Supplemental Readings for January
In each month in the year in which there are days beyond 28 in number–that of course, is all of them except February–we will use those days for supplementary readings. These are further readings based on ideas or concepts introduced during the regular reading schedule of the month. These are intended to provide further insight and illustrate how the Bible is a connected, unified whole–not just some loose collection of spiritual writings.
Very often our considerations of the creation are from an apologetic standpoint [not in the sense of an apology, but rather a reasoned defense], that is, an effort to defend the biblical account of creation and respond to the theory of evolution. The Bible’s emphasis is quite different. The creation is a marvelous work of God, and only God. It is that which elicits praise and adoration and awe. We read on January 2, three Psalms that are based on God’s creative work (8, 104, 148). In today’s reading we’ll read a number of selections from several Psalms that make reference to God’s creative acts. Also, you might notice how God is so frequently identified as the one who “made heaven and earth” (Psa. 96:5; 102:25; 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3; 146:6)
Hitler dreamed of a Third Reich that would stand a thousand years based on a superior Aryan race.
Lenin conceived of a perfect world society founded on common ownership of all things.
Our own forefathers brought forth “a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the principle that all men are created equal.”
Every nation that has ever risen has fallen: no matter how noble and wise or how misguided and maniacal. They all have, or will, come to an end.
They also all have something else in common–and it’s not unrelated–all have been conceived and implemented by men.
The simple truth is, “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples” (Psa. 33:10).
By contrast, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, and the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psa. 33:11).
Why is that nothing more than an empty boast? Creation. Verses 6-9 begin this line of thought. It is by God’s word, His counsel, and the breath of His mouth that it all came to be, “and it stood firm.” God’s work endures, men’s does not.
Therefore, any nation of men–founded by men and destined to fall–“whose God is the Lord” is blessed (v. 12).