July 12 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.” ~Psalm 9:4

As the psalms are God’s Word put to music, many of them contain ancient musical notations and instructions. For example, some songs are written for a particular instrument because that instrument evokes a specific (desired) emotional response.

Psalm 7

These kinds of psalms, which are found throughout the psalter, are often called imprecatory psalms (imprecatory = to curse). They have created a stir among theologians. Is it really right to pray like this? We must respond in the affirmative. These psalms shock with their brutal honesty! But we get it! Who hasn’t wanted justice? Who hasn’t wanted to let someone have it? However, imprecatory psalms are not encouraging revenge. They encourage us to trust God by putting the matter in His hands (see Romans 12:17-21). It is wrong to get even, but it is right to cry out for justice: “Arise, O Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies” (v. 6).

Psalm 8

The glory of God is seen in creation, but when we see His greatness, we wonder why God would even bother to think about us, let alone be concerned about the minute details of our life. But we also display the glory of God. We have been created in His image, just slightly lower than God himself.[1] We have been given the task of ruling over this creation, which means caring for it, organizing it, improving it, and filling it (thus the Creation Mandate). We are rulers over this beauty! But it all points back to God, who made absolutely everything, including mankind. As we enjoy creation—the lake, the woods, the flowers, the birds, the animals, the sun, the moon, and the stars—may we worship the Creator.

Psalm 9

It is maddening to see injustices in the world—the poor oppressed by evil regimes, nations living in fear of terrorism, and the needy and hungry ignored by corrupt leaders. Moreover, we are sometimes personally affected by the scourge of evil men who roam the earth (v. 13). This psalm assures us that God sees and that He will (eventually) bring justice. This certainty that He will act is cause for praise, even before He moves. “Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted” (v. 11-12). Yes, God’s justice is indeed something to sing about!

[1] The Hebrew in verse 5 is literally translated “a little lower than God,” however, some translations render the verse “lower than the angels” or “heavenly beings.”

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.