Devotional Readings for December 5 - December 11
Sunday – Psalm 110
Monday – Psalm 111
Tuesday – Romans 7
Wednesday – 2 Kings 6:1-23
Thursday – 2 Kings 6:24-7:20
Friday – Revelation 6
Saturday – Revelation 7
The two psalms which begin our week’s readings are perfect for this Christmas holiday season. Psalm 110 is a Messianic song – one that speaks about Christ, the Anointed One, our Savior. Jesus referenced this psalm when speaking about Himself, pointing out that the Messiah is king even over David – His ancestor! This song speaks of the eternality of the Messiah, His role as King and Priest even from birth, and His eventual victory over the evil of this world.
Psalm 111 is a response to Psalm 110. The psalmist, David, now turns his attention to praise to God for His provision of and through the Messiah. David revels in the compassion and grace of God, as well as in His covenant which offers us salvation. David closes this song by pointing out that wisdom begins as we learn to know and revere God as our Father and King.
In Romans we continue to read about the sanctification of the saint. Chapter 7 begins with one more analogy about our freedom from the domination of the Old Nature; that is, our freedom from the power of sin over us. From there, Paul details the inner-battle of the person who tries to live rightly according to the law – how they hate doing wrong, but are unable to measure up to the requirements of the law. He ends with great exclamation: who can free us from this horrible dichotomy? Only Christ!
The stories we read out of 2 Kings this week continue on the theme of the great deliverance, salvation and provision of God. We begin in chapter six, getting introduced to and acquainted with Elisha, one of the great prophets of God. Then we see how God uses His prophet to deliver Israel from the powerful army of a great enemy. We, like Elisha’s servant, are introduced to the fact that there are more with and for us than there are with and for our enemies. Elisha must have enjoyed good humor; when we see him act, we tend to see a humorous twist. Here, we see a blinded Aramean army led right into captivity within the fortress of Samaria. Elisha’s solution to the issue of these raiders was complete and bloodless.
From there, we read about another Aramean tribe which attempted to conquer Samaria. Even though the people had seen God deliver them before, they once again fell into doubt and sin. The captain of Samaria’s guard fully voiced his doubt about the deliverance of God, and demonstrated the complete lack of faith of the people. God did deliver in a mighty – and once again, somewhat humorous – way, but those who had been so unfaithful were never able to enjoy the results of deliverance. There are great lessons for us in these sections: God has come and delivered, and expects us to accept that by faith. In faith, we receive deliverance and its blessings.
As we finish the week reading the Revelation, remember once again that what is being revealed is our Savior – not simply future things or end times, but the One who saves us in, through and from these times. Chapter six picks up right where we left off in chapter five – the Lamb has appeared and is worthy to open the seals, thereby ending the “mortgage” of the world and freeing earthly creation from the overlords of sin and death. This chapter details the happenings and He breaks the first six of the seven seals. Even casual Bible students and those of history and anthropology will be quick to see the parallels between the events discussed and the world around us. As the seals progress, we can see the ultimate destination of the history of rebellious mankind.
Chapter seven serves as a response to the breaking of the first six seals. Before the Seventh seal is broken and judgement begins, God sends a messenger to “seal” His people – these are most likely not the church (we saw the people of the church back in chapter 5, included in those worshipping around the throne), but rather those of the nation of Israel who trust in Christ at this time. These were not included in the rapture, but are now marked as “safe” during the time of the great tribulation. We see the church once again, this time remembering our own salvation and waving palm branches, worshipping. The take-aways from this section are these: Christ is the Victor, He will win. The rebellious of the earth will face the destruction they have been asking for all along. God’s people will be saved, safe, and comforted even in the times of judgement. As we began the week, we end the week: He is our Savior, provider, and victorious King!