Devotional Readings for August 1 - August 7
Sunday – Psalm 71
Monday – Psalm 72
Tuesday – 2 Samuel 16:15-17:14
Wednesday – 2 Samuel 17:15-17:29
Thursday – Hebrews 8
Friday – Hebrews 9:1-10
Saturday – Hebrews 9:11-28
Psalm 70 is a great way to start the week. This is a song of confidence in God. The writer tells God that he has trusted in Him since he was a Child, and that God has never once let him down. Now the writer is in a position of need once again, and knows just where to go – to God. It is not a song of desperation, although the situation is desperate. It is a song of confidence and praise.
Psalm 71 at first seems very different. This is a song of prayer to God, asking that God will bless, guide, and protect the king. In those days, the fate of the king was the fate of the country – if God provided a wise and good king, who was strong in faith and strong in character, then the nation and the people would prosper. While it seems the theme of this psalm is very different from the theme of Psalm 70, in fact, they are very related. In both cases, the writer acknowledges that there is only One on whom he can rely, and that One is not the king or any man. God provides all he needs, and all that his nation needs. This is a great lesson for us today.
Back in 2 Samuel, we pick right up in the middle of the story of Absalom’s attempted coup, as he tries to take the kingdom of Israel from his father, David. The story we will read over the next two days recounts some of the political wrangling among the advisers and politicians around David and Absalom. These were some dark days in the nation, and some trying times. Personal selfishness and ambition drove men to do horrible things then, as we have seen repeated so often in history. Ultimately, though, those working against the will of God paid a terrific price, and God’s work was done.
We pick up in Hebrews on Thursday after completing the discussion on Melchizedek. Last time we learned that Jesus is a mediator like Melchizedek – uniquely qualified to stand in the gap between God and man. Now in chapter 8, we see the application of this information: Jesus is the only One who can be our High Priest. Remember that the job of the high priest in Israel was to present the people to God and God to the people. The high priest was the one responsible for carrying out the terms of the covenant. Hebrews 8 points out that Jesus is the only High Priest we need, as He can present us pure and holy before God and can properly represent God to us. His covenant, however, is a new covenant. Jesus’ covenant is eternal and is sealed with His blood.
Hebrews 9 continues to explain this. Friday’s reading reminds us about the layout of the tabernacle here on earth, and about the events that happened there. Saturday’s reading shows us the application of that information: the reality of the “tabernacle” of heaven, where Jesus offered His own blood as our eternal cleansing. The Israelites had for years depended on their system of laws and sacrifices to make them good enough for the Holy God, yet that system always fell short. Only in Christ can our need ever be met.
As you read this week, notice the great need of the writers of the Bible to know and depend on God. Each one demonstrates how desperate we are for Him, and each one reminds us that our only confidence is in Him. Let your confidence rest in Him alone this week.