Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: Psalm 119:129-136 Appended
Direct my steps by Your Word. —Psalm 119:133
During the era of great sea exploration in the 15th and 16th centuries, sailing
ships traversed vast, hazardous oceans and navigated dangerous coastlines.
Pilots used various navigation techniques—including a book called a “rutter”
(not the “rudder,” the ship’s steering device). This was a log of events kept
by earlier voyagers who chronicled their encounters with previously unknown and
difficult waters. By reading the sailing details in a rutter, captains could
avoid hazards and make it through difficult waters.
In many ways, the Christian life is like a voyage, and the believer needs help
in navigating life’s perilous seas. We have that help because God has given us
His Word as a “spiritual rutter.” Often when we reflect on a meaningful
passage, we can recall God’s faithfulness through trying circumstances. As the
psalmist suggests, perils are found not only in life situations but also in our
inner tendency toward sin. Because of these dual concerns, he wrote, “Direct my
steps by Your Word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me” (119:133).
As you reflect on the teaching in the Bible, you’ll be reminded of God’s past
care, assured of the Lord’s guidance in trying circumstances, and warned
against sinfulness. That’s the advantage of having a “spiritual rutter.”
My Bible is a guidebook true
That points for me the way,
That gives me courage, hope, and cheer
And guidance for each day. —Anon.
With God’s Word as your map and His Spirit as your compass, you’re sure to stay
129 Your statutes are wonderful;
therefore I obey them.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
longing for your commands.
132 Turn to me and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Direct my footsteps according to your word;
let no sin rule over me.
134 Redeem me from human oppression,
that I may obey your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant
and teach me your decrees.
136 Streams of tears flow from my eyes,
for your law is not obeyed.
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.