A Hymn of Praise to God
In this Psalm all of creation and all peoples are bidden to praise the God of Israel. Imperative calls for God's praise ring out at in every verse, beginning with the heavenly realms and the cosmos, carrying on through the earthly creation, because at God's command they were created. (V.6)
Moving through the rest of the created order, the psalmist bids all peoples to join in the praise of God's name, "for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens." (V.13)
God's name is his essence. The entire world is bidden to praise God. We might wonder what does this call, to praise the God of Israel, has to do with the rest of the people of the earth - but this relationship with God is part of his special identity in the world. He is worthy of universal praise and people everywhere may join to praise God's Messiah, Jesus. In turn, the Holy Spirit, working through the church is tasked to bring God's redemption to all the world.
An aside: (V. 13-14) These verses are included in the Jewish liturgy for returning the Torah to the Ark in synagogue worship. They proclaim that God alone is sublime and that he raises the "horn of power" (or strength) for his people Israel, therefore deserving of praise and adoration indeed.
THEREFORE: Let us join our voices to this hymn of praise - even when things aren't going the way we want. That, then, becomes a sacrifice of praise and worship and is even more precious to God who made you and who loves you.
Let us make time to praise God when things are going great, because it is during those times when we are prone to think, as Israel did, "I did this all by myself!" And the corollary, "I don't actually need God," because the next step is after that idolatry. We know that if we do not humble ourselves, God will do it and it will be painful (see Peter's denial of Jesus 3 times.)
Most of all, let us praise God because he is better than anything in all creation. "Oh Come Let Us Adore Him!"
PRAYER: Lord, in the good times and in the tough times we bring our offering of praise. You alone are holy and we worship you. Be with us in the coming year, to guide us and help us to live a life worthy of you, fully pleasing to you, bearing fruit in every good work. May our praise be to you as sweet smelling incense, an offering fit for our amazing God. Amen.
SONG: "Hallelujah Chorus" - Christmas Food Court Flash Mob
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.