Sunday Devotional 20th of August 2023

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by Bruce Billington

Sunday Devotional – 20th August, 2023

Sunday Devotional – 20 August 2023

We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we look at some verses from Psalm 77 – a Psalm of Asaph.

Psalm 77:13-17 – 13 Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God? 14 You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples. 15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. 16 The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You; they were in anguish; The deeps also trembled. 17  The clouds poured out water; The skies gave forth a sound; Your arrows flashed here and there.”

Some translations interpret verse 13 by saying, “your way O God is in holiness.” We are assured that all His ways are just and right. No other so-called god or power can, for a moment, be compared with the mighty One of Israel. God goes through history and shows Himself there as the incomparable One, against which, nothing or no one else can be measured.

He has made His all-powerful being known among the peoples. He brought Israel out of Egypt by the work of His own might, and proved Himself to all peoples, and to the whole earth to be the Lord of the world and the God of salvation (Exodus 9:16; 15:14).

John Calvin states both a powerful and sad truth. He says,

[T]here is not a single corner of the globe in which God does not exhibit some proof of his power and operation, yet the wonderful character of his works escapes the eyes of men. If men would look upon the works of God with pure eyes, they would be led without much difficulty to rest with satisfaction in him alone.

Verse 16 reveals that even the inanimate elements of the planet yield obedience to God. It adds that the “deeps also trembled”, referring to the depth that God penetrates any given situation or entity. Verse 17 reveals that the clouds also respond in the same way.

Wherever humanity turn their eyes, the glory of God is manifested and evident in every part of creation, above and beneath, from the height of heaven to the depths of the sea.

We may also learn here that God’s ways are like the deep waters which cannot be fathomed. At all times we should acknowledge the great things that He has done for His people, including ourselves, some which are obvious and others which are hidden and mysterious.

When Asaph wrote Psalm 77, he was trapped in the darkness of despair. Scripture gives no indication of the specific circumstances that were troubling him, but they were significant. The message of Psalm 77 is like that of many other psalms: God can lift our distressed spirits when we cry out to Him. By remembering God’s past faithfulness, we can find the strength to walk through any present trouble. Even so, excellent commentator Herbert C. Leupold cautioned us to be careful to avoid two extremes as we study this psalm.

Firstly, he advises us to understand that sometimes, although God is all powerful and more than equal to our every trouble – He allows His remedy to unfold over time. It is not always instantaneous.

His second caution is similar. He explains that God will often provide us with a remedy that we have to learn to apply. It puts us back on the track for what we need but it will now have to be worked out. Then, over time, we can rehabilitate ourselves spiritually.

However, we should also remember that on some occasions, God does reach down and instantly rescue us, but always according to His will and purpose.

However, things work out, He alone knows what we need in every situation to make us stronger and to conform us more and more into the image of Christ and bring us into a deeper knowledge of who He is and what He intended us to be.

May God bless you.

Bruce Billington