“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.’ – Psalm 110:4
The above Psalm is a prophecy about the priesthood of Jesus in the order of Melchizedek. The story of Melchizedek is contained in Genesis chapter 14. Abram rescued his nephew Lot who had been captured after the city of Sodom and her allies were defeated in battle. Abram rounded up his fighting men and some others to help and went and defeated the victors, freeing Lot and the other captives. After winning the victory this scene occurs,
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” – Luke 6:46-49
Those of us who have grown up in the church or been around the church for years know this story well and have heard it many times. While it is a blessing to have been exposed to scripture over and over so that we learn it well, sometimes we do not give our full attention to the stories we have heard often. When a speaker opens up to a well-known passage we often let our level of focus drop–whether we realize it or not–and are not as present as we could or should be. We must remind ourselves that the Word of God is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is not just the words God spoke, it is the words God is speaking and will speak, Jesus is the living Word. As many times as we read a passage or hear a story from scripture, that many times we can learn from it and be changed by it.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!” – Psalm 105:1-6
To call upon the Lord is to petition Him to act, to seek His blessing and presence. Often it is in times of distress, but not always.
The previous devotion focused on the first two verses of Psalm 103 and the need to remind ourselves of all the reasons we have to praise the Lord. This devotion will work through those reasons as David lists them in the Psalm.
“who forgives all your sins”
Through Christ all of our sins are atoned for perfectly and completely. Not just many of them or partly, but all of them completely.
“Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits” – Psalm 103:1-2
Psalm 103 is packed with beautiful and encouraging truth. In the space of twenty-two verses David covers a wide range of truth about God and His relationship with us. We have many great and wonderful reasons to be constantly praising the Lord.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.” – Psalm 84:5-7
This Psalm is attributed to the Sons of Korah. It describes the physical and spiritual journey of traveling to Jerusalem to be in the house of the Lord and worship Him. The physical journey to Jerusalem mirrors the spiritual journey of being a pilgrim and sojourner here on earth on the way to God’s heavenly dwelling place.