August 22 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” ~Psalm 119:68

OLD TESTAMENT

Psalm 119  Zayin, Heth, Teth, Yodh, Kaph, Lamedh & Mem

The psalmist follows the letters of the Hebrew alphabet in his grand poem in praise of the Word of God. In yesterday’s reading, he worked his way through Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, He, and Waw, which covers verses 1-48. Today’s reading, verses 49-104, follows the next seven letters, Zayin, Heth, Teth, Yodh, Kaph, Lamedh, and Mem.

It is worth noting that the writer of the poem is making every possible attempt to display the beauty of God’s Word. He is praising not only the God of the Word but also the Word itself (v. 72) and God’s works, too (v. 64)! This praise heaped on the works of God (the earth) and the Word of God (the law) is not intended to diminish the person of God. In the same way that we admire the Mona Lisa but celebrate the artistry of Leonardo DaVinci, reflecting on the beauty of works and Word glorifies the Source of that beauty! Everything good you see around you, even baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet (or Chrysler), is an expression of God’s love to His creatures. And the precious Word of God is also an expression of that love. So enjoy His works, obey His Word, and give praise to the Artist.

NEW TESTAMENT

In 1 Corinthians 4, Paul concludes his rebuke over divisions with words seldom heard from the lips of a spiritual leader: “Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?” (v. 21). Wow! Now that’s strong language, but it is appropriate for Paul to be outraged over the people’s immature antics. They are acting like a bunch of unbelievers. What is more, it appears they have set themselves up as judges over their spiritual leaders. They’re questioning the motives of Paul and Apollos (vv. 5-6). While Paul is making great sacrifices in the ministry, the Corinthians are parading around like kings (a sarcastic rebuke of their pride) and arguing with each other like kids. They should be following the leaders God has placed in their lives while serving each other in love (1 Cor. 13).

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.