Focus on the LORD

Thursday July 15, 2021

Today’s Reading: Psalm 80

Listen, Shepherd of Israel, who guides Joseph like a flock; You who sit enthroned [on] the cherubim, rise up

Psalm 80:1

Reflection: Even when the sheep of His pasture are scattered, the LORD is still Shepherd over Israel, His flock. Even when the surrounding nations have invaded their land and caused much strife, the LORD is still seated upon His Holy Throne. There was a vine that God planted in the beginning, which He cared for so that it flourished and thrived. The vine did indeed grow, but produced sour grapes which were unfit to use. So then, the LORD left the vine to be eaten by the wild animals which invaded the land. In other words, the good King decreed His perfect Law over the land, and He provided all that was needed for His people to thrive. But the deeds of the people were wicked, useless, void of His purpose. He could not trust His own people – who had benefitted from His rule and reign – to execute that Law within His Kingdom. What a tragedy that the people had fallen to sin though their King continued to be righteous. As the psalmist cries out for the LORD’s salvation, He does so with the confidence that although the people have fallen away from God, the LORD is still seated upon the throne as King. While the people remain corrupt, the LORD has remained not only mighty and powerful, but also faithful and true to His own. And so, the psalmist seeks God. Because He is faithful, there will come a time soon when even in the peoples’ sin, in their refusal to return to God, God will draw near to them just as He has promised.

We must also remain focused on seeking the LORD in every situation, remembering that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. In every story of Scripture, the dark situations of people cannot negate the LORD’s goodness. The fallenness of humanity only illumines the great works of God.

Prayer: O LORD, You sit on Your heavenly Throne, and yet You bring Yourself near to Your people. You are powerful and mighty, and yet You are compassionate and kind. Forgive me, LORD, for the times that I have rejected Your Will and refused to receive Your faithfulness. Forgive me for the times that I have gone astray from You. I pray, LORD, that You would help me live a life of full surrender to Your sovereignty. Show me a life that is within Your safety and perfect care. Keep me near to You, that I might always remember all that You have done for me and glorify You in all that I do. I lift up this prayer to You in Jesus’ Name, AMEN.

Bible-in-a-Year Reading Plan (credit: Bible, studytools.com): John 15:1-16:4; 2 Chronicles 23; Psalm 80

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