Thursday: Psalms 24-26 & Deuteronomy 3.12-22

From Mark Booker

Psalm 24: This psalm begins with a declaration that Israel's God is the creator to whom the whole world belongs (see esp. Ps 104). It finishes with a declaration of God's strength and might as a warrior (vv7-10). Paradoxically, the glory of this "king of glory" is most fully displayed at the cross where the ruler of this world is cast out (John 12.31). In the middle (vv2-6), the psalm reflects on the moral purity of those who worship God. The one who shall stand before him has "clean hands and a pure heart" and "does not lift up his soul to what is false" (v4). We don't turn aside to false ways because God, the creator and the victorious king, is our God. *Note this song we occasionally sing that derives from Psalm 24. Make this your prayer today.

Psalm 25: This acrostic poem is a plea for God's mercy and help. As God intervenes and forgives, he also "instructs sinners in the way" (v8). How grateful are we for God's mercy, forgiveness, and kindness in teaching us how to know and follow him? Do we long to be taught by God as the psalmist does (vv4-5)?

Psalm 26: We can struggle with such claims to integrity and faithfulness, but we know that David knows his flaws as well. This isn't a claim to total perfection disconnected from reality but a plea in a particular situation for God to vindicate those who walk by faith, those who trust in the Lord. 

Deuteronomy 3.12-22: The historical narrative continues. Following the defeat of Sihon (2.26-37) and Og (3.1-11), Moses divides the land east of the Jordan (the Transjordan) between two and a half tribes (vv12-17). Then he urges the men of those tribes to cross the Jordan with the rest of Israel to fight for their land, as a sign of brotherly solidarity (vv18-20). Finally, Moses encourages Joshua, who will lead God's people across the Jordan into the promised land, to be encouraged by how God has defeated Sihon and Og. This is what he will do to the kingdoms on the other side of the Jordan as well. So, don't be afraid "for it is the Lord your God who fights for you" (v22). One can imagine God's people singing Psalm 24.7-10 at this moment in their journey. How has God fought for us (see 2 Corinthians 10.3-6)?