Week of May 28th: Psalm 73-77
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?”
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. 2 But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. 3 For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. 4 They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. 5 They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. 6 They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. 7 These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! 8 They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. 9 They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. 10 And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. 11 “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” 12 Look at these wicked people— enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.
13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? 14 I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.
15 If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. 16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! 17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. 18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. 19 In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. 20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. 22 I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. 23 Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
27 Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
A psalm[a] of Asaph.
1 O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture? 2 Remember that we are the people you chose long ago, the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession! And remember Jerusalem,[b] your home here on earth. 3 Walk through the awful ruins of the city; see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.
4 There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries; there they set up their battle standards. 5 They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest. 6 With axes and picks, they smashed the carved paneling. 7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground. They defiled the place that bears your name. 8 Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!” So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.
9 We no longer see your miraculous signs. All the prophets are gone, and no one can tell us when it will end. 10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you? Will you let them dishonor your name forever? 11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand? Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.
12 You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. 13 You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. 14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan[c] and let the desert animals eat him. 15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. 16 Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight[d] and the sun. 17 You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.
18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord. A foolish nation has dishonored your name. 19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves. Don’t forget your suffering people forever.
20 Remember your covenant promises, for the land is full of darkness and violence! 21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again. Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause. Remember how these fools insult you all day long. 23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said or their growing uproar.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!”
1 We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. 3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. Interlude
4 “I warned the proud, ‘Stop your boasting!’ I told the wicked, ‘Don’t raise your fists! 5 Don’t raise your fists in defiance at the heavens or speak with such arrogance.’” 6 For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness— should raise a defiant fist.[e] 7 It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall. 8 For the Lord holds a cup in his hand that is full of foaming wine mixed with spices. He pours out the wine in judgment, and all the wicked must drink it, draining it to the dregs.
9 But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 For God says, “I will break the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.”
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph. A song to be accompanied by stringed instruments.
1 God is honored in Judah; his name is great in Israel. 2 Jerusalem[f] is where he lives; Mount Zion is his home. 3 There he has broken the fiery arrows of the enemy, the shields and swords and weapons of war. Interlude
4 You are glorious and more majestic than the everlasting mountains.[g] 5 Our boldest enemies have been plundered. They lie before us in the sleep of death. No warrior could lift a hand against us. 6 At the blast of your breath, O God of Jacob, their horses and chariots lay still.
7 No wonder you are greatly feared! Who can stand before you when your anger explodes? 8 From heaven you sentenced your enemies; the earth trembled and stood silent before you. 9 You stand up to judge those who do evil, O God, and to rescue the oppressed of the earth. Interlude 10 Human defiance only enhances your glory, for you use it as a weapon.[h]
11 Make vows to the Lord your God, and keep them. Let everyone bring tribute to the Awesome One. 12 For he breaks the pride of princes, and the kings of the earth fear him.
For Jeduthun, the choir director: A psalm of Asaph.
1 I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me! 2 When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. 3 I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. Interlude
4 You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! 5 I think of the good old days, long since ended, 6 when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. 7 Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? 8 Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? 9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion? Interlude
10 And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” 11 But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. 12 They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
13 O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? 14 You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. 15 By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Interlude
16 When the Red Sea[i] saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. 17 The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. 18 Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. 19 Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! 20 You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.