Praise the LORD! For [it is] good to sing praises to our God; For [it is] pleasant, [and] praise is beautiful. 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers together the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. 5 Great [is] our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding [is] infinite. 6 The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; Sing praises on the harp to our God, 8 Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who prepares rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. 9 He gives to the beast its food, [And] to the young ravens that cry. 10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. 11 The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy. 12 Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! 13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you. 14 He makes peace [in] your borders, [And] fills you with the finest wheat. 15 He sends out His command [to the] earth; His word runs very swiftly. 16 He gives snow like wool; He scatters the frost like ashes; 17 He casts out His hail like morsels; Who can stand before His cold? 18 He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, [and] the waters flow. 19 He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; And [as for His] judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!PSALM 147:1-20
PRAISE IS BEAUTIFUL
I don’t like coconut… at all. However my cruel wife sometimes will grab a dessert with coconut in it and bring it to the table and tell me, “I got a dessert just for you!” My mouth waters, my pulse quickens. I am reminded of how good she is and then when it is revealed that coconut is a prime ingredient and I know she is mocking me (in a playful way). She loves coconut and doesn’t mind enjoying it in front of me, but to say she got the dessert for me is just rubbing salt in the wound.
In this Psalm today we are reminded to praise for the LORD is beautiful because it is good, natural, and right. We were made to praise the LORD and it is a beautiful thing when we do. He is worthy! He counts and numbers the stars and calls them by name (4). Our minds cannot fathom the infinite splendor, wonder and grace that is the LORD’s!
However, if we really want to praise God, we don’t get to offer it “freestyle.” We don’t get to randomly do things we like and call it praise. We can’t go to the hunting woods and claim its worship any more than our wives can go to the mall and call it worship. If we really want to worship the LORD we will seek what He wants. What does God seek in worship?… a humble heart (11) and a responsiveness/ obedience to his word (19-20).
That also means that if I sing notes of wonderous melody and feel close to the Lord, but don’t seek to honor the LORD and His word, then I really didn’t offer Him praise. I used him, his house, and his worship to make me feel better, but I didn’t really worship. I’ll never really be fulfilled in worship if my worship is about my feelings more than it is about seeking to honor the Lord.
I am reminded today that God gives us many gifts, but that the greatest gift He gives is Himself. We miss out on the biggest blessings when we come to worship with an attitude of self fulfilment rather than seeking to honor the Lord…. Here is what is incredible, when we seek to honor the Lord in all we do, we are fulfilled because God made us that way.
Father, you are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory! I am grateful that you have revealed yourself to us and even though we can’t fathom all of who you are, we get to know a little bit about you. I want to live a life set apart to your praise. Let me walk in humbleness and obedience to you today. I want to seek your will in my life, not try and ask you to bless my will. conform me more and more into the image of Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.