July 28 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.” ~Psalm 55:16-17

Update from Acts: The apostle Paul is en route to Rome where he will stand trial. His ship runs aground near the island of Malta (south of Italy). God protects him, and he seizes the opportunity to witness.

Psalm 53

Psalm 53 is a slightly revised version of Psalm 14 and perhaps is included here because of themes found in the two psalms following it. While each psalm stands alone (with a few exceptions), internal evidence suggests that here and there certain poems are grouped together and share common themes.

In this psalm, the righteous are encouraged to rejoice and be glad even though they live in a world where fools abound. Fools live like there is no God; they do whatever they want and think they are getting away with it. But God looks down from heaven and sees the corruption of evil men. In time, He will scatter the bones of those who attack His people. Israel and Jacob can be happy in the knowledge that God sees all that is happening and will care for His people.

Psalm 54

David cries out for vindication even as he hides from those who want him dead. He knows that God will protect him: “Surely God is my help, the Lord is the one who sustains me” (v. 4). He knows that God will make evil return upon his aggressors. “Let evil recoil on those who slander me” (v. 5). And so, even now, he starts to praise God: “I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good” (v. 6).

Psalm 55

David mourns the pain of betrayal. “If an enemy were insulting me I could endure it, “but when it is a close friend, it is almost unbearable (v. 12). He has learned the hard way that he cannot trust everyone (vv. 20-21).

David is so pained he just wants to get away from it all. “Oh that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest” (v. 6). But he cannot. One thing he can do, however, is to put his trust and hope in the Lord. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (v. 22). This is sound advice for us, too. When we cannot get away from all our cares, we can place them on the One who cares for us. He will sustain us.

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.