A Collage of Praise
Eternal God, I thank You for the gift of another day. As I wait before You, speak Your Word to me.
Read PSALM 147:1-20
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psa. 23:6).
This psalm is replete with echoes and quotations from other parts of the Old Testament (e.g., Deut. 4; Job 37-39; Psa. 33, Psa. 104), and seems to have been written to celebrate Israel’s return from exile. The Lord “builds up Jerusalem” as he gathers the exiles (2). In verse 12 the people of Jerusalem sing his praises. God has fulfilled his promises. By the waters of Babylon his people had wept at the sheer difficulty of singing the Lord’s praises in exile (Psa. 137:4). For the Jew, the Temple was the place where God dwelt on earth. Pilgrimages to the Temple were the means by which the Jews maintained and celebrated the presence of God in their midst. In exile all that was taken away–but now they have returned. They are rebuilding. They celebrate with a collage of praises from their Scriptures.
In particular, they rejoice that it’s not military might that the Lord delights in but the reverent fear of those who put their hope in his lovingkindness–his covenant love, faithfulness and goodness (11). The trust we put in human leaders is bound to fail. Faith in God is secure, whatever disasters–deserved or undeserved–we may suffer. His laws are a source of joy.
Christians read this psalm with a heightened appreciation of who God is and what he has done. He has brought us back from the exile of a life outside him into the fellowship of his church. We no longer need a Temple now that the Holy Spirit is poured into our lives. Individually and communally, we experience and celebrate his dynamic work in our midst. We have not only the laws and decrees of the Old Testament but also the living words of the New Testament. Above all, we delight in Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, alive in our midst!
Spend some time making a collage of all the things you can praise and thank God for, blending Scriptural verses with your own life experiences.
Great and Mighty God, You are worthy of all my praise. With all my being I exalt and glorify Your great name.
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