My pastor, Dr. Rod MacIlvaine has been teaching in the Psalms for the past few weeks. This week he will speak about, Praise- a Powerful but Neglected Discipline. (available online next week at gccbartlesville.org) He explained during this series, that the book of Psalms begins with an invitation to love God and it ends with a command to praise God.
God’s people are known for their praise. In the Old Testament the Israelites sang, danced, played tambourines and harps to worship the Lord. In the New Testament there are numerous examples of praise. But did you know there was a season when the music of God’s people ceased?
Psalm 137 tells us when the Israelites were taken captive by the Babylonians, the people missed Jerusalem so much, they hung their harps in the willow trees and wept. Psalm 137:1-3, “By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst of it We hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.” They mourned the loss of their land, their freedom, their old life, and the way things were. Verse 4 says, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”
Look around, do you feel like you live in a foreign land? America has changed a lot in the past few years. Our country is not the nation it used to be. A few short years ago, we were a Christian nation of integrity. The economy was in check and there was prosperity. We were not under the threat of terrorist and there was security. But now, if you look around, it looks like we are living in a foreign land.
What’s robbing you of your song? Do you ever feel like sitting down and weeping because you miss America? Do feel tormented by others who mock your Lord? Do you feel like hanging up your harp?
Well don’t hang up your harp yet! We are commanded to praise the Lord. Psalm 150 is a six verse praise of God, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him with trumpet sound; Praise Him with harp and lyre. Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe. Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
So get your harp out that tree, find your tambourine and cymbals, and put on your dancing shoes. It is time to praise the Lord!
Heavenly Father, take our eyes off our situation and put them on you. Fill our minds, hearts, and mouths with praise. When we are tempted to be silent, nudge us toward obedience. In Jesus Name, Amen
archived devotionals available also at circleofsavings.com