Great Plains Daily Devotional for 9/9/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Senior Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Executive Director of Locations & Pastoral Care
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Blue Springs Location Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Downtown Local Missions Engagement Director
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 81

Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
    when he went out over the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
    your hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

“But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their doom would last forever.
I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Today's Devotional

When God chose Israel to be His people, He made a covenant with them. He promised great blessings if they were true to His word, obeyed His commands, and remained faithful to him. He is the God who fought their battles in Egypt while under the ruthless Pharaoh. However, God also warned them of the consequences of disobedience and unbelief. He forewarned them about the afflictions that would follow if they wandered after foreign gods and backslid into apostasy.

God gave them the law, the feasts, the priesthood and the tabernacle to remind them of the special privileges of being His chosen nation. One of the annual feast days they were to celebrate was the Feast of Trumpets which not only reminded them of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage, but of His promise to provide bountifully for their daily needs and satisfy them with good things.

God is not a hard taskmaster but a good and gracious Provider. The Psalmist called the people of Israel to rejoice in the God of their salvation and to dance and sing for joy to the Lord. He reminded them that the joy of the Lord was their strength. They were encouraged to shout joyfully to the God of Jacob as they blew their trumpets celebrating the annual feast at the time of the new moon...

"I am the LORD, am your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it."

In this verse, the people are reminded of who they are and what God has promised to do for them. God had proved His power many times in Egypt, as after the plague befell their cruel slave-masters. However, we see that as the Israelites set out on their journey to the Promised Land, the Lord tested their faithfulness along the way.

The same God who clothed the lilies of the valley and fed the wild birds guaranteed his people abundant blessings. All God wanted from His people was that they continued to heed His Word, trust His promises, obey His commands, and walk worthy of the privilege they enjoyed as His covenant nation History not only illustrates God's long-suffering mercy towards his people but also records Israel's ongoing infidelity and their incredible fall into apostasy, for we read, "But My people did not listen to my voice. Israel did not obey me -- so I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices." Psalm 81:11-12

God has these same expectations for us today. While God is not a hard taskmaster, he is a jealous God. He does not want us to share our lives with earthly and frivolous priorities. We are not to lust after the false gods and idols. Each one of can take time to examine how we live today and see what idols and earthly priorities we put before God. The Lord wants us to rejoice in our salvation and to honor him for that salvation. He wants us to rejoice in our redemption from the slave-market of sin, rejoice in him for having lifted us out of the miry clay, and pardoned all our iniquities. We must serve God and forsake the little gods we secretly cherish within our hearts.

Just as God promised to bless His people Israel and fill their mouths with good things, so He has given us all we need for life and godliness. He has clothed us in the righteousness of Christ and has promised to come again to take us to be with Himself.
--Rev. Ever V. Mudambanuki
Nebraska City UMC
EMudambanuki@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Heavenly Father, thank you for your word and the truths it contains. Thank you for rescuing us from the bondage of sin and for your many precious promises of provision, which are all "Yes” and “Amen” in Christ Jesus my Savior. We widely open our mouths as you fill us with your goodness, mercy, and love. Amen.
 

 

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