August 11 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.’” ~Psalm 91:14-15

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 90

The often-overlooked Psalm 90, which opens Book 4, is one of my favorites. The psalmist complains that life can be difficult—and short. God reigns forever, but man is like the grass, which grows up, turns brown, and then dies. While we are alive, life is filled with all kinds of painful experiences.

The psalmist offers a realistic assessment of life, but then he turns his complaint into a prayer for mercy. “Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants” (v. 13). My personal translation goes something like this: God, life is hard enough! Could you cut me some slack here!? I love the honesty of this psalm and the bold request for God to satisfy with His unfailing love in the here and now. This poet goes even further in his quest to squeeze the most out of life. He asks God to establish the work of his hands (what he has done while on earth) so that he leaves a legacy for those who come after him. What a psalm!

Psalm 91

In contrast to the previous psalm, Psalm 91 is a blessing, one used in much the same way as the Aaronic Blessing of Numbers 6 perhaps. Place your trust in God, the psalmist says, and He will protect you from harm. He has promised the care of angels to His people. “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (v. 11). The promise of protection extends from the physical to the spiritual.

What the psalm does not promise is that God’s people will avoid trouble. Note that the writer mentions arrows, pestilence, and plagues (v. 5-6). However, God will be with us and deliver us as we live in this troubled world (v. 15). He will satisfy with long life those who place their complete trust in Him (v. 16). So trust Him, and may His angels guard your life today!

Psalm 92

Psalm 92 is a joyful celebration of God’s reign over the earth. It praises God for His judgment upon the wicked and His blessing upon the righteous. No matter what may be happening this moment, the Lord is exalted forever (v. 8). In time, He will deal harshly with evildoers and cause His own people to flourish. For He is upright and there is no wickedness in Him (v. 15)! There is great cause for singing and rejoicing!

NEW TESTAMENT

Paul again picks up the theme of election and God’s sovereignty in salvation. He explains that there are many Jews who believe in Christ, himself included. Like them, our roots are in Israel and the old church. We have been “grafted in,” a horticultural term Paul uses to describe how we are added to and, therefore, drawing from the living community of faith. But God’s favor upon us should not lead us to pride. In this chapter of Romans, Paul calls us to remain humble, to be grateful, and to continue in faith.


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.