Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"No matter what ... PRAISE the LORD!"

Day #53:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - February 19th

Scripture Reading:  Psalm 21 - 23 ...

David loved God.  He had his ups and downs throughout his life, but in his heart, he loved God and desired to worship and honor Him.  It is not surprising that he wrote so many of the Psalms.  They erupted from a heart in tune with his Creator, his God, the love and strength of his life.  And because of David's connection with God, he was used by God to write of things beyond David's understanding.

Psalm 21 is a very personal testimony of how God has blessed David in a myriad of ways.  "You have granted him the desire of his heart" (vs. 2).  "You welcomed him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head" (vs. 3).  "Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence" (vs. 6).

 ... And then he points out the contrast of God's dealings with his enemies:  "In His wrath the LORD will swallow them up, and His fire will consume them" (vs. 9).  David wanted God to be exalted and to receive praise, and his Psalms have been used for 3,000 years to bring praise to the LORD, the Creator of the heavens and the earth ... David's God, and ours!

Psalm 22 is recognized as one of those Psalms that speaks of things beyond David's understanding.  David may have been expressing the cry of one who had many enemies around him and who may have felt that God had forsaken him ... but at the same time, he was writing of the ONE who WAS forsaken of His Father on the cross in order to purchase our salvation.

Jesus spoke these words of David from the cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (vs. 1).  By the inspiration of the Spirit of God Jesus speaks through David, one thousand years before He comes to earth.  He speaks of the insults that were hurled at Him (vs. 7) and of those who "have pierced my hands and my feet" (vs. 16).  He mentions the fact that none of His bones were broken (vs. 17) and that "they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing" (vs. 18).

And again, the result is PRAISE!  "From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you will I fulfill my vows" (vs. 25).  "Dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations. ... Posterity will serve Him; future generations will be told about the LORD" (vss. 28, 30).  Oh, how God deserves our praise, and how blessed are we who have been moved of His Spirit to exalt His name!!

For "the LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!"  Psalm 23 ... of all the Psalms, perhaps the best-known.  Perhaps it is because it expresses the quiet calm of the soul whose faith and trust rests in the One who leads through all the twists and turns of life, safely arriving at its desired destination:  "the house of the LORD" (vs. 6).  There, we will praise the LORD forever, in an eternal state of blessedness, in the very presence of our God!

Have you felt David's heart?  Have you heard God's voice speaking through David to you?  Praise the LORD!  Praise Him Who is worthy!  Praise the One who brings blessing, life and salvation to those who trust in Him.  Circumstances change, but God remains the same ... day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.  Rejoice in the LORD and give Him praise, for He has done great things!!

"O LORD, our God ... MY God, I trust in You and give You PRAISE ... from my lips, from my HEART!!  I give thanks to You for Your blessings and rest in Your strength.  Continue to guide me, O LORD, and bring me to my eternal home after I have lived to give you praise all my days.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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