June 10: A God Who Is Present
2 Chronicles 24:1–25:28; 1 John 1:5–10; Psalm 103:1–14
It’s sometimes difficult to grasp that the Creator of the universe cares about us—that He bothers with miniscule people like us. Because we tend to forget about others and focus on our own tasks and needs, we’re prone to think that God isn’t concerned with the details of His creation—that He’s not intimately involved in every aspect of our lives.
Psalm 103 presents a different understanding of God. The psalmist describes a God who wants to know us and wants us to respond to Him. He illustrates a responsive love.
Because of God’s love for him, he declares, “Bless Yahweh … all within me, bless his holy name” (Psa 103:1). God doesn’t stop at forgiving our sins and redeeming us. He “crowns [us] with loyal love and mercies” (Psa 103:4). Although we have greatly offended Him, He doesn’t hold it against us: “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor repaid us according to our iniquities” (Psa 103:10). As a father, He knows where we fail, and He pities us: “For he knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust” (Psa 103:13–14).
We can easily forget that God is concerned about our existence and jealous for our praise. If we don’t realize His work and thank Him for it, we’re not bringing Him glory. Ultimately, He has shown His love through His act of reconciling us to Himself. When we forget where we stand with Him, we can look to that great testament of His love. Then we can be like the psalmist and respond with praise.
Do you doubt God’s love and care for you? Does this affect your praise for Him?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Joash did uprightly in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the Priest. And Jehoiada took him two wives, and he begat son and daughters. And afterward it came into Joash’s mind to renew the house of the Lord. And he assembled the Priests and the Levites, and said to them, Go out unto the cities of Judah and gather of all Israel money to repair the house of your God, from year to year, and haste the thing, but the Levites hasted not. Therefore the king called Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and Jerusalem the tax of Moses the servant of the Lord, and of the Congregation of Israel, for the Tabernacle of the testimony? For wicked Athaliah, and her children brake up the house of God: and all the things that were dedicated for the house of the Lord, did they bestow upon Baal. Therefore the king commanded, and they made a chest, and set it at the gate of the house of the Lord without. And they made proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring unto the lord the tax of Moses the servant of God, laid upon Israel in the wilderness. And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had finished. And when it was time, they brought the chest unto the King’s officer by the hand of the Levites: and when they saw that there was much silver, then the King’s Scribe (and one apointed by the high Priest) came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again: thus they did day by day, and gathered silver in abundance. And the King and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the labor and work in the house of the Lord, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the Lord: they gave it also to works of iron and brass, to repair the house of the Lord. So the workmen wrought, and the work amended through their hands: and they restored the house of God to his state, and strengthened it. And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the silver before the king and Jehoiada, and he made thereof vessels for the house of the Lord, even vessels to minister, both mortars and incense cups, and vessels of gold, and of silver: and they offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lod continually all the days of Jehoiada. But Jehoiada waxed old and was full of days, and died. An hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. And they buried him in the city of David with the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house. And after the house of Jehoiada, came the princes of Judah, and did reverence to the king, and the king hearkened unto them. And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem, because of this their trespass. And God sent Prophets among them, to bring them again unto the Lord: and they made protestation among them, but they would not hear. And the Spirit of the God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the Priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the Lord? surely ye shall not prosper: because ye have forsaken the Lord, he also hath forsaken you. Then they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king, in the court of the house of the Lord. Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it and require it. And when the year was out, the host of Aram came up agaist him, and they came against Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people,, and sent all the spoil of them unto the king of Damascus. Though the army of Aram came with a small company of men, yet the Lod delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers: and they gave sentence against Joash. And when they were departed from him, (for they left him in great diseases) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of their children of Jehoiada the Priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died, and they buried him in the city of David: but they buried him not in the sepulchers of the kings. And these are they that conspired against him, Zabad the son of Shimrath an Ammonites, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith a Moabitess. But his sons, and the sum of the tax gathered by him, and the foundation of the house of God, behold, they are written in the story of the book of the Kings. And Amaziah his son reigned in his stead. Amaziah was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did uprightly in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. And when the kingdom was established unto him, he slew his servants, that had slain the king his father. But he slew not their children, but did as it is written in the Law, and in the b ook of Moses, where the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for their fathers, but every man shall die for his own sin. And Amaziah assembled Judah, and made them capatains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, accordding to the house of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found among them three hundred thousand chosen men, to go forth to the war, and to handle spear and shield. He hired also an hundred thousand valiant men out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. But a man of God came to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee: for the Lord is not with Israel, neither with all the house of Ephraim. If not, go thou on, do it, make thyself strong to the battle, but God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. And Amaziah said to the man of GOD, What shall we do then for the hundred talents, which I have given to the host of Israel? Then the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee more than this. So Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to return to their place: wherefore their wrath was kindled greatly against Judah, and they returned to their places with great anger. Then Amaziah was encouraged, and led forth his people, and went to the salt valley, and smote of the children of Seir, ten thousand. And other ten thousand did the children of Judah take alive, and carried them to the top of a rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, and they all burst to pieces. But the men of the army, which Amaziah sent away, that they should not go with his people to battle, fell upon the cities of Judah from Samaria unto Beth Horon, and smote three thousand of them, and took which spoil. Now after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and worshipped them, and burned incense unto them. Wherefore the Lord was wroth with Amaziah, and sent unto him a Prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought the gods of the people, which were not able to deliver their own people out of thine hand? And as he talked with him, he said unto him, Have they made thee the King’s counselor? cease thou: why should they smite thee? And the Prophet ceased, but said, I know that God hath determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not obeyed my counsel. Then Amaziah King of Judah took counsel, and sent to Joash the son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu king of Israel, saying, Come, let us see one another in the face. But Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that is in Lebanon, sent to the cedar that is in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughters to my son to wife: and the wild beast that was in Lebanon went and trode down the thistle. Thou thinkest: lo, thou hast smitten Edom, and thine heart lifteth thee up to brag: abide now at home: why dost thou provoke to thine hurt, that thou shouldest fall, and Judah with thee? But Amaziah would not hear: for it was of God, that he might deliver them into his hand, because they had sought the gods of Edom. So Joash the king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah saw one another in the face at Bethshemesh, which is in Judah. And Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tents. But Joash the king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, in Bethshemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem, from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits. And he took all the gold and the silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed Edom, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and the children that were in hostage, and returned to Samaria. And Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel, fifteen years. Concerning the rest of the acts of Amaziah first and last, are they not written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from the Lord, they wrought treason against him in Jerusalem: and when he was fled to Lachich, they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there. And they brought him upon horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah. 2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
- This then is the message, which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not truly. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, we have no t sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5–10
- My soul, praise thou the Lord, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name. My soul, praise thou the Lord, and forget not all his benefits. Which forgiveth all thine iniquity, and healeth all thine infirmities. Which redeemeth thy life from the grave: and crowneth thee with mercy and compassions. Which satisfieth thy mouth with good things: and thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment to all that are oppressed. He made his ways known unto Moses, and his works unto the children of Israel. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness. He will not always chide, neither keep his anger forever. Psalm 103:1–14