The Fatherless

Scripture

“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭10:17-18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

The psalmist cries out for justice for those who are experiencing injustice at the hand of the wicked. In these verses the Psalmist proclaims his confidence in the Lord who hears the desire of the afflicted. He will respond to their needs and will provide strength. Those who are most afflicted, the fatherless and the oppressed, the Lord will hear their cry and bring about justice. 

Application

It is easy to go about our daily lives without any recognition of the fatherless and the oppressed within our community and cities. In our church office we see many families looking for support and encouragement. One of the common elements we see in reoccurring cases is the fatherless of families. Ninety percent of the time when a family comes in for financial support it is done by the mother because there is no father in the home.  This fatherless condition not only causes financial strains on the family but also spiritual effects as well. 

What is happening throughout our communities is that men have chosen to step away from their God given responsibilities in the home and families are left without their influence and protection. There are some homes where the father is present but he has taken a passive role rather than an active role in the care and guidance of his family. The impact is that the fatherless find themselves without leadership and are easy prey to the wicked who oppress them. 

There are no easy answers but one step in the right direction is for fathers to “man up” and take the leadership roles and responsibilities the Lord has called them to accomplish.  First fathers need to be men of God. To grow in their relationship with Christ and become committed follower who yield one hundred percent of their lives and leadership.  Secondly fathers need to be present and engage in the family process. Rather than come home from a long day and become passive, fathers need to engage in the family process. Finally fathers need to provide support and protection for his wife and children. This comes in the area of finances, emotional, physical, and spiritual support. He is the one who will stand against the schemes of the wicked who want to oppress and destroy. 

Prayer

Lord may I be a father who walks with you and is fully engage in the family process. I also ask that you will show me the fatherless in my church, community and city that I may join you in defending those who are oppressed and afflicted. 

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Consider

Scripture

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭8:1, 3-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

The Lord’s name is known in all the earth and His glory is above the heavens. When we look at all of God’s creation we are amazed that He would even consider and care for us.

Application

The power and presence of God is displayed in the majesty of His creation. Creation displays a God who is different from us yet considers and cares for us. Every morning when we glance in the mirror to prepare for the day, may we never forget that the Lord knows and cares for us. Our great creator is very much aware of us and has chosen to engage us through His son, Jesus Christ. This is beyond our comprehension yet He has clearly demonstrated His love for us.

Prayer

Lord I want to praise you for considering me and being involved within my life. May I lives today as one who has been changed by you, my Lord and Creator. 

Summer in the Psalms

Join us in reading through the Psalms this summer.

JUNE
DATE PSALM

Sun 6/5 Psalm 1
Mon 6/6 2 & 3
Tues 6/7 4 & 5
Wed 6/8 6 & 7
Thur 6/9 8 & 9
Fri 6/10 10 & 11
Sat 6/11 12-15

Sun 6/12 16 & 17
Mon 6/13 18
Tues 6/14 19 & 20
Wed 6/15 21 & 22
Thur 6/16 23 & 24
Fri 6/17 25 & 26
Sat 6/18 27 & 28

Sun 6/19 29 & 30
Mon 6/20 31 & 32
Tues 6/21 33 & 34
Wed 6/22 35 & 36
Thur 6/23 37
Fri 6/24 38 & 39
Sat 6/25 40 & 41

Sun 6/26 42 & 43
Mon 6/27 44 & 45
Tues 6/28 46 & 47
Wed 6/29 48 & 49
Thur 6/30 50 & 51

JULY
DATE PSALM

Fri 7/1 52 & 53
Sat 7/2 54 & 55

Sun 7/3 56 & 57
Mon 7/4 58 & 59
Tues 7/5 60 & 61
Wed 7/6 62 — 64
Thur 7/7 65 & 66
Friday 7/8 67 & 68
Sat 7/9 69 & 70

Sun 7/10 71 & 72
Mon 7/11 73 & 74
Tues 7/12 75 — 77
Wed 7/13 78
Thur 7/14 79 & 80
Fri 7/15 81 & 82
Sat 7/16 83 & 84

Sun 7/17 85 & 86
Mon 7/18 87 & 88
Tues 7/19 89
Wed 7/20 90 & 91
Thur 7/21 92 — 94
Fri 7/22 95 & 96
Sat 7/23 97 — 99

Sun 7/24 100 — 102
Mon 7/25 103 & 104
Tues 7/26 105
Wed 7/27 106
Thur 7/28 107
Fri 7/29 108 & 109
Sat 7/30 110 & 111

Sun 7/31 112 — 114

AUGUST
DATE PSALM

Mon 8/1 115 & 116
Tues 8/2 117 & 118
Wed 8/3 119:1-40
Thur 8/4 119:41-80
Fri 8/5 119:81-112
Sat 8/6 119:113-144

Sun 8/7 119:145-176
Mon 8/8 120 & 121
Tues 8/9 122 & 123
Wed 8/10 124 & 125
Thur 8/11 126 & 127
Fri 8/12 128 & 129
Sat 8/13 130 & 131

Sun 8/14 132 & 133
Mon 8/15 134 & 135
Tues 8/16 136 & 137
Wed 8/17 138 & 139
Thur 8/18 140 & 141
Fri 8/19 142 & 143
Sat 8/20 144 & 145

Sun 8/21 146 & 147
Mon 8/22 148 — 150

Long View

Scripture

“Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright now.” Esau said, “I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?” Jacob said, “Swear to me now.” So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob.”  ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭25:31-33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Jacob had been cooking stew and Esau came in from the field exhausted and hungry. Jacob sees an opportunity to get Esau’s birthright so in Esau’s weak moment he makes a bargain. “Sell me your birthright now”. Esau agrees and gives it up to Jacob. 

Application

Esau sought a temporary solution to deal with his immediate hunger.  In an exhausted state he gives up what should be the most important, his birthright. In the same way we often give up what is most important for temporary satisfaction. Instead of a long term view of life we seek a temporary solution to satisfy our hunger and thirst. May we capture an eternal perspective and live our lives with a long term view. 

Prayer

Lord may I see you in the everyday experiences. As I face challenges may I always have an eternal perspective and not seek short-term satisfaction. 

Prayerful Waiting

Scripture

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29-31‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Often we are faint, weary, and exhausted; it is at those times that we wait upon the Lord and our strength will be renewed. We will mount up with wings like eagles; run and not grow weary; and walk and joy faint. 

Application

In our times of exhaustion we are called to wait. This is the point where we often falter in prayer, waiting on the Lord. When we seek the Lord in prayer we  desire an immediate solution to our problems. To wait means we have to postpone the solutions to our dilemma and we are able to draw closer to the Lord and allow our will to be adjusted by his.  In the space between our prayer and God’s solution we come to a greater understanding of how God is using our current situation to accomplish His purposes. Our waiting becomes a time of discernment. 

I once heard someone describe waiting as that of a waiter. The waiter is actively returning back to the table to see how he can better serve the customer. In the same way we are actively waiting on the Lord. Going back to him to discern His will in our situation; and seeking to know how we may best make adjustments in our life so that we may conform to His image and desires for our lives. So as we pray, let us learn to wait for we are promised that at the end of our waiting we will soar.

Prayer

Lord, teach me to wait on you, to yield to your leading so that I may experience your full restoration and rest. 

Prayer Worship

Scripture

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭141:2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Our prayer and worship is an offering of praise to the Lord.

Application

We often come to prayer with our own agenda in mind. We want to receive something from our Heavenly Father.  Prayer is an opportunity to lift our praise and worship to the Lord. In prayer we recognize the eternal work behind our temporary circumstances. May our prayers be an act of worship and and expression of praise to our Lord who is working behind the scenes of our lives. 

Prayer

Lord today may my prayer be a wonderful fragrance of praise and worship to You.

Instrument of Praise

Scripture

“Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!”  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭150:3-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Observation

Our praise is expressed in many ways and the Psalmist is calling for everything that breathes to praise the Lord.

Application

The life we live is made possible by the breath we breath. The air that fills our lungs is a byproduct of the creation God has created. Our Lord is the source of life and we are called to praise the Lord with the instrument of our choice. Individually we all have something to contribute to the symphony of praise. It may be an instrument we play, a voice we proclaim, or a skill we express. No matter what the instrument of choice we are called to “praise the Lord, praise the Lord”!

Prayer

Lord today I praise you.  I will use the instruments of my life to express my praise and glorify you.  Praise the Lord, praise the Lord!