July 2 | Bible in a Year: Job 22–24; Acts 11
To the faithful you show yourself faithful.
READ Psalm 18:20–27
In the novella Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy, main characters Sergey and Masha meet when Masha is young and impressionable. Sergey is an older, well-traveled businessman who understands the world beyond the rural setting where Masha lives. Over time, the two fall in love and marry.
They settle in the countryside, but Masha becomes bored with her surroundings. Sergey, who adores her, arranges a trip to St. Petersburg. There, Masha’s beauty and charm bring her instant popularity. Just as the couple is about to return home, a prince arrives in town, wanting to meet her. Sergey knows he can force Masha to leave with him, but he lets her make the decision. She chooses to stay, and her betrayal breaks his heart.
Like Sergey, God will never force us to be faithful to Him. Because He loves us, He lets us choose for or against Him. Our first choice for Him happens when we receive His Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice for our sin (1 John 4:9–10). After that, we have a lifetime of decisions to make.
Will we choose faithfulness to God as His Spirit guides us or let the world entice us? David’s life wasn’t perfect, but he often wrote about keeping “the ways of the Lord” and the good outcomes that came from doing so (Psalm 18:21–24). When our choices honor God, we can experience the blessing David described: to the faithful, God shows Himself faithful.
By Jennifer Benson Schuldt
REFLECT & PRAY
When was the last time you made a difficult decision that honored God? How did it affect your relationship with Him?
Dear God, help me to honor You with the choices I make. Thank You for loving me faithfully throughout my life.
The superscription of Psalm 18 tells us that David “sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies.” David was considered a “man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). Because of this, God had promised David (through the prophet Nathan): “I will never take my love away from [David] . . . I will set him over my house and my kingdom forever; his throne will be established forever” (1 Chronicles 17:13–14). David would always have a descendant on the throne, and from his family line came Jesus (Acts 13:23). Yet David committed adultery and had a man killed. Why would God esteem such a flawed man? It was because David had absolute faith in God, evidenced in his victory over Goliath (1 Samuel 17). He loved the Scriptures (Psalm 119:47), and when he sinned, he repented and sought God’s forgiveness (2 Samuel 11:13; Psalm 51).