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  • Praise for the Judge (Psalm 75:1~10) Feb 17, 2018
    Views 11 Update Feb 17, 2018 Speakers Jacob Jeon

    1 To the tune of "Do Not Destroy." A psalm of Asaph. A song. We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.
    2 You say, "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly.
    3 When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. Selah
    4 To the arrogant I say, `Boast no more,' and to the wicked, `Do not lift up your horns.
    5 Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak with outstretched neck.'"
    6 No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man.
    7 But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
    8 In the hand of the LORD is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.
    9 As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.
    10 I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

     

     

    Reflection

    He Judges the Wicked (75:1–5)

    Asaph praises God, for He is near to His people. Though the wicked try to threaten His people, God will judge the whole earth at the appointed time He chooses. Even when the wicked seem powerful and influential, and the world seems out of order, evil will not reign on earth forever because God is just, and He judges with equity. God holds the pillars of the earth and guarantees the stability of the world. He will move in power to judge the arrogant and call them to account. Today’s passage reminds us that as we await the judgment of God, we are to stand firm, trusting that we do so because God Himself sustains us. On the final day, we who have trusted in Christ will be able to look to Him as He redeems all of creation.

     

    How does knowing that God will one day judge all creation change the way you live your life today?

     

    He Brings Down and Exalts (75:6–10)

    Asaph declares that God decides who He will bring down or exalt. God is Judge over all, and He will not tolerate the wicked forever. Those who are arrogant try to take the place of God and refuse to acknowledge His authority. They exalt themselves, leading to a road of destruction. They will meet their end when God pours out His cup of judgment upon them. The One who created man has the authority to judge man, and He will move in power to destroy evil. Evil will no longer reign on the earth, for God will cut off the wicked and raise up the righteous.

     

    Are you relying on your own good works to save you? Pray that you would place your hope in the righteousness of Christ.

     

    A letter to God 

    One True God, You alone reign on earth. I submit myself to Your authority and ask You to cleanse my heart of all wickedness. Remove any unclean thing from me, and lift me up as Your righteous child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

     

     

    * All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.

  • King over Creation (Psalm 74:12~23) Feb 16, 2018
    Views 5 Update Feb 16, 2018 Speakers Jacob Jeon

    12 But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth.
    13 It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
    14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.
    15 It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever flowing rivers.
    16 The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.
    17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
    18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, O LORD, how foolish people have reviled your name.
    19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
    20 Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
    21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name.
    22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.
    23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

     

     

    Reflection

    Our Powerful God (74:12–17)

    Asaph finds comfort in the power of God. He is the Creator, the Giver, and the Sustainer of life. He raises up and brings down. He gives water to dry land and dries up flowing rivers. God does not need to ask for permission to do any of these things because He is King over all the earth, and all creation bows before Him. Asaph declares God’s power and authority, reminding others of His protection. We can also find comfort in the power and protection of our God. No matter what comes against us, we can rest assured that He is King over all of creation and every situation. When we have no strength left, we can rest in the power of the Most High.

     

    What are some ways that you have seen the power of God? How can you share about His power with others?

     

    Our Covenant God (74:18–23)

    Asaph reminds God of the way His enemy has mocked and opposed Him, and he calls on God to remember His people. He points to the covenant that God made with Israel and asks Him to defend His cause and restore His people once again. Asaph trusts that God is faithful to keep His promises and will therefore rise up against their enemies. Those who are against God have everything to fear, for when the all-powerful One rises up to judge them, they will not be able to stand. But we who have put our trust in the Lord through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross have nothing to fear. We can find strength in the power and justice of God, knowing that He is faithful to defend His children.

     

    What are some covenant promises that you can turn to when it feels like the enemy is oppressing you? How confident are you that He will defend and protect you?

     

    A letter to God 

    Lord, You are mighty and just. I seek protection in Your power. I submit my heart to You and I trust in You alone, for there is none like You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

     

     

    * All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.

  • Where Are You? (Psalm 74:1~11) Feb 15, 2018
    Views 9 Update Feb 15, 2018 Speakers Daniel Park

    1 Why have you rejected us forever, O God? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
    2 Remember the people you purchased of old, the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed -- Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
    3 Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.
    4 Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.
    5 They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees.
    6 They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets.
    7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
    8 They said in their hearts, "We will crush them completely!" They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.
    9 We are given no miraculous signs; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.
    10 How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever?
    11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

     

     

    Reflection

    God Is Moving (74:1–8)

    Have you ever looked at your circumstances and asked, “Where are You, Lord?” This is what Asaph is doing as he cries out to God. Asaph laments the utter devastation of Israel at the hands of their enemies. God’s people have been crushed and His temple has been destroyed. It seems as if God has rejected His people. There are times when we go through extreme suffering, and we cannot see God moving in our lives. In times like these, it is understandable that we might lament before God: “Why have you rejected us?” But God welcomes our questions, and our cries to Him actually reveal that we believe He sees and hears us and that He cares for us even when we cannot see Him moving in our lives.

     

    Can you see God at work around you? If not, cry out to God who is faithful, and ask Him for the faith to trust that He is moving even when you cannot see it.

     

    God Is Speaking (74:9–11)

    In Old Testament times, God spoke through the prophets, but there are no prophets left, and His people are given no signs from God. Yet, even in the midst of God’s seeming silence, Asaph continues to look to God because only He can take away the suffering of the Israelites. Asaph asks God to raise His right hand and destroy Israel’s enemies. Like Asaph, we can also look to God and cry out to Him in times of suffering. When we cannot see or hear Him, or when our circumstances feel out of control, we can seek direction and security in the voice of God through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. May we be like Asaph and continually seek His presence in faith.

     

    When was the last time you received direction from God? How can you continue to seek Him even when He seems to be silent?

     

    A letter to God 

    Dear God, may my heart be fully devoted to You, and may I always desire to exalt Your name. Guide me in making choices that are for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

     

     

    * All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.

  • Near or Far (Psalm 73:15~28) Feb 14, 2018
    Views 17 Update Feb 14, 2018 Speakers Daniel Park

    15 If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your children.
    16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
    17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.
    18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
    19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
    20 As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
    21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
    22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
    23 Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
    24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
    25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
    27 Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
    28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.

     

     

    Reflection

    Far from God (7:15–22)

    Asaph began this psalm feeling troubled because the wicked seemed to be prospering with evil deeds and the innocent experienced great affliction while remaining faithful to God. Asaph confesses that this led to bitterness and grief, and he thinks that his faithful living is in vain. When he enters the sancutuary of God, however, he begins to see the world from God's perspective. He realizes that the prosperity of the wicked is temporary and that their end is destruction. The days of these evildoers are numbered, and God will soon arise  and punish them. Those who are far from God eventually face the destruction of their ways, but the hearts of those who are near God are secure.

     

    - When have you felt envious of the wicked? When you see the wicked prospering, where do you find hope?

     

    Near to God (7:23–28)

    In these verses, Asaph expresses his gratitudefor who has rescued his soul. He is moved by the nearness and faithfulness of God, who holds  onto His children and draws them into His protective presence. Asaph finds contentment in knowing that he has a personal relationship with the Lord, who is always with him, providing refuge, strength, and satisfaction that is unlike anything this world has to offer. God offers guidance  and counsel, and He is leading Asaph into eternal glory. Knowing that the richest reward is not prosperity in this life but eternity with the King, Asaph is compelled to praise God who will be with him forever. Like Asaph, our response to God's eternal love should be a response of worship and praise.

     

    - How often do you praise God for His faithfulness? Take some time to thank and praise Him for the gift of eternal life today. 

     

    A letter to God 

    Dear God, though it may seem like the wicked are more successful, help me to trust in Your faithfulness. Teach me to set my eyes not on what is temporary but what is eternal. In Jesus' name. Amen

     

    * All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.

  • The Agony of the Righteous (Psalm 73:1~14) Feb 13, 2018
    Views 6 Update Feb 13, 2018 Speakers Daniel Park

    1 Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
    2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
    3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
    4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
    5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills.
    6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence.
    7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits.
    8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression.
    9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth.
    10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
    11 They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"
    12 This is what the wicked are like -- always carefree, they increase in wealth.
    13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.
    14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.

     

     

    Reflection

    When the Righteous Suffer (73:1–5)

    God does not always allow His people to live easy lives on this earth. On the contrary, it is often the wicked who prosper and glide through life without any struggles. When Asaph, the author of this psalm, sees the prosperity of the wicked, he becomes jealous and almost stumbles in his faith. Like Asaph, we sometimes forget that God will bless us for our faithfulness, but the blessings may come in different forms than what we expect. Jesus said that His followers would experience tribulation in this world (John 16:33), but we must not allow suffering in this life to stumble our faith. We can rest assured that God is continually working in our lives and sanctifying us according to His good will.

     

    How do you respond to suffering in your life? How has suffering helped refine your character and sanctify your soul?

     

    When the Wicked Prosper (73:6–14)

    Asaph describes the wicked who are free of care and amassing wealth. They are arrogant, callous, and unwilling to acknowledge their sins. They show ignorance and disrespect as they underestimate God’s omniscience, saying, “How would God know?” The wicked do not believe that they are accountable to anyone for their actions, and they continue to enjoy their lives. Asaph initially responds with self-pity, believing that his efforts to be pure before God are in vain. Likewise, we tend to succumb to envy and self-pity when we see the prosperity of the wicked. But we must remind ourselves that God is indeed all-knowing, and the wicked will bear the consequences of their actions when God brings down His justice and judgment upon them.

     

    If we do not trust in God’s all-knowing power and righteousness, we may fall into a downward spiral of self-pity and sin. How will you respond when you are tempted to envy the wicked?

     

    A letter to God 

    Father God, help me to persevere in this life full of suffering. Help me not to be deceived by the prosperity of the wicked but to always fix my eyes on Your cross. Your grace is enough for me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

     

     

    * All Copyrights of the text in Living Life belong to Duranno Books.