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Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Our devotion today focuses on the Psalm and is from LifeLight: Selected Psalms—Leaders Guide.

Scripture Readings

Isaiah 55:6–9
Psalm 27:1–9
Philippians 1:12–14, 19–30
Matthew 20:1–16

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

Though the world around us may be full of darkness and uncertainty, we rest in knowing that because the Lord is our light and our life, we need not be afraid. Let us give thanks today for Jesus, the light of the world, who has come to save us from the darkness of sin and death.

Devotional Reading

As Psalm 27 begins, enemies surround David, yet his thoughts are on the strength and blessings of God. The Lord is our light and salvation (v. 1a). The Lord is also our security (v. 1b), a security no army can take away. The strength of the Lord sustains His people and is our continual strength and joy.

David could have asked for anything—for instance, to conquer his enemies. But instead, he simply asks to be near the Lord all of his days. David expresses that desire (v. 4) in a three-fold way: He wants to continue to be close to the Lord and to have an intimate relationship with Him. He also asks that he never lose sight of the Lord or of His ways. Finally, David says that he desires to seek the Lord in prayer in such a way that he is never isolated from the Lord’s mercy and help. David knew that if he was right with God, then he (v. 5) need fear no enemy nor any other danger. What David wants is not the physical security of the temple walls but the security that comes from close fellowship with the Lord. . . .

David’s greatest fear (v. 9) is that he could lose what he has received from the Lord. All who are sinners sense their own unworthiness before God. At times, we may fear that God will someday stop answering our prayers. Yet we, like David, can draw confidence (v. 10) from God’s long-suffering nature. Because God is long-suffering, David confidently asks (vv. 11–12) two blessings from the Lord:

  • Teach me, so that difficulties of life may never shake my faith.
  • Protect me from my own sinful desires and from others who might take me from my God. . . .

(V. 13) Because of God’s goodness and mercy, David is confident that God will answer his prayers for continued closeness. David will fail, but God will never fail David. (V. 14) In humility, David then calls others to remain close to the Lord as He works out His will for their lives. To us, here and now, David would say, “Wait patiently for the Lord and for His answers instead of trying to find your own solutions to your problems.”

Devotional reading is from LifeLight: Selected Psalms—Leaders Guide, page 11 © 2010 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Hymn is “Salvation unto Us Has Come,” hymn 555 from Lutheran Service Book. Video © 2017 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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