August 16 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“Remember me, Lord, when you show favor to your people, come to my aid when you save them, that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.” ~Psalm 106:4-5

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 105

Here is a psalm that looks back on the past with nostalgic praise. The stories remembered by the poet all have significance for him as member of the old church. He recalls God’s protection and provision from promise to promised land. When the people wandered from place to place, God was with them, watching over them (vv. 12-13). He prospered them in Egypt then delivered them from Pharaoh. He provided for them in the wilderness then brought them to the land of promise.

Once again, we see the importance of remembering—of recalling the past—and giving praise. Let us never forget what God has done for us. We must remember those times when He blessed us in the most unblessable (my word) situations! We must remember those times when He satisfied us in the most unsatisfying circumstances! Then let us “give thanks to the Lord” for what He has done, and “call on his name” so that He will continue to do great things for us (v. 1)!

Psalm 106

Psalm 106 also records the past but in a different way. The poet recalls the cycle of God’s mighty salvation followed by His people’s miserable sin. Time and again he delivered them, and time and again they defied Him. Yet God chose to save them, not only because He loved them, but for the sake of His name (v. 8). Here again we see the theme that Jonathan Edwards taught us: God saves and blesses His people for their good and for His glory (vv. 5, 8). The two motivations are inseparably linked in the biblical narrative. From creation, to Christ, to the new creation, God acts for the glory of His name and the good of His creatures.

The psalmist recalls God’s past compassion in order to ask Him to show compassion to His people once more. They are scattered among the nations (it is likely this poem was composed during Israel’s exile), thus the climax, “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise” (v. 47). So when we pray, let us remind God of His past mercies and ask Him to show mercy again. And then the gathered community can “let all the people say, ‘Amen’” for His great mercy (v. 48)!

NEW TESTAMENT

In the first part of Romans 15, Paul continues is exposition of the doctrine of Christian freedom. Our freedom to hold personal opinions is only limited by our love for each other. The concept is simple: don’t judge others if you do not enjoy a particular freedom that they do, and don’t offend others if you partake in a particular freedom that they eschew. Whether contention is centered on food or drink or entertainment or politics or education, unity is not found in agreeing with each other in everything but in accepting each other because we have the most important thing in common. We have been accepted by Christ (v. 7)!


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.