Weekly Devotional | "A Flawless Election Prediction"
This devotional is based on C.J. Mahaney's sermon, A Flawless Election Prediction, given on November 6, 2016.
Day 1: A Call to Joyful Praise (v.1-3)
- “Secular writers force us to read the world from within a framework in which God’s moral will, saving intentions, His truth, and His Christ are never the criteria of meaning or importance. The Biblical authors see everything from a theocentric viewpoint. The Biblical writers compel us to read the world from this perspective, to see it in relation to the moral character of God and the ways in which He has disclosed His saving intentions in human history.” David Wells
- “Worry alters the atmosphere of the mind. It shrinks your awareness of the present and your ability to enjoy what’s around you right now. It cycles possible bad futures around in your head and forces you to live in dreadful future scenarios. Pretty soon, you are seeing the world through a dirty windshield…the windshield of your soul is most likely dirty if you devote more time and attention to Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, and social media than you do the biblical worldview revealed in Holy Scripture.” C.J. Mahaney
Questions and Reflections:
- Despite the anxious circumstances surrounding him, what is the Psalmist devoting his attention to? What does this imply about the connection between your worldview and your experience of joy and peace?
- What unique role does corporate, rather than individual, worship play in fixing our attention and affection upon God?
- What does the Psalmist mean by a “new” song? Is it hypocritical to sing in corporate worship even if you don’t feel fresh joy in the Lord like the psalmist?
- What does preparing for corporate worship look like practically? What do we lose or miss out on if we fail to prepare?
- Consider all the things influencing your current situation (i.e. worries, objects or events of concern, etc.). Ask the Lord to inform your mind with Biblical truth and align your perspective with the perspective of the Biblical authors.
- In the midst of any situation, there is always sufficient reason to sing a new song unto the Lord. As you are considering your personal situation, do not forgot to meditate on the goodness of the Lord and offer Him prayers of praise.
Day 2: Reflections on the Reasons to Praise (v.4-17)
- “It is the character of God in verse 4 and following that inspires the celebration of God in verses 1-3. The psalmist is compelling us to read our world, and to read this election, from a God-centered perspective.” C.J. Mahaney
- “God neither reacts to nor is surprised by events. And God’s plan and purpose will not be frustrated by the results of this election. Somehow, in the mystery of His sovereignty, this election will not frustrate but facilitate His wise and good purpose for His glory and for the good of his people.” C.J. Mahaney
- “The kings of the earth are continually disturbing the world with their schemes of ambition. They expect to carry everything before them and have seldom any higher end in view than the gratification of their own passions. But in all they do, they are but servants of the great King and Lord and fulfill his purpose as the instruments he employs to inflict prescribed punishment upon transgressors against him or to open a way for the spread of his Gospel. They had one thing in view, he had another.” John Newton
Questions and Reflections:
- What about the creative and sustaining power of God moves the psalmist to awe? Why does that awe translate to peace in the psalmist’s soul concerning the nations of the world in verses 13-17?
- What are the most common worries that this election season have elicited? How does the psalmist speak to these specific worries?
- As you consider the specific concerns about the upcoming election, consider also the sovereign power of God in verses 10-17. Ask God to fill your mind with the comforting knowledge of His goodness, compassion, mercy, sovereignty, wisdom, and power. Ask Him to counter your fears with faith in those things.
Day 3: God’s Provision to those who trust Him (v18-22)
- “A Christian trusting in the God revealed in this psalm should also sleep well Tuesday night regardless of the outcome of this election, regardless of the laws that are passed as a result of this election, regardless of the state of the economy, regardless of the Supreme Court justices that are appointed…God promises protection and provision to a very specific group of people: those who humbly and gladly trust Him. So, it’s not only in a general way that God’s plan and purpose will not be frustrated. His very personal and specific plans and purposes for our lives individually and collectively as a church that are marked out by His goodness and His wisdom, those plans cannot be frustrated. That’s the promise of this psalm.” C.J. Mahaney
- “When men think about God, they tend to get themselves confused. Assuming that God is exactly like human beings, only bigger and older, they think that God reacts to events rather than causes them. Sometimes men conceive of God as actually being uninformed about the future or the details of the universe, and they imagine that He is surprised by events just as we sometimes are. God neither reacts to nor is surprised by events. He knows all things because He planned all things and carries out all His plans. God always acts for a purpose. And from the beginning He intended to display His glory by redeeming a people for Himself. History is the execution of God’s plan. History makes sense only if one assumes God is sovereign. If there were events in history outside God’s plan and control, then it would become an irrational affair. It would be a ‘tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’” John Robbins
Questions and Reflections:
- What does the psalmist communicate to the reader by mentioning the Lord’s compassionate gaze in verse 18?
- Does your perspective of God’s sovereignty match that of the Psalmist? How can or should your perspective be altered?
- What are the very personal and specific life plans that you fear will be frustrated by this election? Read and pray through verses 18-22 and ask God to strengthen your faith in His sure and steadfast purposes for your ultimate joy in Him.