Old Testament In a Year: August 21 – 1 Chronicles 17, 18, 19

1 Chronicles 17, 18, 19
Focus Verse: Now, therefore, thus shall you say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over my people Israel.’ – 1 Chronicles 17:7

When David was just a young shepherd boy, God took notice of him and decided to elevate him from watching sheep in the pasture to being prince over His people Israel. David didn’t achieve this high status through any merit of his own. It was completely by God’s divine grace and purpose that he became a mighty warrior and beloved king, whose name and deeds are still remembered and read about today.

The humble condition or obscure place that you may be in today, does not determine the place or position God has for you in the future. Trust His purpose to elevate you. Let His divine grace lead you.

Old Testament In a Year: August 20 – Psalms 87, 88

Psalms 87, 88
Focus Verse: But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you. – Psalm 88:13

There will be times in life when nothing seems to work right for you. Instead of everything falling together, everything will seem to be falling apart.

It may seem like you are forsaken and forgotten by God, but you are not. Though it may seem like He doesn’t hear, continue to cry out to Him. Though He may not answer right away, keep praying to Him. Don’t allow disappointment, trouble, or pain to silence you. The fact that you are still alive is proof that God still has a plan for you and an interest in you.

Old Testament In a Year: August 19 – Psalms 73, 85

Psalms 73, 85
Focus Verse: But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works. – Psalm 73:28

Nearness to God is our good. It is good for us to be near the One who created us, to be near the One who loves us the most and the best, to be near the One who will never leave or forsake us, and to be near the One who is a safe shelter in storms and a solid rock amid sinking sand.

We should not only draw near to God because doing so is good for us, but we should also draw near to Him so that others will come to know about His goodness.

The more we experience God, the better we will be able to relate Him to others. The closer we are to God, the closer we can bring others to Him. May one of our prayers be that of the popular hymn:

Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee / Even though it be a cross that raiseth me / Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee.

Old Testament In a Year: August 18 – Psalms 48, 49, 50

Psalms 48, 49, 50
Focus Verse: That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever. – Psalm 48:14

The God who created the world, delivered the Israelites, performed miracles, and executed countless other great acts is your God for ever and ever. He will always be true to you, always remain faithful to you; and hopefully, you will remain faithful to Him.

He will guide you forever, even unto death. This means that His love, goodness, grace, guidance, and mercy will continue even after you depart this world. It will extend in the land beyond the grave.

Old Testament In a Year: August 17 – Psalms 45, 46, 47

Psalms 45, 46, 47
Focus Verse: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Present is defined as a person or thing “existing or occurring now.” This means that God is your refuge NOW. He is your strength NOW. He is a help NOW.

When in trouble, David wants us to know that God exists to help us in that moment. He is not a past help or a future help, but a present help.

He was not only available to help us when we were previously in trouble. He will not only be available to help us when we are in trouble at some time to come. God is available to help us right now, right here, today.

Old Testament In a Year: August 16 – 1 Chronicles 16; Psalms 42, 44

1 Chronicles 16; Psalms 42, 44
Focus Verse: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. – Psalm 42:11

With all the hardships and problems that we go through and that others go through in life, it is easy for our souls to be cast down. With the unrelenting darkness that seems to permeate everything, it’s easy for our minds to be in turmoil and our hearts to be conflicted.

Sometimes, it seems like we cry more than we smile. There is more sadness in our lives than there is joy; more uncertainty, less assurance; more fear, less faith; more pressure, less peace.

We are familiar with stories in the Bible where God worked miracles for His people. He showed Joseph favor. He parted the Red Sea and brought the Israelites out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. He gave David victory and gave Solomon wisdom. He gave Ruth a family and an inheritance. He gave Esther courage.

God always seemed to hear the prayers of figures in the Bible. He always seemed to be at work in their lives. He always seemed to be near to deliver them when they were in distress. He always seemed to work everything out for their good. But when it comes to our lives, God seems distant. We pray, but don’t get an answer. We call, but receive no response.

This doesn’t mean that God isn’t at work in your life. He is.

Hold on and hope in Him. He will finish the work He began. He will work everything out for your good.

Old Testament In a Year: August 15 – 1 Chronicles 13, 14, 15

1 Chronicles 13, 14, 15
Focus Verse: And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. – 1 Chronicles 14:11

Before going to fight against his enemies, David consulted with God and got His assurance that he would defeat them. After defeating them, he didn’t take the credit for his victory. David said, “God has broken through my enemies.” He realized that even though the actual fighting was done by him and his men, it was God who gave them the power, strength, and ability to be victorious.

Because of Christ, we are assured of having the final victory in every battle that we fight, every obstacle that we face, and every hardship that we go through.

When we experience that promised victory, let’s remember to credit God as David did.

Old Testament In a Year: August 14 – 1 Chronicles 10, 11, 12

1 Chronicles 10, 11, 12
Focus Verse: So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. – 1 Chronicles 10:13

As believers, if we break faith with God and stop believing what we know to be true and no longer keep the commands that we know to be right, we too will experience death.

God is the source and giver of life. When we are separated from Him, we will not only eventually experience physical death, but we will immediately experience spiritual death. When we are spiritually dead, God’s Word no longer makes sense to us; we are unable to trust Him; we cannot believe His promises; and we are powerless to do good things.

If we break faith with God, however, God is able to reunite us to Himself. He does not hesitate to welcome back prodigal daughters and sons. If we return to Him, He will return to us. He will resurrect us from spiritual death and restore us to abundant life.

Old Testament In a Year: August 13 – 1 Chronicles 7, 8, 9

1 Chronicles 7, 8, 9
Focus Verse: Some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they were required to count them when they were brought in and taken out. – 1 Chronicles 9:28

Even though all Levites had religious duties for which they were responsible, not all Levites could be responsible for the highest duty – that of being priest. Some had to be responsible for lesser duties – that of being gatekeepers, or of having to count utensils, or of taking care of furniture, or of mixing spices, or of making flat cakes.

Regardless of how unimportant their task seemed, each was necessary for the temple to be operated completely and smoothly.

Your role in God’s Kingdom may not seem significant. You may not be a pastor or a worship leader or a missionary, but everything that you do for God – no matter how small it is – is necessary for His will to be carried out on earth as it is in Heaven.