Week of June 4th: Psalm 78-82
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[a] of Asaph.
1 O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, 2 for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— 3 stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. 4 We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. 5 For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, 6 so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. 7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. 8 Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. 10 They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. 11 They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, 12 the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. 13 For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! 14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. 15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. 16 He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river!
17 Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. 18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. 19 They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. 20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. 23 But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. 24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. 25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. 26 He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. 27 He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! 28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. 29 The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. 30 But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, 31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.
32 But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him. 33 So he ended their lives in failure, their years in terror. 34 When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. 35 Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High[b] was their redeemer. 36 But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. 37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. 38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! 39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal, gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland. 41 Again and again they tested God’s patience and provoked the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember his power and how he rescued them from their enemies. 43 They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders on the plain of Zoan. 44 For he turned their rivers into blood, so no one could drink from the streams. 45 He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them and hordes of frogs to ruin them. 46 He gave their crops to caterpillars; their harvest was consumed by locusts. 47 He destroyed their grapevines with hail and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet. 48 He abandoned their cattle to the hail, their livestock to bolts of lightning. 49 He loosed on them his fierce anger— all his fury, rage, and hostility. He dispatched against them a band of destroying angels. 50 He turned his anger against them; he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives but ravaged them with the plague. 51 He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family, the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.[c] 52 But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness. 53 He kept them safe so they were not afraid; but the sea covered their enemies. 54 He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this land of hills he had won for them. 55 He drove out the nations before them; he gave them their inheritance by lot. He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes.
56 But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High. They did not obey his laws. 57 They turned back and were as faithless as their parents. They were as undependable as a crooked bow. 58 They angered God by building shrines to other gods; they made him jealous with their idols. 59 When God heard them, he was very angry, and he completely rejected Israel. 60 Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people. 61 He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured; he surrendered his glory into enemy hands. 62 He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword, because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession. 63 Their young men were killed by fire; their young women died before singing their wedding songs. 64 Their priests were slaughtered, and their widows could not mourn their deaths.
65 Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep, like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor. 66 He routed his enemies and sent them to eternal shame. 67 But he rejected Joseph’s descendants; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. 68 He chose instead the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loved. 69 There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens, as solid and enduring as the earth. 70 He chose his servant David, calling him from the sheep pens. 71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants— God’s own people, Israel. 72 He cared for them with a true heart and led them with skillful hands.
A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, pagan nations have conquered your land, your special possession. They have defiled your holy Temple and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins. 2 They have left the bodies of your servants as food for the birds of heaven. The flesh of your godly ones has become food for the wild animals. 3 Blood has flowed like water all around Jerusalem; no one is left to bury the dead. 4 We are mocked by our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 O Lord, how long will you be angry with us? Forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to acknowledge you— on kingdoms that do not call upon your name. 7 For they have devoured your people Israel,[d] making the land a desolate wilderness. 8 Do not hold us guilty for the sins of our ancestors! Let your compassion quickly meet our needs, for we are on the brink of despair.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name. 10 Why should pagan nations be allowed to scoff, asking, “Where is their God?” Show us your vengeance against the nations, for they have spilled the blood of your servants. 11 Listen to the moaning of the prisoners. Demonstrate your great power by saving those condemned to die.
12 O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at you. 13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be sung to the tune “Lilies of the Covenant.”
1 Please listen, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph’s descendants like a flock. O God, enthroned above the cherubim, display your radiant glory 2 to Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh. Show us your mighty power. Come to rescue us!
3 Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 4 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, how long will you be angry with our prayers? 5 You have fed us with sorrow and made us drink tears by the bucketful. 6 You have made us the scorn[e] of neighboring nations. Our enemies treat us as a joke.
7 Turn us again to yourself, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved. 8 You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine; you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land. 9 You cleared the ground for us, and we took root and filled the land. 10 Our shade covered the mountains; our branches covered the mighty cedars. 11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea; our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.[f] 12 But now, why have you broken down our walls so that all who pass by may steal our fruit? 13 The wild boar from the forest devours it, and the wild animals feed on it.
14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies. Look down from heaven and see our plight. Take care of this grapevine 15 that you yourself have planted, this son you have raised for yourself. 16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies. May they perish at the sight of your frown. 17 Strengthen the man you love, the son of your choice. 18 Then we will never abandon you again. Revive us so we can call on your name once more.
19 Turn us again to yourself, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.
For the choir director: A psalm of Asaph, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.[g]
1 Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. 2 Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. 3 Blow the ram’s horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival! 4 For this is required by the decrees of Israel; it is a regulation of the God of Jacob. 5 He made it a law for Israel[h] when he attacked Egypt to set us free.
I heard an unknown voice say, 6 “Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. 7 You cried to me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and tested your faith when there was no water at Meribah. Interlude
8 “Listen to me, O my people, while I give you stern warnings. O Israel, if you would only listen to me! 9 You must never have a foreign god; you must not bow down before a false god. 10 For it was I, the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.
11 “But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. 12 So I let them follow their own stubborn desires, living according to their own ideas. 13 Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! 14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! 15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him; they would be doomed forever. 16 But I would feed you with the finest wheat. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
A psalm of Asaph.
1 God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings: 2 “How long will you hand down unjust decisions by favoring the wicked? Interlude
3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. 4 Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. 5 But these oppressors know nothing; they are so ignorant! They wander about in darkness, while the whole world is shaken to the core. 6 I say, ‘You are gods; you are all children of the Most High. 7 But you will die like mere mortals and fall like every other ruler.’”
8 Rise up, O God, and judge the earth, for all the nations belong to you.