Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 29: Turn to God
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Week 29: Turn to God
Weekly memory verse:
Acts 3:19 – “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.”
“How Blest Is He Whose Trespass” (free download)
What is repentance unto life?
Repentance unto life is a saving grace, by which I turn from my sin to God, promising to strive after new obedience.
Day 141: The Judge of the Earth
Reading: Psalm 58–59
Psalm 58, Verse 3. From the womb. This indicates that all people are born sinners.
Verse 10. Bathe his feet. This is an expression indicating that the righteous will share in the victory accomplished by the Lord.
Psalm 59, Verse 6. Dogs. Dogs in the ancient world were wild scavengers.
God is a just judge who will judge all sin. This eternal truth should motivate sinners to repent and turn to him lest they be consumed. It should also encourage the righteous that even though they are oppressed by the wicked and sin seems to go unpunished, God will inevitably fulfill his promise to judge sin.
- Are all people sinners from birth?
- What does sin deserve?
- What is the only way to escape judgment from God?
Day 142: Cry for Salvation
Reading: Psalm 60–61
Psalm 60. This psalm alludes to the events referred to in 2 Samuel 8:13 and 1 Chronicles 18:12 in which Edom attacked Judah while David and his army were in the north.
Psalm 61. This psalm is a personal lament that David roots in God’s covenant.
When tragedy strikes on a large or small scale, the only right response is to cry to the Lord for salvation. Trust in self or other human means of rescue are futile. Only God is able to deliver us from trouble; he is our strong defense and salvation.
- In Psalm 60, why did the people think God had abandoned them?
- What is meant by the phrase, “vain is the salvation of man” (60:11)?
- Does God hear us when we cry to him? Why?
Day 143: Seeking God
Reading: Psalm 62–63
Psalm 62. Jeduthun. This was one of the originally leaders of Temple music (1 Chr 25:1).
Psalm 63, Verse 1. Thirsts. David wrote this while in the wilderness, and thus this metaphor was fitting.
Verse 10. Jackals. These animals were scavengers who fed on dead bodies.
These psalms use rich metaphors to describe God’s relationship to us and our need to seek earnestly after him. Relationship with God is not passive; his people must actively seek him through his Word and prayer, expressing need for him, dependence upon him, and praise for his goodness and grace.
- What does it mean to wait for God?
- How is seeking after God like thirsting for water in a dry land?
- What are some ways that you can seek God?
Day 144: Joash Repairs the Temple
Reading: 2 Chronicles 24; Psalm 64
2 Kings 24, Verse 1. Joash. This is a variant of the name Jehoash, which 2 Kings uses.
Verse 4. Restore the house. The temple had been severely damaged and much of the temple articles had been taken for use in Baal’s temple during the reign of Athaliah (v 7).
Joash did what was right in God’s sight under the influence of the godly priest, Jehoiada, but after Jehoiada died, Joash followed the example of the kings before him and turned evil. Yet God does not allow sin to go unpunished, and Joash received the end he deserved.
- What kind of influence did Jehoiada have on Joash?
- Why did Joash turn evil after Jehoiada’s death?
- How was Joash repaid for his evil choices?
Day 145: The Death of Elisha
Reading: 2 Kings 13; Psalm 65
2 Kings 13, Verse 3. Ben-Haded. This is likely Ben-Hadad III, whose reign in Syria began about 801 B.C.
Verse 5. Savior. This “savior” was either Adad-Nirari, king of Assyria, whose attack on Syria freed Israel from Syria’s control, Elisha, who led Joash to defeat the Syrians (vv 15–19), or Jeroboam II, who later was able to expand Israel’s land back into the area controlled by Syria (14:25–27).
Verse 14. Elisha. Nothing has been recorded of Elisha’s activities for over 40 years.
Psalm 65, Verse 1. Zion. This is literally the hill in Jerusalem on which the temple was built, but it symbolizes the entire land God had promised to Abraham.
Verse 2. Shall all flesh come. This refers to the future millennial kingdom.
Despite Israel’s continued sin against the Lord, God delivered them from the invading enemies on the basis of his everlasting covenant with Abraham that he would give the land to his descendants. God will fulfill that promise fully in the future millennial kingdom, when Israel will possess the land, and all nations will come there to worship God.
- Did God deliver Israel because of the goodness of the people?
- Has God’s promise to Abraham been completely fulfilled yet?
- When will God complete the promise he made to Abraham?
About Scott Aniol
Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.