Upright Heart and Skillful Hands (Psalm 78:72) - Radical

Upright Heart and Skillful Hands (Psalm 78:72)

“With an upright heart, he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”
-Psalm 78:72

This is such an interesting verse to end this chapter with, this chapter that is recounted. It has recounted the history of God’s work among his people, and at the very end, the Psalms talks about in verse 70 how God chose David, his servant, and took him from the sheep folds to shepherd his people, to lead his people, talking about King David. This is the description we have of King David in verse 72. The last verse in the Psalm says, With upright heart, he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.” I read that verse, and I immediately think, God, I want to be like that. Don’t you? I think about in my life, anything I do, I think about my shepherding of my family. I want to shepherd my family with an upright heart.

Our hope is that every pastor would possess an upright heart and skillful hands for the work of ministry.

I want to guide them with a skillful hand, particularly when we think about any leadership position we’re in. Don’t we want that? Don’t we want to lead people with upright hearts and skillful hands, those two qualities? Psalm 78:72, just begging us to pray for those two qualities in our lives, and particularly in any way in which we lead others, that we would have upright hearts and skillful hands. As a pastor, I want these things. I would encourage you to pray for this in pastors and any leaders in your church, to pray that they would have upright hearts and skillful hands. Let’s do that right now in each of our lives and for other leaders around us. God, we pray. Psalm 78 verse 72. We say, before you together right now, each of us, we want upright hearts and skillful hands in everything we do.

We think about all that we do today. God, we pray that you would do it with an upright heart, with a heart that is pleasing to you, that is righteous before you, that is good and just, that is a reflection of your character. Particularly in any capacity you have given us to lead in our home, outside our home, in a classroom, in a job, in the church, we pray that you would help us to lead other people with upright hearts, and to guide them to lead with skill, with skillful hands. God, please help us to lead today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next with wisdom, and discernment, and understanding, and kindness. God, with skill in whatever we are leading them to do. God, we pray for this and other leaders around us. We want every leader in our churches to have an upright heart and a skillful hand. Would you please grant that to them?

We want other leaders in homes to have this. We want leaders in companies, and corporations want bosses and employers to have these things. We want our president and vice-president, and God, we want government leaders in all kinds of different spheres of influence to lead with upright hearts and skillful hands. Even as we pray all of this, God, we pause and realize that Jesus alone is the perfect leader with a completely upright heart and with a completely skillful hand. We are so thankful that Lord Jesus, you are the leader of our lives, that you are the ultimate king who shepherds our hearts with upright heart, and you guide us with your skillful hand. Guide us and shepherd us today in every way you desire.

God, even as we pray that, we pray for people who don’t know you as the good shepherd. We pray that you would help us to lead other people to you as the good shepherd around us and far from us. God, we pray for the Bajau people of Malaysia. None of them know you as the good shepherd, as the savior from their San and the Lord of their lives. God, we pray that you would cause the gospel to go to the Bajau people of Malaysia. We praise you Jesus as our shepherd, and we pray that you would shepherd and guide us today with your heart and your hand, and help us to be a reflection of your heart and your hand in the way we lead and guide others in your name, and according to your word we pray. Amen.

View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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