His name is the Lord— rejoice in his presence!
5 Father to the fatherless, defender of widows— this is God, whose dwelling is holy. 6 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
7 O God, when you led your people out from Egypt, when you marched through the dry wasteland, Interlude 8 the earth trembled, and the heavens poured down rain before you, the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9 You sent abundant rain, O God, to refresh the weary land. 10 There your people finally settled, and with a bountiful harvest, O God, you provided for your needy people.
11 The Lord gives the word, and a great army[b] brings the good news. 12 Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. 13 Even those who lived among the sheepfolds found treasures— doves with wings of silver and feathers of gold. 14 The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon.
15 The mountains of Bashan are majestic, with many peaks stretching high into the sky. 16 Why do you look with envy, O rugged mountains, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live, where the Lord himself will live forever?
17 Surrounded by unnumbered thousands of chariots, the Lord came from Mount Sinai into his sanctuary. 18 When you ascended to the heights, you led a crowd of captives. You received gifts from the people, even from those who rebelled against you. Now the Lord God will live among us there.
19 Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Interlude 20 Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.
21 But God will smash the heads of his enemies, crushing the skulls of those who love their guilty ways. 22 The Lord says, “I will bring my enemies down from Bashan; I will bring them up from the depths of the sea. 23 You, my people, will wash[c] your feet in their blood, and even your dogs will get their share!”
24 Your procession has come into view, O God— the procession of my God and King as he goes into the sanctuary. 25 Singers are in front, musicians behind; between them are young women playing tambourines. 26 Praise God, all you people of Israel; praise the Lord, the source of Israel’s life. 27 Look, the little tribe of Benjamin leads the way. Then comes a great throng of rulers from Judah and all the rulers of Zebulun and Naphtali.
28 Summon your might, O God.[d] Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. 29 The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. 30 Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. 31 Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals[e]; let Ethiopia[f] bring tribute to God. 32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude 33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. 34 Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. 35 God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Lilies.”
1 Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. 2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. 3 I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me. 4 Those who hate me without cause outnumber the hairs on my head. Many enemies try to destroy me with lies, demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal.
5 O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you. 6 Don’t let those who trust in you be ashamed because of me, O Sovereign Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Don’t let me cause them to be humiliated, O God of Israel. 7 For I endure insults for your sake; humiliation is written all over my face. 8 Even my own brothers pretend they don’t know me; they treat me like a stranger.
9 Passion for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me. 10 When I weep and fast, they scoff at me. 11 When I dress in burlap to show sorrow, they make fun of me. 12 I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunks sing about me.
13 But I keep praying to you, Lord, hoping this time you will show me favor. In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. 14 Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper! Save me from those who hate me, and pull me from these deep waters. 15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me, or the deep waters swallow me, or the pit of death devour me.
16 Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful. 17 Don’t hide from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in deep trouble! 18 Come and redeem me; free me from my enemies.
19 You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. 20 Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. 21 But instead, they give me poison[g] for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst.
22 Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap.[h] 23 Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually.[i] 24 Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. 25 Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. 26 To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. 27 Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. 28 Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous.
29 I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
30 Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor him with thanksgiving. 31 For this will please the Lord more than sacrificing cattle, more than presenting a bull with its horns and hooves. 32 The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. 33 For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people.
34 Praise him, O heaven and earth, the seas and all that move in them. 35 For God will save Jerusalem[j] and rebuild the towns of Judah. His people will live there and settle in their own land. 36 The descendants of those who obey him will inherit the land, and those who love him will live there in safety.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, asking God to remember him.
1 Please, God, rescue me! Come quickly, Lord, and help me. 2 May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame. May those who take delight in my trouble be turned back in disgrace. 3 Let them be horrified by their shame, for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!” 4 But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “God is great!” 5 But as for me, I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O Lord, do not delay.
1 O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. 2 Save me and rescue me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me, and set me free. 3 Be my rock of safety where I can always hide. Give the order to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked, from the clutches of cruel oppressors. 5 O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. 6 Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you!
7 My life is an example to many, because you have been my strength and protection. 8 That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long. 9 And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t abandon me when my strength is failing. 10 For my enemies are whispering against me. They are plotting together to kill me. 11 They say, “God has abandoned him. Let’s go and get him, for no one will help him now.”
12 O God, don’t stay away. My God, please hurry to help me. 13 Bring disgrace and destruction on my accusers. Humiliate and shame those who want to harm me. 14 But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more. 15 I will tell everyone about your righteousness. All day long I will proclaim your saving power, though I am not skilled with words.[k] 16 I will praise your mighty deeds, O Sovereign Lord. I will tell everyone that you alone are just.
17 O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do. 18 Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.
19 Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? 20 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. 21 You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.
22 Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel. 23 I will shout for joy and sing your praises, for you have ransomed me. 24 I will tell about your righteous deeds all day long, for everyone who tried to hurt me has been shamed and humiliated.
A psalm of Solomon.
1 Give your love of justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. 2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful. 4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. 5 May they fear you[l] as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon remains in the sky. Yes, forever!
6 May the king’s rule be refreshing like spring rain on freshly cut grass, like the showers that water the earth. 7 May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the moon is no more. 8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River[m] to the ends of the earth. 9 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and other distant lands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him.
12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. 13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. 14 He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for their lives are precious to him.
15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundant grain throughout the land, flourishing even on the hilltops. May the fruit trees flourish like the trees of Lebanon, and may the people thrive like grass in a field. 17 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise.
18 Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!
20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)