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I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky. I Lift Up My Eyes: A Study in Psalms - Book Five - A hiker on the top of a rocky mountain, with a pink and purple night sky.

Daily Devotional | Longing for the Past


Often, we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. As I am writing this, my ankle is in a walking cast. The experience has made me long for the days when I could walk normally, and I look forward to being able to do so soon!

Psalm 138 is written from the perspective of those living outside Israel. We can be sure that the exiles longed for all that was in their past. They were surrounded by opposing beliefs and cultural practices. But instead of being tempted to give in and worship the gods of foreign lands, David declares that “before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise” (v. 1).

You and I also live in a culture surrounded by other gods, including wealth, influence, pleasure, and power. When we praise God as being the sole object worthy of praise, we are also naming and condemning the idols and idol worship that surrounds us. Only one way is the true way.

Perhaps because of the exposure to other gods, the Psalmist has a deepened appreciation for the God of Israel. He recounts what makes our God unique: “Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar” (v. 6). Although God is the Creator of the universe and Lord of all people, he still cares for and sees the humble. God’s compassion and faithfulness to His covenant is on full display.

Because of God’s greatness, the Psalmist prays, “May all the kings of the earth praise you, LORD, when they hear what you have decreed” (v. 4). He desires that people from all the nations will join him in worshiping the God of Israel.

>> We can be grateful that we worship the one, true and living God! Today, reflect on God’s compassion and care. He sees and knows you (v. 6). Remember the times He has delivered you in the past (v. 3) and anticipate His faithfulness now and in the future.

Pray with Us

Heavenly Father, You know us more intimately than we know ourselves. In Scripture we hear again and again that Your love endures forever. Remind us of these truths when we begin to doubt that You will take care of us.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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