Daily D – Psalm 138:4-6
May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord, when they hear what you have decreed. May they sing of the ways of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord is great. Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. (NIV)
When they hear what you have to say, God, all earth’s kings will say “Thank you.” They’ll sing of what you’ve done: “How great the glory of God!” And here’s why: God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us. (MSG)
As high as God is justly exalted, so close is his perfect love near.
How have you experienced these truths?
David could not help but turn these truths into poetry. His words connect with our hearts three millennia after they were penned. These truths stand the tests of time. They endure forever. Truth is like that, isn’t it? It does not shift like yesterday’s political correctness.
You may not have cultivated a heart for poetry. Verse, rhythm, rhyme, and meter may well lie beyond your communication toolkit. This is where numbered lists and bullet points come in handy. List how God has demonstrated these truths in your life and in your observation.
This is the kind of list to cultivate over time. This is the kind of list to return to upon those occasions when your feelings of loss and abandonment tell you lies about God’s absence. This is the kind of list courage for today comes from as you recall how God intervened, showed up, guided and provided all along the way to the moment where you think you are suddenly all alone.
Here is truth: You have never been anywhere God is not.
Here is its corollary: You will never go anywhere he is not on this side of eternity, and hopefully not the other side. You can make necessary arrangements to miss that sure and hopeless abandonment called hell by trusting Jesus as your savior now.
Here is beauty and wonder: When we see God for who he is, we cannot help but sing. Even those of us who necessarily sing aloud only in a large crowd or in confined spaces while alone due to the croaking nature of our attempts, cannot help but sing praise to God. He is good. He is better to us than we would be to ourselves.
We do not need to invoke his presence like gullible fools at a seance. We need instead to awaken to his love, truth, grace, mercy, and peace.
Acknowledge his presence. Trust his heart. Follow his lead. Sing your song in fullest expression of your grief or delight, your fear or your faith, your hesitancy or your hope, your worry or your confidence. As King David said all those years ago, “God, high above, sees far below; no matter the distance, he knows everything about us,” (The Message).
Be who you are in how you connect with God now as he shapes you into who he has always dreamed you would become.
I will sing songs of praise and thanksgiving as I recall how good God has been to me and as I acknowledge his presence now and forever.
Our Father, I will joyfully sing your praise. I will lovingly declare my thanksgiving. I will delight in your presence. I will live confidently in your perfect truth. Amen.
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2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)
2 Chronicles 33:15, 16 He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the Lord, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. Then he restored the altar of the Lord and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it, and told Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
2 Kings 20:2, 3 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Isaiah 65:24 “Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.”