Praise the LORD
Today’s Reading: Psalm 116 (SOAP verse 48)
This is one of those readings that make it tempting to skip right to the soap/focus verse – but as always I encourage you to read the whole passage. It’s actually a beautifully written cliff notes version of God’s people during the exodus and the conquest. While it opens and ends with the Psalmist praising the LORD, much of the chapter focuses on repentance through a recounting of Israel’s failures. We can certainly learn a lot from it – such as failure to appreciate and remember God’s work and love for us leads to rebellion (7) and the importance of God’s reputation (8). We read of how they praised God and then would quickly forget what He had done (12-13). They resented their Spiritual leaders, Moses and Aaron (16) and did evil in the sight of the LORD – like making and worshiping idols and rejecting their true and living God (19-21). Even after His mercies were shown to them they still lived in rebellion (23-25). Because of these things God would eventually make them die in the wilderness (26-27), again and again they angered God by their hideous and rebellious deeds (29-40) so “He handed them over to the nations, and those who hated them ruled over them”(41). He delivered them many times but their attitudes were still rebellious (43). Yet, “He took notice of their distress when He heard their cry for help and relented because of His great loyal love” (44-45) – Because of the recounting of these things and because of all of God’s mighty acts the Psalmist acknowledged that God was worthy of praise now and forevermore and he encouraged the people to praise Him.
The Recounting Results
A “recounting” of God’s ‘mighty acts’ will always lead us to praise Him. Praise Him not only for the present but for the future and forever. The Psalmist not only realized that God deserved praise but he encouraged all the people to agree with him and praise the LORD.
How Then Do I Live?
I should be faithful to “recount” God’s mighty acts. I should be quick to realize and always be aware that God is worthy of my praise. I should also encourage ‘others to see and agree and praise the LORD’.
Why does it matter?
Because others will ‘see and agree’ only when we are faithful to recount and actively praise Him – sparking a fire in those around us and for generations to come.
Father, help me. Help Your people to notice Your mighty acts. To remember them from days of old. And to recount them faithfully as edification and encouragement for ourselves and others to PRAISE You. For truly You are worthy, both now and always! Help us not only to learn to PRAISE You from the recounting but may the recounting also be a warning and reminder of where rebellion and discontent and grumbling and forgetfulness lead us. Thank You for Your loyal love and faithfulness to forgive – to relent. All Your deeds are praiseworthy – this we know and give you praise. Let all the people agree. – Amen!