Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Praise for God’s Goodness and Might
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the name of the Lord;
give praise, O servants of the Lord,
2 you that stand in the house of the Lord,
in the courts of the house of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
sing to his name, for he is gracious.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel as his own possession.
5 For I know that the Lord is great;
our Lord is above all gods.
6 Whatever the Lord pleases he does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
7 He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth;
he makes lightnings for the rain
and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
8 He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
both human beings and animals;
9 he sent signs and wonders
into your midst, O Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He struck down many nations
and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan—
12 and gave their land as a heritage,
a heritage to his people Israel.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Many of the Psalms are songs of praise. They remember what God has done in the past and praise and affirm the goodness of God. “Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious. For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.”
You’ll notice a common characteristic of Hebrew poetry. The same thought is repeated in different words—as if to make sure we get the message:
Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.
For the LORD has chosen Jacob Israel as his own possession.
Because the Psalms are ancient songs, it is no wonder that many of them have been set to music in more modern times.
What Psalm speaks the most to you today?
There are many “psalms” of praise written in our time. Here is an example from the 1986 United Reformed Church’s Prayer Handbook entitled “In Praise of the Creator”:
let there be light
to remind us that darkness has been conquered
and love has filled the universe
in the face of Jesus Christ.
Let there be sky
to draw our gaze in fear and wonder
displaying in cloud and thunder, rainbow and rain
our dependence upon your overarching care.
Let there be sun, moon and stars
to give us an appetite for eternity
and to warn us of the limits of our knowledge and pride.
Let there be earth
for us to respect and love
as we seek to conserve its energy and resources
for children yet to come.
Let there be fish and animals
to be partners with us on the earth
sharing our land, sea and air.
Let there be people
who as your creatures
have not lost their sense of dependence
and who are creators and responsible protectors of life.
Let there be rest
offering us the opportunity
for reflection and worship, recreation and refreshment
with time to remember
that a new creation has been forgivingly provided
in Jesus Christ.
If you were to write a psalm of praise, what would it include?
There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul.
1 O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!
2 My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro’ all the earth abroad
the honors of your name.
3 Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease,
’tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’tis life and health and peace.
4 He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
he sets the prisoner free;
his blood can make the foulest clean;
his blood availed for me.
5 To God all glory, praise, and love
be now and ever given
by saints below and saints above,
the Church in earth and heaven.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster
Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:
What image of God brings me comfort?