July 16 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” ~Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19

The songwriter gives praise to God for the beauty of creation. A very contemporary word for the word “glory” in verse 1 is awesome. Creation declares the awesomeness of God! In the same poem, God’s greatness is praised because of His Word. Synonyms are piled up: law of the Lord, statutes, precepts, commands, ordinances. All the poetic variations points to one truth, God has spoken to His people and given them guidance for life. Guidance that will bless them! The Word revives the soul, makes wise the simple, and gives light to the eyes (direction for life). The Word is precious and sweet because it warns and blesses and rewards!

The psalmist looks at God’s gifts, creation and His Word, and declares Him good. This realization leads the poet to humbly ask God to forgive him for “hidden sins,” failures he might not realize are exactly that. He also asks God to deliver him from willful sins, his knowing violations of the Word. God is great, look at creation. God is good, look at His Word. He longs to bless us; and, if we have failed Him, He is ready to forgive!

Psalm 20

To desire blessing and success is not wrong. In fact, to pray for God’s blessing and to ask Him to give you success is commended. This song, written by David and set to music by Asaph, his director of music, was produced as a pre-battle anthem. The king and his army desired success and victory in battle. Their plans were in place, their military strategy for victory laid out, their horses and chariots readied. But their ultimate trust for victory rested in God’s hands (v. 7).

It is proper to work, plan, and prepare. But then you must go about your mission with confidence that only God can grant success. It is good and right to pray for Him to do so. May the Lord grant you the desires of your heart, and when He does, give Him praise!

Psalm 21

Psalm 20 and 21 appear to be linked together. The former was sung before battle, while the latter may have been sung after. Thus the verse, “You have granted him the desire of his heart, and have not withheld the request from his lips” (v. 2). God is praised for victory, success, and blessing. Do you pause to give God praise for the blessings He has bestowed upon you? Of course, praise is something you should do every week in worship, but it is a great thing to do every single day. When you get up in the morning is a good time, and when you pause to enjoy a meal is too. Don’t forget Him on those special occasions when you realize some great success either. A wedding celebration, graduation from school, a big blessing at work, or any other good thing He may bestow on you. Pray to God for success, and praise Him when He grants your requests.

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.