Joy to the Lord
Lord, You and You alone are worthy of all my praise and worship. I give it to You wholeheartedly now.
Read Psalm 96:1-13
 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.  Sing to the LORD, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.  For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens.  Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.  Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts.  Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.  Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.  Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.  Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat reasons are given here for praising the Lord?
This psalm was written to celebrate the return of the ark to Jerusalem (1 Chron. 15:16), a great moment for David and the people of Israel. However, as we look closely at this psalm we see that the breadth of praise foretells God’s greater purpose of bringing all nations (Jews and Gentiles) to worship him (1,3,7,10). “Ascribe to the Lord…” (7,8)—give him the glory that he is due. In almost all eulogies, emphasis is placed on the better aspects of an individual’s character and the weaknesses are often skirted over. With God no eulogy is too good for him, and he has no weaknesses! Go through this psalm and write a list of all his attributes. Notice all he is, all he has done and all he will do. Spend time with those truths, allowing your spirit to be moved to joy and wonder. Now reread the psalm, noticing the interweaving of this praise with a call to us: sing, declare, give him the glory, bring your offerings, worship, be joyful. Finally read the psalm again savoring the beauty of the words and the wonderful truths.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10b). Use this psalm several times this week to reinforce that message.
Tell the Lord again that he is great and deserves your greatest praise! He is the only God worthy of your worship.
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