Daily Devotional: Psalms 74:18-23
Remember how the enemy has mocked you, O Lord, how foolish people have reviled your name. Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever. Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land. Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name. Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long. Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
As we study the history of the kings of Israel and Judah, it is interesting to note that God measured each of them by their heart. Repeatedly we read that his heart was not devoted to the Lord, or we read that his heart was set on serving God. When David was being selected as the new King, God said that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. His heart was set on God.
This should not surprise us when we see that Jesus often spoke of the heart and how it controls our lives. He said the greatest command is to “Love the Lord God with all your heart…” When rebuking the religious leaders of his day, Jesus said that they honored God with their lips, but their heart is far from him. When Jesus told the Samaritan woman that our worship must be in spirit and in truth, he was saying that it must truly come from the heart, and it must be genuine worship.
Our actions, our lifestyles, and our general behavior all show where our heart is set, on Jesus or on this world. Do we love the things of this world more than we love God? Is our heart set on finding the pleasures of this world more than set on serving the Lord? When we love the Lord God with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind, we find true joy and the peace that surpasses understanding.
O Lord God, thank you for providing me with all I need to know to serve you and to be made right with you in Jesus Christ. Help me serve you with my whole heart and always put you first in my life. Fill my heart with your Spirit so I can love you and love others, even as you love me. Give me a pure heart that is always willing to forgive others, even when they don’t ask for it or admit they are wrong. Be merciful and forgiving to our nation and our leaders. In Jesus name.