Scripture Union Daily Discovery 11th October 2020 – A Safe Refuge
TODAY’S TOPIC: A SAFE REFUGE
Opening Prayer: “I praise You, God, that though my flesh and heart may fail, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever” Psalm 73:26.
Read Psalm 73
A psalm of Asaph.
1 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold.
3 For I envied the arrogant
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4 They have no struggles;
their bodies are healthy and strong.[a] 5 They are free from common human burdens;
they are not plagued by human ills.
6 Therefore pride is their necklace;
they clothe themselves with violence.
7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity[b];
their evil imaginations have no limits.
8 They scoff, and speak with malice;
with arrogance they threaten oppression.
9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
and drink up waters in abundance.[c] 11 They say, “How would God know?
Does the Most High know anything?”
12 This is what the wicked are like—
always free of care, they go on amassing wealth.
13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure
and have washed my hands in innocence.
14 All day long I have been afflicted,
and every morning brings new punishments.
Scripture Union Daily Discovery 11th October 2020 Today Message
15 If I had spoken out like that,
I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their final destiny.
18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;
you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed,
completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes;
when you arise, Lord,
you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved
and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant;
I was a brute beast before you.
23 Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds.
a Psalm 73:4 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text struggles at their death; / their bodies are healthy
b Psalm 73:7 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew Their eyes bulge with fat
c Psalm 73:10 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“In your presence all our fears are washed away” (Brown and Baloche, © Worship Together 2018). Is this your experience?
This Psalm is the first song in the third book of psalms (73–89). Alister McGrath writes, “One of the most important themes to be associated with this collection is that of God’s sovereign rule over his people and the nations, which is seen as the ground of hope in the face of anxiety and uncertainty.”(A McGrath, NIV Bible Commentary, Hodder and Stoughton, 1988) Think of the story of Esther, this could also be a fair description of her life.
The psalm provides us with a contrast between the way the wicked seem to prosper in their arrogance and the life of ease and wealth they enjoy, with the focus that Asaph (the writer) has on God. He struggles with those people. He “almost” gets into difficulty when his attention is on them (2, 3). But then, as he focuses on God’s presence with him, he recognizes the uncertainty of their position compared with the refuge and security he finds in the Lord (23–26). This psalm has an exilic focus, and both Haman’s arrogance and Mordecai and Esther’s trust in God are reflected in its words.
Have you ever been in a very dangerous or difficult situation with seemingly no way out? How could your knowledge of God’s presence “keeping your heart and mind” help you through?
Jesus, I know there are those around me who are really struggling – may they be conscious of God with them.
THROUGH THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Jeremiah 15,16; Psalms 117, 118
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