July 19 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
‘What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;  Lord, be my help.’” ~Psalm 30:8-10

Many psalms share a common format, beginning with prayer and concluding with praise. It may be that these soulful poems were composed after great victories or periods of deliverance. As such, the psalm takes the reader or singer through all of the writer’s emotions.

Psalm 28

David lifts his hands to God in the place of worship, a signal in Psalms that a worshipper is either pleading for help or offering praise for help already given (v. 2). In Psalm 28, David is first desperate and lifting his hands to God for help. He looks to his Rock, the One who will never be moved or shaken, to find safety. God hears his cry for mercy (v. 6), and so David cannot help but respond in song, “My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (v. 7). So pray with hands raised to God when you are in need of help. And lift them again to praise the Rock for His deliverance!

Psalm 29

The language of creation is found throughout Psalms because Israel’s poets found beauty and wonder in nature. They saw the glory of God everywhere, even in fierce, powerful storms. His voice resounds in the squall kicking up over the Mediterranean and in thunder roaring across the skies. He is heard as the storm makes its way to the coast and blows so hard that the mighty cedars of Lebanon (imagine California Redwoods) snap like twigs and the great Mount Hermon (9,000 feet tall) startles like a frightened calf. Elsewhere, the wilderness (desert) feels the full brunt of the storm and mighty oak trees are twisted and ripped up by their roots. It is not God’s anger the poet wishes to convey; it is His awesome power. Have you ever seen the aftermath of a terrible storm? There is only one thing to say: Wow! And that’s what the psalmist is communicating here, except that he concludes with this surprising, albeit compelling, observation: “The Lord gives strength to his people, the Lord blesses his people with peace” (v. 11). The power of God is channeled into strengthening His people, even as He puts His might into bringing peace to the storms in their lives. Wow!

Psalm 30

David rejoices in God’s deliverance. Perhaps he had a near death experience from which he needed rescue. He may have had a terrible illness (vv. 2-3). Whatever the cause of his great distress, God heard his prayer and his cry for help. The poet king is delighted that God’s anger doesn’t last long. He has His “moments,” when He appears to be unhappy with us, but His mercy lasts forever!

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.