August 3 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“I am poor and needy; come quickly to help me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.” ~Psalm 70:5

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 70

David wants help quickly. “Hasten, O God, to save me; O Lord, come quickly to help me” (v. 1). He is in trouble, and if it seems that David is in trouble a lot, remember that even good kings have many enemies. Trapped once again in a personal or political crisis, this king is in need of God’s rescue—now. Perhaps the brevity of the psalm indicates that he is going through such difficulty that he can only pause briefly to pray. But what a prayer! “I am poor and needy; come quickly to help me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay” (v. 5).

Psalm 71

Here is a psalm most likely written in David’s twilight years, an assumption that’s based on his unique focus on age. “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” (v. 9). He repeats a similar plea later in the psalm, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God” (v. 18). Most likely his enemies have taken advantage of his weakness and wait eagerly for his death. However, David believes that God can (and will) continue to bless and protect him, even in his old age. “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more” (v. 14). The elderly king is confident in God’s faithfulness, declaring the praises of the Sovereign. “My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I whom you have redeemed” (v. 23).

Psalm 72

Book 2 of Psalms concludes with a prayer for King Solomon, David’s son. He prays for his son to enjoy great prosperity so that he will be able to rule God’s people in righteousness. He longs for his son’s throne to be established so that the young man can use his power for good: “For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help” (v. 12). This is the proper use of blessing. God blesses us not only for our good, but also so that we can be a blessing to others. It is good and proper to pray for God to prosper us so that we can help others in need. So go ahead and pray away! But remember to honor the Lord with all your blessings and to wisely help the poor.

NEW TESTAMENT

Paul makes it clear to the church in Rome that we are made righteous (justified) by faith alone. Works do not save us. Works are the evidence of faith. Only faith in God’s provision for us through Christ can save, and the result of this faith, as in the case of Abraham, is works.


Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.