Daily Devotional

July 31, 2020

Daybreak: Psalms 92:1 through 94:23

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.” (Psalm 92:1-2)

The last little bit of food in our house was on the table. Mother looked at the meager provision before us, and we children looked toward her, our faces expectant. She bowed her head and in her quiet voice, began to thank the Lord for the lunch. She ended her prayer with the words, “We also thank You, Lord, for the food that You will provide for us today.” 

Before the afternoon was over, God had rewarded the faith and trust implicit in that simple prayer. Neighbors called, saying vegetables were starting to rot in their garden, and asked if one of us would like to come over and pick whatever we could use. A friend stopped by with a catch of fish — there were too many for his family, and he wondered if we would like some for dinner.

My mother was following the admonition inherent in our focus verse. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, no matter what circumstances we face! It is not hard to feel gratitude when the table is heaped high and the bounty is spread before us, but can we thank God when the cupboard is empty? We should! Our thankfulness to God should not fluctuate with our circumstances or feelings.

Thankfulness combined with faith will bring results from Heaven. However, we do not express gratitude to God in order to “earn” His beneficence or to maneuver Him into providing what we want. Possessing a spirit of thankfulness simply opens a way for God to work on our behalf. It is not a guarantee that we will never experience a need, but rather a guarantee that we will never have to go through a difficult time without Him. We can accept whatever circumstances life brings with perfect confidence that though we may face temporary adversity or problems, He is mindful of our situation and will supply our needs in His own way and time.

When a spirit of gratitude becomes an integral part of our lives, it will not be hard to do as the psalmist suggests in these verses: to “bracket” our day with worship. As we meditate on and declare God’s lovingkindness in the morning we will find the security and strength to face the hours ahead. As we close our day with gratitude for His faithfulness which has kept us through the day, we will have peace in our hearts and a renewed faith in His mindful attentiveness to our situation.

Background

Psalm 92

According to its superscription, Psalm 92 was to be sung in the Temple on the Sabbath day as part of the worship service. Nothing is known about the composer of the psalm, nor the setting or circumstances related to its writing. It is classified as a wisdom psalm. 

The theme centers on God’s sovereign justice — a topic also developed in Psalms 37, 49, and 73, and the Book of Job. It brings out that while the ungodly may appear to prosper, divine justice ultimately will occur, and this should cause the righteous to praise God unceasingly. The psalmist pointed out that in contrast to the outcome prepared for the wicked, the righteous will flourish in God’s care; they will have longevity like the palm tree and strength like the cedar, and in their old age, they will continue to be blessed and bear spiritual fruit. 

Psalm 93

Psalm 93 is sometimes included with other short praise psalms (95-100) that refer to the sovereignty of God over nature and mankind. The date of its writing is unknown, as is its author, although ancient versions of the Old Testament ascribe authorship to David. This psalm is considered to be a hymn of praise. 

The theme of Psalm 93 is that in the midst of change in this world, the one fixed point of stability is the living God. He is all-powerful, His Kingdom is eternal, and His testimonies are certain. In verses 3-4, the psalmist introduced the metaphor of floods to portray a swelling rebellion against God. Although the “noise of many waters” and the “mighty waves of the sea” arise up against God, He is mightier. None can thwart His plan. 

Psalm 94

It is not known who wrote Psalm 94, but as with Psalm 93, ancient versions of the Old Testament ascribe authorship to David. The occasion of writing is also unknown, although it may have been composed during Israel’s captivity in Babylon since it contains a plea for God to punish oppressors. This psalm is classified as an individual or national lament which includes both wisdom words and prophetic views. 

The psalm opens with a complaint to God, referring to Him as the “God of vengeances” (in the original language, the form is plural, indicating ultimate and final vengeance). The psalmist appealed to God to judge the proud and insolent ones who had used the legal system to afflict the righteous, widows, strangers, and the fatherless. According to verse 7, these wicked individuals insisted that “the Lord shall not see,” implying that like any lifeless idol, God had no regard for what they did. The psalmist asserted that those who held that position were “brutish” [foolish or senseless] and called them to “be wise” [to have insight] regarding the obvious truth that the One who created ears can hear, and the One who created eyes is able to see. 

In verses 12-15, the psalmist went on to pronounce a blessing upon those who were instructed by the Lord, noting that even times of adversity are only temporary. He was assured that deliverance would come and “the pit [or grave] be digged” for the law breakers. He was well aware that without God’s help, there was no cause for optimism, but with God’s strength holding him steady, he found consolation in spite of the anxious thoughts that assailed his mind.

The last four verses are considered by some Bible scholars to be a prophetic allusion to Christ when He was brought before the high priest and falsely accused (see Matthew 26:59-60).

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.    Book I (1:1 — 41:13)
II.    Book II (42:1 — 72:20)
III.    Book III (73:1 — 89:52)
IV.    Book IV (90:1 — 106:48)
V.    Book V (107:1 — 150:6)

A Closer Look

  1. According to Psalm 93, when was God’s throne established?
     
  2. In Psalm 92:13, reference is made to “those that be planted in the house of the Lord.” What do you think is meant by that phrase?
     
  3. In Psalm 94:19, God’s “comforts” provide joy in the midst of the psalmist’s anxieties. What are some of the comforts God provides when we are troubled? 

Conclusion

If we maintain a spirit of gratitude in our hearts and regularly express our appreciation to God for His faithfulness to us, we will have peace and comfort no matter what circumstances we face.

Reference Materials